Helloworld Travel has entered into an agreement to acquire cruise wholesaling specialist CruiseCo.
Founded 20 years ago by Kevin Dale, Phil Hoffman and Steve Lloyd, CruiseCo is a specialist cruise package wholesaler which, prior to the onset of COVID-19, had an annual total transaction value (TTV) of approximately $70 million from its member agents throughout Australia.
The acquisition adds to Helloworld’s existing cruise wholesale business, Seven Oceans Cruising, which prior to COVID-19, had annualised TTV of around $110 million.
Cruiseco will be integrated in Helloworld’s wholesale division, with most of the leadership team and staff to be retained to ensure business as usual’ for members, according to a statement by Helloworld.
Nic Cola, interim CEO of Cruiseco, will lead the wholesale cruise division of Helloworld (which includes Seven Oceans Cruising), with Catherine Allison taking over all commercial responsibility for cruise contracts for the company.
Helloworld said in an ASX update that the acquisition of CruiseCo will be funded from existing cash reserves and the purchase price is not considered material.
Cinzia Burnes, executive director at Helloworld, said: “These two businesses, when combined, provide Helloworld Travel with a comprehensive range of cruise options for our retail agencies in Australia and New Zealand.
“Given the recent demand for some 2022 specials in the market, the positive news around both the development of a vaccine and rapid testing capabilities, we are confident that demand for cruising will come back strongly from 2022, and we look forward to working with our cruise partners and agencies to capture that demand.”
Helloworld also announced today that it has renewed its partnership with Qantas with a new three-year commercial agreement to sell the national carrier’s fares and products until 2023.
Andrew Burnes (pictured above), CEO and managing director of Helloworld, said the long-term agreement provides commercial certainty for the company and its agency networks, and allows the business to take the lead with opportunities to sell Qantas products.
“We have had a longstanding partnership with Qantas, and the continuation of that was an important component in securing our position as their leading travel agency partner, and ensures our owned businesses and agency networks can continue to sell Qantas with confidence.
Qantas’ executive manager of global sales and distribution, Igor Kwiatkowski, said the new agreement was representative of the long-term collaborative partnership the airline had with Helloworld.
“This agreement helps cement our longstanding relationship with Helloworld Travel as their number one airline supplier in Australia,” he said.
“Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the industry, we’re starting to see really positive momentum from the trade as domestic travel restrictions start to ease.
“We are pleased to be working together to focus on opportunities that benefit our businesses – including joint marketing and sales activities – as the travel industry starts to recover.”