UNIGLOBE Travel International was founded by franchising entrepreneur U. Gary Charlwood in Vancouver, Canada in 1979 and opened its first franchise location in 1981.
Already co-founder of the very successful CENTURY 21 Canada master franchise and experienced in the tourism and airline industries, Charlwood recognized that the franchise system developed for real estate could be very effective in the travel industry.
From its Canadian roots, the UNIGLOBE franchise model quickly spread across Canada and the United States in the 1980s, Europe in the 1990s and Asia, Africa, The Middle East, Australasia and Central and South America in the new millennium.
Today, UNIGLOBE travel management companies (TMCs) and Global Partners serve small-to-mid-size corporate accounts and vacation travellers in more than 50 countries, with annual system-wide sales of approximately $4 billion. UNIGLOBE continues to look for strategic expansion opportunities worldwide in its ongoing quest to be the brand of choice for its primary target market of business travellers.
For more than 30 years, UNIGLOBE has been a strong voice for the travel industry, thanks to the international influence of Charlwood. He is the founding chair of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Corporate Advisory Council – a body of the most influential travel management companies in the world – and an inductee to the ASTA Hall of Fame. He is also in the Hall of Fame of the International Franchise Association – the world’s largest and most respected association in franchising. He is the first Canadian to hold this distinction.
Under the umbrella of his family-owned company the Charlwood Pacific Group, Charlwood is now Chairman and CEO of four franchise companies: UNIGLOBE Travel International, CENTURY 21 Canada, CENTUM Financial Group and Real Canadian Property Management. He is supported by an experienced senior management team, including son Martin Charlwood, who is President and Chief Operating Officer of UNIGLOBE and has been named one of the travel industry’s rising stars.
UNIGLOBE continues to grow as an internationally recognized travel brand that offers value-added products and services to clients and franchisees and a cost-efficient distribution system for airline,hotel, car, cruise, tour, and insurance suppliers.