Travel Store

July 30, 2020 · 4 mins

The Travel Store is Changing Hands, But Still Island Owned and It’s Business As Usual

Charlottetown, PE: Gary Rayner is pleased to announce that The Travel Store has a new owner.

Rayner has just marked 40 years as the owner of PEI-based travel agency, The Travel Store.  Having made a long and successful career of travel planning, and ensuring that the business is firmly established in the hearts and minds of Islanders, Rayner has decided that the time is right to begin the transition to retirement.

Paulette Soloman was giving a lot of thought and consideration to the next chapter in her life, and approached Rayner to ask about his long-term plan for the business.  Thus began discussions for a change in ownership of this Island company.

Staff were recently brought into the conversation as well, with staff meetings at all locations.  An annual training and team building convention in Cavendish this fall offered the chance to also share the news with some key travel industry partners. 

While he has mixed feelings about moving on from the business he has operated for so many years, Gary Rayner has positive things to say about the new direction.  “I think the company will be in good hands.  It was key to me that The Travel Store continue to be Island-owned, that is what our travel agents and our clients really value, knowing that they are getting advice from people who live in our own communities but who have travelled the world.  We are like a family, and I want the clients to know that they too will continue to be treated like family members.”

Paulette Soloman agrees, saying that for her in seeking out a business opportunity it was important to look for a stable and professional workforce.  “As a client of The Travel Store for many years, I knew that I had a good feeling every time I walked in the door.  People seemed pleasant and happy to help, there was a positive impression every time. This is the experience I’ve continued to have in getting to know all the staff.”

The Travel Store has had a long history on PEI and has had offices in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  As the industry has changed significantly over time, the company has consolidated its operations mainly in PEI with four locations (three in Charlottetown and one in Summerside), and one in Moncton.  There are also several home-based outside agents affiliated with The Travel Store, offering expertise in both corporate and leisure travel.  All can be contacted via The Travel Store website or by phone.  One location in Amherst NS will not be part of the sale but the long-time agent there will continue as an outside agent of The Travel Store.  The website is undergoing some major changes too, which the agents are excited about.  “We want to share with our clients more of the vast selection of travel experiences that are available, and to get people dreaming about where their next destination will be.  The new website offers a fresh look at the kind of unique trips and experiences people are looking for,” says Rayner.  Look for the new website to launch around mid-December.  In the meantime the current website is still functional and the company can be found on social media platforms.

While there is a new owner, the plan is business as usual.  “The Travel Store is a well-respected and well run business already – no one wants to mess with success,” says Paulette Soloman.  “This is what attracted me to this company, and I feel that we have an excellent starting point with great things ahead, and the right team to make it happen”. 

The deal was facilitated by Confederation M&A.  Confederation M&A is a team of highly experienced mergers & acquisitions advisors doing business across Atlantic Canada with head offices in Charlottetown and Fredericton. They’re the leading M&A firm in the region serving a diverse range of clients across a wide range of industries. They work in confidential  manner to find the best possible solutions to help entrepreneurs achieve their buying and selling needs.