Into The Arms Of America

Gray Dawes Group Acquires Express Travel in Florida

As part of our strategic global growth plans, Gray Dawes Group has acquired the Florida based travel management business, Express Travel

Our entry into the American market closes the circle on our innovative ‘follow the sun’ service model; delivering a single shared technology platform with seamless personal service across the entire Gray Dawes international operation.

Our global clients will enjoy a seamless high-touch, high-tech experience as we follow the sun from the UK to America to Australia – our three core international Gray Dawes bases. Complimented by our own global partner network, it’s what we call ALWAYS ON – there for our clients when they need us, where they need us.

Express Travel logo

As seasoned travel management specialists, both Express Travel and Gray Dawes Travel are renowned for our technical innovation and high-touch service, focussing on providing complete business travel management solutions with a personal touch. This combination sets us apart in the corporate travel arena and is the core reason behind our respective ongoing success and why Express Travel is such a perfect fit for the Gray Dawes family!

Express Travel’s joint Managing Partners, Olga Ramudo, Cristina Jacomino and Rosa Maria Delgado (now retired), have built Express Travel into a leading travel management company (TMC) in the Florida market, one which focusses on delivering outstanding customer service with cutting-edge technology. The TMC has been ranked as one of the largest Hispanic companies in the United States and among the top 10 women owned businesses in the State of Florida.

After many years, the partners felt the time is right for new ownership with Olga and Cristina’s involvement, to take Express Travel to the next level by becoming a global company. A decision was therefore reached to seek out a like-minded, customer and staff-focussed TMC with whom an agreement could be reached to safeguard the employment of all personnel, and to ensure that the excellent levels of customer service their clients are used to could and would be maintained. Express Travel was not put on the open market; instead Gray Dawes was identified by them for its global ambitions in the USA and recognised a kindred spirit in their management style and customer service offering. And, of course, both our companies are female-led organisations!

Today Express Travel is one of the largest Hispanic companies in the nation and ranked among the top 10 women owned businesses in the State of Florida.

Suzanne Horner, Gray Dawes Group CEO, comments:

“I have long admired the business that Olga Ramudo, Cristina Jacomino and their team have built.” Horner continues, “This latest chapter in our development – Gray Dawes’ thirteenth acquisition to date – marks such an exciting time for us and our customers.”

Horner continues,

“Our clients increasingly want global solutions, even the smaller ones. They’re taking us on the journey. We’ve been very successful picking up businesses in the UK and integrating them. We know how to do that well. Now we’re doing that overseas, earlier this year in Australia and now in America.” To assist this global strategy in the USA, Gray Dawes Travel recently made two key appointments in their New York base: Michel Botbol joined as President, Gray Dawes USA accompanied by new Chief Customer Officer, Carolann Martini.

Commenting further on the announcement, Suzanne Horner, Gray Dawes Group CEO, said, “Our expansion into the USA is incredibly exciting. It represents the next step in our global growth plan and closes the circle on our unique service delivery strategy.” Horner continues. “Out of hours, for example, is simply no longer a thing for Gray Dawes; we are now ALWAYS ON – there for our clients, where they need us, when they need us. And with a shared technology platform across the entire Gray Dawes operation, our clients will enjoy a seamless personal service as we follow the sun from the UK to America to Australia.”

Horner says, “Following the challenges of the last two years, Gray Dawes is fantastically placed, both financially and from a skills perspective, to really drive our recovery while developing all parts of the business and new ventures. Through strong management, belief in our people, innovative technology and outstanding customer service, Gray Dawes has weathered the pandemic storm of the last two years better than most.” Horner continues, “Welcoming Express Travel into the Group only strengthens our position and global offering. Express Travel is renowned in the USA for their loyal and outstanding staff. I am delighted to welcome them to the Gray Dawes Group!”

Olga Ramudo, joint Managing Partner of Express Travel, commented “I am very excited by the opportunity to work with Suzanne and her team, and thrilled for Express Travel’s staff to be part of such an exciting and award-winning travel management company.” Joint Express Travel Managing Partner, Cristina Jacomino, added, “There are so many synergies across the businesses which makes this a very natural fit. By being part of the Gray Dawes Group, we will be even stronger and able to deliver enhanced global opportunities to our staff and clients alike.” Both Ramudo and Jacomino will stay on with Express Travel, following the acquisition of the company. Ramudo becomes SVP: Florida & LatAm for Gray Dawes in the USA while Jacomino will assume the role of Director of Luxury Travel.
Olga & Cristina

Express Travel Managing Partners: Olga Ramudo & Cristina Jacomino

Viscount Inchcape, Fergus Glenapp – Gray Dawes Group Chairman and board member of the company’s owners, Inchcape Family Estates, commented, “I’m delighted to welcome the Express Travel business, itself an independently-owned company, into the Group.” Glenapp continues, “I look forward to supporting the remarkable and continued growth of our fantastic company as we venture into the global arena.”

The acquisition of Express Travel takes our family-owned Group’s turnover to over of £350m and pushes our employee numbers towards 300, across the UK, Australia and North America.

 

We are super excited to welcome Express Travel into the Gray Dawes family today, as we officially announce our acquisition of this awesome American TMC. Marking the next phase of of our global expansion, we’d like to say a huge “hello” to all our new colleagues state side. We can’t wait to bring our new global capabilities to our international clients through our ALWAYS ON ethos.

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