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The Beginning: A Fredericksburg Story
January 31, 2018 – Gloria Bohan fell in love with the travel industry after her honeymoon cruise on the QE2. As a result, she opened the first Omega World Travel office in 1972 as an independent storefront agency in Fredericksburg, Virginia with just one employee. Gloria and her husband, Dan, bought the house that was standing on the grounds and reconfigured it into offices for themselves. Dan used the bigger half for his real estate and home building company, and Gloria had the smaller half for a travel agency. Expansion began in 1974 when the couple opened an office in Woodbridge, at the urging of many customers. The travel agency grew quickly, and Gloria had to switch with Dan by taking over the bigger part of the building!
A few years later, the travel business was being deregulated and Gloria called upon Dan to help her with her expansion further north and around the country. By 1980, Omega was located in Washington D.C., Bailey’s Crossroads, Rockville, and additional onsite offices. Dan’s Fredericksburg building crew helped with constructing walk-in offices that had a streamlined look, offering the needed visibility that helped gain recognition for the Omega brand. Such offices enabled Omega to be close to customers, build on business travel services, and promote leisure and cruises. It was important to be close to customers to meet them, deliver tickets, and customize service.
Omega continued to expand around the country and around the world, opening offices wherever customers needed. As the company grew, it diversified its services, again doing whatever it took to meet customer needs. Omega branched out from being a leisure travel agency to managing corporate travel, then became the first private travel agency to manage official government travel in 1982. In 1998, Gloria founded Cruise.com, now the leading online cruise retailer, and then TravTech, a travel software development company. Today, Omega is the largest woman-owned travel management company, with offices across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.
Omega still calls Fredericksburg home after 45 years, and THE FREDERICKSBURG STORY continues! After yet another renovation, we like to look back and remember many happy times of delivering tickets to local companies, the fun in designing senior class trips for the high schools to Walt Disney World, the Delta Queen incentives for the Bank of Virginia, and, of course, the customers who have been so supportive of us. Gloria always said that she didn’t think she would have started a travel business in a large city, but the friendliness of Fredericksburg made it possible.
To celebrate our new look, and to thank the residents of our hometown, Omega hosted an Open House on January 30, 2018. Attendees spoke with local agents, enjoyed refreshments, and were entered to win airline tickets, hotel stays, and car rentals. Gloria stated, “Our open house is particularly special since we are celebrating 45 years in business having started on the very grounds of the first Omega office that was formally opened in September 1972.”
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About Omega World Travel
Omega World Travel is a woman-owned, diversity supplier, and one of the largest travel management companies in the US. With worldwide headquarters in Fairfax, VA, Omega serves corporate, government, meeting, and leisure clients throughout the US., Europe, and the Middle East. Omega World Travel also owns Cruise.com, one of the largest sellers of cruises on the Internet, and TravTech, a software development company and Omega Meetings and Conference services.