Santa Barbara Travel was founded by Bertie de L’Arbre in 1947 following his service with the United States Army and the O.S.S. in World War II. Prior to the war Bertie was a banker living in Brussels, Belgium. When he moved to Santa Barbara he saw a need for travel services and opened the company at its current location in the downtown district. The company has been headquartered there ever since. As an accomplished world traveler at an early age Bertie provided invaluable knowledge and experience to the growing, and affluent, Santa Barbara community. His travels had taken him around the world and his expertise quickly established him as the expert for trip planning. Over the years the company added staff and expanded its portfolio to include corporate travel services and created a separate, specialized team to focus on that business. Today, the suite of services includes not just highly trained travel advisors but also an array of technology that provides online booking capabilities, reporting and analytics, global traveler security and a variety of other valuable benefits.
The company also found a demand for its services in the entertainment industry. The need to support detailed, complicated itineraries and last-minute travel for television, feature film and musician travel was a perfect match for the skill set that Santa Barbara Travel offered. The company established a team to focus on this expanding part of its business mix in the early 2000s.