Established in 1974, we pioneered the concept of luxury travel in the UK. Over 40 years later we remain privately owned and our unrivalled experience and close relationships with the world's finest hotels mean the Inspiring Travel Company can tailor trips across the world to suit your unique needs; additionally, we now offer a whole world of travel experiences in addition to our luxury offerings, so should you wish to explore the most fascinating and culturally rich destinations on an unforgettable tour or adventure, we’re experts in that, too.
Our business began in Chester, where our HQ remains to this day. Founder Drew Foster fell in love with the 'Platinum Coast' of Barbados and this was where he began sending discerning clients. Things blossomed from there, and the business expanded under the name ‘Caribbean Connection’. Always a pioneering force in the travel industry, we were even one of the first UK tour operators to charter Concorde flights to Barbados. Twenty years later, Drew Foster himself piloted innovative sports tours, taking cricket fans to watch West Indies Test matches, coupled with luxury accommodation and sensational hosting. Today that bright idea has become a company of its own; ITC Sports Travel.
While our unerring commitment to quality and the highest levels of service has never wavered, plenty more has changed over four decades in the business. ITC Sports Travel was joined by Horse Racing Abroad, and Chester travel agents Deva Travel became part of our prestigious travel group. Then 2015 saw the acquisition of an entirely new travel group, bringing Western & Oriental, Regent Holidays, Rainbow Tours and Villa Select under the ITC Travel Group banner.
Over the years there have been a few ‘reinventions’ of our brand. ‘Caribbean Connection’ evolved to become Classic Connection, then ITC Classics and after that ITC Luxury Travel. As the global market develops we continue to move forward and innovate and so in 2017 we took on our new name; the Inspiring Travel Company. In 2018, we took sister company Western & Oriental’s experiential and tailor-made portfolio under our wing, expanding our collection to include even more amazing destinations and fantastic places to stay.
With Western & Oriental comes a wealth of first-hand experience and expert insight on countries and cultures around the world. We’re proud to offer a huge range of diverse and exciting holiday types, with something to suit every traveller. In 2006 Western & Oriental took Ranch America, Ski the American Dream and Hawaiian Dream into their portfolio; further acquisitions included Harlequin Worldwide Travel, a luxury Caribbean Specialist; South American Experience, an expert in South and Central America group travel; and Made to Measure, providers of luxury tailor-made ski, lake and mountain holidays to Europe and Canada. At the end of 2006, Mediterranean Experience developed the brand Kids in the Med with a dedicated brochure catering for luxury family holidays in Europe. In 2016 Spectate Sports Travel was launched to add to our collection, showcasing affordable sports travel packages alongside vast experience dealing with School and Club participation trips. This truly diverse portfolio is something Inspiring Travel Company is proud to have, and was the master plan of Chairman Jennifer Atkinson.
Jennifer became Chief Operating Officer of the then ‘ITC group’ in 2009, and was quickly promoted to CEO following the sad and sudden death of our founder Drew Foster, a figure whose passion for travel lives on in the company today. At a difficult time for the company, financially and otherwise, Jennifer’s passion and drive began to turn things around, building the Inspirational Travel Company and wider ITC Travel Group that you see today. In 2018 Jennifer became Chairman of the ITC Travel Group, with Mal Barritt taking on the mantle of CEO.
Following the acquisition of the Western & Oriental Travel Group, there were plenty more exciting developments to come. In the summer of 2016 the Inspiring Travel Company starred in the BBC2 documentary, 'The Millionaires' Holiday Club', showcasing the world’s more exclusive and decadent luxury holidays. The same year NorthEdge Capital gave its backing by investing in a majority stake to support the business to deliver on planned investment in: IT, management, staff, product and customer service.
The amalgamation of so many travel brands has created the Inspiring Travel Company of today, which offers its clients a rich, varied and truly global selection of travel experiences and holidays. Meanwhile, Regent Holidays, Rainbow Tours and Villa Select have remained stand-alone brands to offer a specialist travel service in their distinct remits.
With over 40 years of history and experience behind us we still believe that this is just the beginning for the Inspiring Travel Company and the ITC Travel Group as a whole. Why not be a part of our continuing journey?