The Travel Corporation

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The Travel Corporation
TypePrivately held company
IndustryTravel and Leisure
FounderStanley S. Tollman
Key people
Stanley S. Tollman, Chairman
Michael Ness, Deputy Chairman
Brett Tollman, Chief Executive Officer
ServicesTour operator
Number of employees

The Travel Corporation owns 40 travel brands including tour operators, hotels, and transportation companies. It operates in 70 countries and has 40 offices around the world and serves 1.9 million travelers annually.[1]

The company operates a non-profit affiliate, the TreadRight Foundation, which oversees projects supporting sustainable tourism in various locations around the world.[2]

The company is wholly owned by members of the Tollman family, four generations of which are actively involved with the business.[3]

The company traces its history to a small hotel outside Cape Town, South Africa in the early 1900s.[3]


The company owns the following tour operators:

  • AAT Kings (with its sub-brands Aussie Adventure and Inspiring Journeys)
  • Brendan Vacations [sub-brand of Trafalgar Tours]
  • Busabout
  • Contiki Tours
  • CostSaver [sub-brand of Trafalgar Tours]
  • Evan Evans Tours
  • Grand European Travel
  • HAGGiS Adventures
  • Insight Vacations
  • Travel Corporation Asia
  • Shamrocker Adventures
  • Uniworld - operates river cruises across Europe, Asia and the Middle East on a number of rivers including the Rhine, Main, Danube, and the Seine River.
  • Trafalgar Tours
  • New Horizons
  • Creative Holidays
  • African Travel
  • Lion World Tours

The company also owns Red Carnation Hotels, a luxury hotels group, with hotels in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, South Africa, Guernsey and Switzerland. In August 2015 Ashford Castle in Ireland was voted world's best hotel by Virtuoso Travel Week and third best world hotel in July 2015 by Travel + Leisure magazine, US.[4][5]

The company also owns and operates transportation services in various locations. Transportation brands include: AAT Kings and Atlas Reizen (based in The Netherlands).

The company's philosophy is to keep the brands separate with their own identity, serving their own niche markets, rather than trying to merge them all and ending up with one brand without a distinct identity.[6]


The company is the largest shareholder of Cullinan Holdings Ltd, one of South Africa's oldest public companies, and which owns household travel brands such as Thompsons Africa, Thompsons Holidays, Thompsons Touring & Safari, Hylton Ross Tours, Planet Africa, Gateway Tours, Pentravel as well as Marine businesses Manex and Central Boating. The company is also a significant shareholder in Wilderness Safaris.

Tollman family tax issues[edit]

In 2008, Stanley Tollman pleaded guilty to one count of tax fraud and agreed to pay more than $105 million to the U.S. government in back taxes and various fraud penalties[7]

In 2015, Beatrice and Stanley Tollman have had £50,000 in political donations returned by the Conservative party, after the party conducted an investigation into the donations.[8]

Brett Tollman, their son, pleaded guilty in 2003 to tax fraud and in 2004 was sentenced to 33 months in prison and a $3.5 million restitution fee.[9]


  1. ^ "The Travel Corporation: About".
  2. ^ "TreadRight Foundation". TreadRight Foundation.
  3. ^ a b Gollan, Doug (October 14, 2016). "Meet The Biggest Travel Company You've Never Heard Of". Forbes.
  4. ^ Willits, R. Bryan (June 2016). "Ashford Castle Is Named the Best Hotel in the World". Irish America.
  5. ^ Ó Conghaile, Pól (August 13, 2015). "Ashford Castle voted world's best hotel". Irish Independent.
  6. ^ "Meet Brett Tollman from the South African family who own The Travel Corporation". Independent Online (South Africa). June 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Godwin, Nadine (December 1, 2008). "Former travel executive Tollman guilty of tax evasion". Travel Weekly.
  8. ^ "Conservatives forced to return another £20,000 after accepting donation from convicted tax evader". Belfast Telegraph. April 23, 2015.
  9. ^ Dathan, Matt (April 20, 2015). "General Election 2015: Conservatives forced to return more than £50,000 donated by wife of convicted fraudster". The Independent.