Direct Travel Acquires Meridican, Will Rebrand Vision’s Strategic Meetings + Incentives

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Vision Travel parent Direct Travel, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Meridican, a Toronto based Meetings & Incentive company. 

The company also announced that Strategic Meetings + Incentives, a division of Vision Travel, A Direct Travel Company, will now come under the management of Creative Group, a full-service meeting, incentive and recognition company based in Schaumburg, Illinois. These companies will be rebranded Creative Group effective 11OCT.

"The acquisition of Meridican and the alignment of Strategic Meetings + Incentives under Creative Group is consistent with our strategy of global expansion," said Ed Adams, CEO of Direct Travel. 

"The addition of Meridican and Strategic Meetings + Incentives allows us to grow our international portfolio and enables all of us to better service companies that have offices in both Canada and the United States. In addition, these moves continue the diversification of our client portfolio, increase our buying power and strengthen our talent base," says Janet Traphagen, President of Creative Group. 

"The award-winning work created by both of these offices, and the service they provide to their clients, is world-class and aligns well with that of Creative Group."

Founded in 1974, Strategic Meetings + Incentives, Toronto, was a pioneer in the meetings and incentives industry in Canada. Its business savvy approach, with a focus on accountability and innovative solutions, has been vital to its success.

Meridican has been providing Canadian and U.S. based clients with meetings and incentive programs for over 30 years. 

"The purchase will allow Meridican to continue to service its clients in the same exemplary manner. In addition, Creative Group's business approach and culture align with ours, making this a win-win for everyone," notes Anthony Byron, President of Meridican.

Local leadership will be retained to run the new offices in Toronto. Ellie MacPherson, formerly Senior Vice President, Strategic Meetings + Incentives will be responsible for the overall management of the Canadian entity as Senior Vice President, Canada Operations, Creative Group.  

"I'm excited to be aligning under the Creative Group brand.  I have always respected the outstanding work delivered by Creative Group, its client tenure and its outstanding team," notes MacPherson. 

"Our team looks forward to offering our broad spectrum of long-standing clients in financial, insurance, automotive and energy with the new and additional services our alignment with Creative Group will provide."  

Terry Manion, previously Executive Vice President of Meridican, has been appointed Senior Vice President, Business Development Canada, Creative Group and will lead the Canadian based business development team.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.