Merit Travel Group has named Dirk Baerts as President of MeritBiz, the Canadian-based company’s corporate travel management (CTM) arm. The announcement comes shortly after the news that Japanese global travel services company H.I.S. Co. Ltd. acquired 89.9% of Merit Travel in a December deal.
Baerts has worked for Egencia, Expedia’s corporate travel company, as Managing Director Canada since 2011, following his appointment as Country Manager in Belgium in 2009.
He will have overall responsibility for MeritBiz, leading the CTM teams and continuing to develop its offerings and services across North America. He will also be actively involved in the global expansion of the MeritBiz programs; working closely with the H.I.S.-Merit Travel leadership team on acquisitions and partnering initiatives with the local management at more than 200 wholly owned H.I.S. Travel locations outside Japan.
“We are thrilled to have Dirk join our team” said Michael Merrithew, President & CEO, Merit Travel Group and H.I.S.-Merit Travel Inc. “He will bring us the leadership skills and expertise to continue to successfully build out the corporate travel business we started over 25 years ago and we will benefit tremendously from his international management experience in corporate travel and technology as we are developing our global growth path and platform together with H.I.S.”
Dirk Baerts added: “I am very excited to join MeritBiz at this moment in time and, together with a very talented team, expand the footprint of its corporate travel business, within and beyond Canada’s borders. The recently signed investment agreement between H.I.S. Co. Ltd. and Merit Travel Group is creating the optimal conditions to grow the brand both organically and through acquisitions, and I am very happy to be able to participate in this next phase of growth for the company.”