Liben siblings start host agency in New York: Travel Weekly


The late Barry Liben’s three children have formed Chai Travel, a New York-based host agency that focuses on high-end leisure travel and small to midsize corporate accounts.

Liben, who died in 2020, was Tzell Travel Group’s chairman. He also held posts as Tzell’s CEO, and the CEO of Travel Leaders Group (today known as Internova Travel Group).

Michael Liben, Rebecca Liben Levy and Daniella Liben Pally are the founders. The agency is affiliated with Virtuoso and has a partnership with New York’s First In Service Travel.

“We had a front-row seat to the dedication, heart and vision that our father brought to his work in the travel business,” Chai Travel CEO Michael Liben said in a release. “His guiding principles were simple: put the advisors first, give them everything they need to succeed and make sure you have some fun along the way. We started Chai Travel to continue that winning strategy.”

The siblings formed the company in early 2022, and spent the past year building its team and platform.

Rounding out the leadership team are president David Buda and director of advisor services Kristine Taras. Buda was Tzell’s executive vice president for 35 years. Taras most recently worked at Internova’s luxury-focused Global Travel Collection.

The host agency is welcoming new and seasoned travel advisors.

“Industry consolidation has created a need for independent host agencies, and Chai Travel is positioned to fill that need,” Michael Liben said. “We provide advisors with the tools, relationships and technology they need without sacrificing the family-oriented atmosphere that they want.”



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