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Our History

In 2005 Brad and Jeff Tolkin leveraged their more than 50 years of combined expertise as operating executives in the travel industry to co-found World Travel Holdings — the world's largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company.

However, the story of World Travel Holdings is really the story of many successful travel companies, each specializing in a different area of product and service, united in the common goal of delivering every customer a remarkable experience. 

 

1974

Tolkins owned and operated Travel Impressions for two decades building the company into one of the nation's most profitable, privately held travel wholesalers. They also operated prestigious brands like Pan American Holidays, Eastern Vacations, Continental Vacations, and Virgin Atlantic Vacations. 

1992

Acquired Empress Travel, a retail travel agency that grew from 44 to 104 store locations in just six years. 

1998

Tolkins sell their portfolio of brands to American Express, but it wouldn't be long before the brothers return to the travel industry with a renewed passion and vision. 

January 1, 2005 

World Travel Holdings was established with a series of acquisitions including the purchase of Villas of Distinction, a leading brand in the villa rental field established in 1989. They also acquired Rooms.com

Later in 2005 

World Travel Holdings expands with the acquisition of Cruise411

July 11, 2006 

World Travel Holdings more than doubles in size with the acquisition of National Leisure Group (NLG), the largest cruise seller in America and one of the nation's leading vacation package distributors. 

June 2010

World Travel Holdings acquires a significant interest in the UK's fastest growing cruise retail business, Cruise118, which was established in June 2008 by ex My Travel directors Mal Barritt and James Cole. 

2011

World Travel Holdings acquires CheapCruises.com.

October 8, 2012

World Travel Holdings brings the sales and servicing of resort vacations in-house.

April 5, 2014

Brad and Jeff Tolkin are inducted into the 2014 CLIA Hall of Fame as "Cruise Sales Innovators."

April 5, 2016

World Travel Holdings launches travel franchise Dream Vacations.

 

History of National Leisure Group, Now World Travel Holdings

Though formally established in 1986, NLG began as Last-Minute Travel in 1983. This small travel agency created a business model that at the time was groundbreaking in the travel industry – reselling excess inventory in bulk at reduced rates. 

1986

NLG was officially founded with the creation of its flagship brand, Vacation Outlet

1990s

NLG grew rapidly in the New England retail and U.S. online markets. Vacation Outlet launched its successful e-commerce website, vacationoutlet.com, and also established one of the most widely publicized and attended consumer travel shows in the U.S. – Vacation Expo, held annually in Boston. 

Starting in 2000 

NLG leveraged its industry expertise by partnering with some of the world’s most recognizable brands — BJ's Wholesale Club, Hotwire, Priceline.com, Orbitz, many of the country's largest airlines, and others.

2003

NLG expands the depth and breadth of its leisure travel offerings with the acquisition of CruisesOnly, Cruises.com, CruiseOne and Cruises, Inc., making the company the largest provider of cruise vacations in America.