Travel Leaders Group announced a new division on Monday — the Elite Travel Division, comprised of Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group — which will be headed by Gail Grimmett, a longtime Delta Airlines executive.

Under the new division, Protravel and Tzell will remain distinct businesses. In total, “the new Elite Travel Division represents nearly $4 billion in annual sales volume, making it the unparalleled seller of luxury travel among travel agencies,” according to a statement from Travel Leaders Group.

Gail Grimmett
Gail Grimmett

Grimmett will become the president of the division effective May 16, where she will head Protravel and Tzell’s senior leadership teams and report to Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. 

To support Grimmett, Travel Leaders Group said Barry Liben, most recently CEO of Tzell, will become the chairman of Protravel and Tzell.

“Ultimately, our strategy is to further strengthen the already enviable position our award-winning travel agents from both Protravel and Tzell maintain within the industry, whether they are focused on luxury leisure, corporate or entertainment,” Chacko said in a statement.

Liben said the new division “will yield tremendous results for all our agents within Protravel and Tzell.”

Grimmett comes to the Elite Travel Division after spending 19 years in executive roles at Delta, most recently as the senior vice president of the New York region, a position she held since November 2008.

In that position, she was responsible for the airline’s domestic and international performance in New York, and was asked to serve on both the New York State Tourism Board and the New York City Regional Economic Development Council. She also serves on a variety of other boards, and was named one of Crain’s Business top 50 Most Powerful Women in New York.

Grimmett previously held other executive roles at Delta, including senior vice president of pricing and yield management, managing director of investor relations, and director of financial planning and analysis. Her career started at the U.S. Department of Labor as a senior regulatory economist.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI