Overland Park, KS (August 5, 2011) — On July 19, 2011, Global Connections, Inc. (GCI) proudly celebrated its 15th anniversary and its growth as one of the most respected travel club developers, service and fulfillment providers in the vacation industry.
Founded by Tom Lyons, Global Connections (www.exploregci.com) traces its roots back to 1971 when it began as a Kansas-based buying service. As a result of high interest in membership-based travel, GCI was formed in 1996. Today, the company has expanded from two sales offices in 1996 to 17 sales centers across the United States, representing the distributors of its Global Discovery Vacations (GDV) and more recently, Vacation Quest (VQ) travel club products.
What began as a vision to provide quality vacation experiences through a flexible membership club has evolved into a travel club with 145 employees serving more than 170,000 members in the GDV and VQ travel clubs. The company has enjoyed steadily climbing annual sales growth, peaking in 2008 at $78,000,000. Rebuilding from the economic downturn of 2009-2010, GCI currently averages $1.45 million per week in gross sales revenue.
In January 2009, GCI moved into a new company-owned 25,000 square foot corporate headquarters. Additional offices located in Daytona Beach, Clearwater and Orlando, Florida, and in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, service the members, resorts and property management division.
In 2003, GCI began developing resorts and offering investment opportunities in the second home real estate market. They purchased the 37-unit Sea Shells Beach Club in Daytona Beach, Florida, and later a boutique resort in Sunset Beach, California renaming it Beso Del Sol. In 2005, the company acquired 17 acres in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and began development of White Oak Lodge & Resort, a master-planned community featuring 60 vacation log cabin homes, 12 condominiums, and recreational amenities. In 2008, GCI purchased Beso Del Sol Resort, located on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida, and later provided a multi-million dollar renovation to the nearly 80 units and common areas. GCI also manages and has long-term leases for condominiums in 21 states, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.
To add more value to the membership, in 2007 GCI introduced its exclusive Global Discovery Elite customer loyalty and concierge program and later launched a members-only online booking system. As GCI grew and prospered, the company and its employees reached out to their local communities assisting many charities and causes.
Global Connections President Tom Lyons reflects, “It’s been an amazing 15 years in terms of company growth and in witnessing changes in consumer vacationing preferences. Our success can be attributed to the dedication of our employees, management, and sales distributors to help our members fulfill their vacation dreams.” For more information visit www.exploregci.com
For Additional Information Contact
Melanie Gring at 561.417.7559
SOURCE: Global Connections