Home Travel agency Ottawa travel ‘scholar’ sells downtown agency to US company

Ottawa travel ‘scholar’ sells downtown agency to US company


A must-have travel agency for Parliament Hill employees, public servants and journalists in the nation’s capital for more than two decades is changing hands.

McCord Travel was acquired by Colorado-based Direct Travel, the companies announced last week. The terms were not disclosed.

Founded by former Conservative Party member Scott McCord in 1999, the company that bears his name – and which only accepts new customers by invitation – has become well known for its old-fashioned customer service.

Even in the online age where phone calls with travel agents have moved to rotary dialing, McCord Travel employees still prefer to talk to their customers, the founder told OBJ last week.

McCord’s reputation is such that he was the subject of a glowing profile on Fortune magazine’s website in 2019, with politicians of all stripes hailing him as a “scholar” for his ability to reschedule flights delayed by inclement weather and to steer customers safely through a multitude of journeys. misadventures.

Greater global reach

McCord said after 22 years he felt the time had come to sell. He said Direct Travel, which has 75 locations across North America and the UK, will bring more resources, technological know-how and reach to the global market.

McCord remains with Direct Travel as Director of Customer Experience and will continue to oversee the operations of the Albert Street agency he founded, which is renamed McCord Travel, a Direct Travel company.

“For our customers, it’s business as usual,” he said. “We are very excited to join a larger organization with a proven track record and more resources. “

The agency has 15 employees, up from around 30 before COVID. As the pandemic has taken its toll on the industry, McCord said business is “accelerating rapidly” as the number of daily bookings nearly tripled since May.

“There are a lot of turned back travel requests,” he said. “We are definitely seeing things bounce back.”

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