Rennert Travel still ranks as the largest travel agency in the Alamo City and is celebrating 113 years of service in 2011. Rennert Travel was founded in 1898 as a steamship company and “tourist agency” by Frank Rennert. A true entrepreneur, the German immigrant was one of Texas’ leading cotton brokers and owner of F. Rennert Company, one of the largest brokerage firms in the state. Rennert was also the German Consulate at the turn of the century.
Tourism in the late 1800’s was just beginning. Mass tourism, as we know it today, was a product of the technological and social changes set in motion by the industrial revolution of the mid 1800’s and came to fruition after World War II.
Rennert’s steamship company developed rapidly as he began exporting cotton and other products from Texas to Europe. Utilizing the easily accessible Port of Galveston, Rennert also recognized the opportunity to transport people back and forth across the Atlantic – thus the beginning of his “tourist agency”.
As Rennert’s travel and shipping business grew in Texas, the travel industry as a whole began to take shape throughout the rest of the country. This rapid expansion nationwide as attributed primarily to the efforts of two Englishmen – Thomas Cook and Thomas Bennett. Recognized for their pioneer efforts as “travel arrangers” the pair ultimately were regarded as the “real forefathers of today’s travel agents and tour operators.”
Over the next five decades, the travel industry grew and expanded worldwide. Rennert’s growth and expansion mirrored the industry growth. In 1956, his son, Werner Rennert, sold the business to Alice Pletz. In 1973, Michael and Margi Sauder purchased the business from Pletz.In 2000, Christy Prescott, owner of Corporate Travel Planners, San Antonio’s largest privately held travel management company in Texas, and among the top 100 agencies in the nation purchased the business which is now known as Rennert Travel.
Since the purchase in 2000 the travel industry has endured commission cuts, 9/11 terrorist attacks, SARS, hurricane catastrophes and the war in Iraq. During a time when many travel agencies were closing, Corporate Travel Planners and Rennert Travel continued to change the way it did business in order to survive. Today they still hold their ranking and market share, and continue to grow with annual revenues of more than 90 million in 2011.
Recently Christy Prescott purchased a floor at the Spectrum Building located at 613 NW Loop 410 to house both Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) and Rennert Travel. The relocation brings together the corporate and vacation divisions to one location allowing for a true one stop shopping experience and will make it more convenient to better serve the majority of both their corporate and leisure customers.
Contact Rennert Travel today and speak to one of our seasoned travel agents to arrange a memorable vacation experience!
(210)-524-3300 or Toll Free (877) 524-3330.