Founder of Uniglobe Travel International and franchising legend, U. Gary Charlwood www.ugarycharlwood.com, has been named to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Hall of Fame.
ASTA www.asta.org, the world’s largest association of travel professionals, presented Charlwood with its 2009 Hall of Fame Award at the industry’s travel trade expo today in Las Vegas. The award recognizes visionaries who have had an indelible influence on the travel and tourism industry. Charlwood joins a prestigious list of past winners, including Mt. Everest climber Sir Edmund Hillary, animation legend Walt Disney, hotelier JW Marriott, Jr., and pilot Amelia Earhart.
Charlwood’s most significant contribution to ASTA was the creation of its Corporate Advisory Council, which united travel agency leaders across North America to advocate for the industry and ultimately, consumers. CAC’s founding principles are the core of ASTA’s policy work today. Said ASTA president and chair, Chris Russo, “In everything he does, Gary personifies the expression that you get out of life what you put into it. And Gary puts in nothing less than 100 percent.”
“I am honored to be inducted into the ASTA Hall of Fame and will continue to work to promote the integrity of the travel industry,” said the multilingual Charlwood, who began his career as a tour guide in Europe in the 1960s. Today, Charlwood is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Charlwood Pacific Group, with franchise companies comprising 1,500 outlets and employing more than 13,000 people worldwide.
Charlwood’s latest venture is taking UNIGLOBE Travel International to corporate travel markets not supported by master franchisors. “Our Global Partner Program www.uniglobetravel.com/gpp offers travel enterprises access to our global network and leading edge technology,” said Charlwood. Global Partners have joined the UNIGLOBE family in France, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan, Dubai, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Peru, Venezuela, Israel, Egypt, and Turkey.
The International Franchise Association (IFA) inducted Charlwood into its Hall of Fame in 2007, where he joined franchising legends including Ray Kroc (McDonald’s), Henry Block (H&R Block), and Dave Thomas (Wendy’s).
In 1975, Charlwood bought the master franchise rights to CENTURY 21 Canada www.century21.ca along with a former partner. He grew it into one of the country’s top real estate brands and is now branching into Asia. In 1980, Charlwood founded UNIGLOBE, which grew into one of the world’s largest single brand travel franchise companies with more than 700 offices in more than 40 countries. The Charlwood Pacific Group of Companies also includes Centum Financial Group Inc. www.centum.ca; in less than five years, Centum has become one of the top three mortgage broker organizations in Canada.
Charlwood shares time between his home base in Vancouver, Canada and Orange County, California, USA.
UNIGLOBE Travel International is one of the world’s largest single brand travel franchise organizations with locations in more than 40 countries encompassing the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Operating under a well-recognized brand name, UNIGLOBE travel agencies specialize in providing highly-personalized travel management services to small- to mid-sized corporate clients and vacation planning to leisure travelers. For more information, visit www.uniglobetravel.com.