Central Travel is celebrating their 50-year anniversary this month. Mr. Charles B. Miller opened the original office of Central Travel & Ticket, Inc. in 1971 at 4612 Talmadge Road in Toledo at the corner of Talmadge and Monroe. The original location provided entertainment tickets in addition to travel services.
The Sylvania location at 5577 Monroe St, in Sylvania is one of five locations now in operation.
Jani Miller, President & CEO
Central Travel expanded in the early 70’s by opening an office as LaSalle’s Travel in the downtown Toledo LaSalle’s Department Store building. Continued expansion included stores in LaSalle’s Westgate shopping center and LaSalle’s Northtowne Mall.
When Macy’s purchased LaSalle’s Department stores all locations were rebranded as Central Travel. Continued growth was a combination of acquisitions and new branch locations. In 1985 a separate cruise-only outlet, House of Cruises, was opened at 4616 Talmadge Road adjacent to the Central Travel office.
Recognizing a need for quality travel agents, in 1983 Central Travel opened the first travel school in the region, Toledo Travel School. Located on Byrne Road, the Toledo Travel School was a major source of travel agents for the region for decades.
“When I joined the organization we had just two locations and a handful of employees," said Jani Miller, President & CEO. "Hours of operation were Monday through Friday 9a – 9p, Saturday 9a – 5p and Sunday 11a – 5p. Guess who pulled the 1p – 9p shift? It’s amazing to remember the work flow – nothing was automated – every air, car, hotel and tour reservation required calling the vendor. Airline schedules and tariffs were in huge books that were printed monthly and we hand wrote airline tickets. We were one of the first agencies in North America to be automated in the late 70’s. They were big blue boxes – “dumb terminals” – but we were thrilled.”
Today Central Travel has five locations in Northwest Ohio and is recognized as one of the top independent agencies in the nation. Central Travel’s affiliation with Signature Travel Group helps the agency be in a position to offer clients a wide variety of authentic land and cruise experiences, plus hard-to-get perks and privileges that go with these special vacation products. Often times, these benefits are only available when booking through a Signature Travel Group member. Jani & John Miller purchased the agency in 2013. “The best decision we ever made”, said Miller.
"We are very proud of the associates of Central Travel," continued Miller. “Collectively we have over 640 years of industry experience. Our associates are exploring the world on a regular basis. Yes, the business model has changed over the years, and yes, 2020 was more than a challenge but the passion to help our client’s dreams come true never stops. We are looking forward to serving our clients and communities for many years to come.”
For more information about Central Travel, call (419) 214-3595 or visit the travel agency’s website at www.centraltravel.com .
About Central Travel
Established in 1971, Central Travel is a full-service retail travel agency with special emphasis on premium travel. With five locations (Defiance, Holland, Sylvania, and Toledo) in northwest Ohio, Central Travel counselors are known for their unique and affordable vacation packages, exemplary customer service, top shelf corporate services, an array of exclusive perks for their clients and a commitment to community service.
About Signature Travel Group
Founded in 1957 Signature Travel Network is not an organization, it is a member-owned community of leading travel agencies and supplier partners in the industry. The Network collectively generates $8 billion in annual sales and has experienced unprecedented growth in the past ten years. This growth is reflective of the commitment to exclusively align with the most esteemed travel agencies and supplier partners, while simultaneously expanding our reach to more than 11,000 travel advisors in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand and the Caribbean.