New owner of Travel + Leisure eyes expansion of magazine’s travel club

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The Travel + Leisure travel club and its 60,000 members were the big lures for the nation’s biggest time share resort company to pay $100 million to buy the publication from Meredith.

“They generate a profit of $5 million to $6 million a year,” said Michael Brown, the CEO of Wyndham Destinations referring to the T+L travel clubs which charge member between $10 to $20 a month.

And that is what he plans to expand. “We feel it is a smart move to invest in those businesses that are our core competency.” He said Wyndham has two lines of businesses, owning 230 vacation resorts worldwide and a time share exchange program that has 5 million members.

Brown said he plans to change the name of the publicly traded company that did nearly $4 billion in annual revenue in 2019 to the Travel + Leisure Company, effective in mid-Feb. “We love the name,” he said.

But he pledged total independence to the media properties that will continue to be run by editor in chief Jacqui Gifford and Meredith, which has a 30 year non royalty licensing deal for the media. “They’ll supply the inspiration, we’ll supply the fulfillment,” said Brown.

Although the huge time share resort company was hit hard by the pandemic related shut down earlier in 2020 he said his company will be cash flow positive for the year as business has improved steadily. “Leisure travel is returning faster than business travel,” he said.

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