Hunter Travel Group (HTG) has partnered with Helloworld Travel to increase its retail footprint and take a majority stakehold in previously wholly owned Helloworld stores.
These outlets, located in Maroochydore (QLD), Knox Westfield and Toorak (VIC), Eastgardens Westfield and Parramatta Westfield (NSW), Canberra City (ACT) and Bunbury (WA) are all fully branded Helloworld Travel outlets.
The 31 staff located at these stores will transition from Helloworld Travel upon completion of the investment.
This will take the number of Helloworld Travel fully branded stores to fourteen, and the number of Helloworld Associate stores owned and operated by HTG around Australia to eleven.
“We are delighted to partner with our largest multi-franchise operator and see them expand their retail footprint,” said Helloworld Travel CEO Andrew Burnes.
“HTG is a multi-award winning travel retailer and it is exciting to see a regionally based business expanding nationally.”
HTG operates seven fully branded Helloworld Travel stores in Newcastle and surrounding areas, together with two Cruise Travel Centres.
The group also operates eight Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT) travel outlets in Tasmania in partnership with the RACT and one Cruise Travel Centre in Hobart, while the entire business overall employs over 100 staff and boasts a total transaction value of over $120 million a year.
Brett Dann, CEO of HTG added, “We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Helloworld Travel Limited.
“The partnership is a very important step in the development of HTG’s retail travel business and now gives the HTG business operations in most states.
“The alliance will enable the expanded business to leverage the combined size and drive efficiencies in their respective operations through shared systems, accounting functions, sales support and marketing activities.
“We look forward to welcoming the new stores to the HTG family and working with them to create a bright and prosperous future.”
It comes off the back of rival agency, Flight Centre, making a number of strategic business moves, including acquiring a hotel management company and DMC, boosting investment in its Asian DMC venture, and yesterday announcing it was acquiring two NZ travel companies, including a mobile travel agency network.
CEO Andrew Burnes added, “This is a great outcome for Helloworld Travel Limited and one that builds on our current momentum and success, evidenced most recently by our multiple award wins at the 2017 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards event.
“Helloworld Travel was awarded the Best Travel Agency Group for the second year running while our wholesale brands, Sunlover Holidays, Qantas Holidays & Viva Holidays were recognised as the best Wholesaler in both the Domestic and International categories.”