Michael Batt (b. 1954) is the founder and co-chairman of the Minneapolis-based Travel Leaders Group which today has over 40,000 travel agents working directly for the organisation or under one of its brands.
Born in Gwent, Michael holds a BSc in Economics and Materials from the University of Wales. He began his business career working for M & M Mars, where he held various sales and brand management positions over a 12 year period that saw him working in the United Kingdom, Spain, Africa and the Middle East. From 1987–1994, Michael served as Marketing Director and member of the executive board of British Airways, where he was responsible for all advertising and promotion, product development and delivery of service standards. In 1994, he joined Alamo Rent-A-Car as Executive Vice President responsible for worldwide sales and marketing
.In 1996, Michael joined Carlson Leisure Group (CLG) with executive responsibility for the Group’s US leisure travel operations and the Thomas Cook Group in the UK. Under Michael, CLG’s sales grew significantly from a combined $2 billion in 1996 to over $5 billion in 2007. The following year, he led a management buyout of CLG, subsequently merging with Tzell Travel and acquiring Nexion and Vacation.com. In 2012, the renamed Travel Leaders Group completed the merger of Tzell with Protravel International, Inc. in recent years, the Group has generated gross travel sales of approximately $19 billion.
Michael serves jointly with Michael O’Hara as Co-Chairman of Travel Leaders Group, which has more than 6,000 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia.
Michael was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2014