Wholesalers

Helloworld to purchase Excite Holidays’ booking platform, as former staff resurface

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

KPMG administrators have succeeded in finding a buyer for Excite Holidays’ proprietary online booking platform, after initially receiving 17 expressions of interest.

Helloworld Travel has agreed to acquire the platform to help boost its B2B booking system, Ready Rooms, and offer better functionality for agents.

“This acquisition will further develop Helloworld Travel’s business to business technologies in the retail division, following on from the successful launch of the company’s proprietary mid-office technology, ResWorld, in 2019,” a statement from Helloworld said.

Earlier this week, KPMG’s administrators revealed they had “entered into exclusivity with a preferred party” for the purchase of Excite’s platform, after three interested parties submitted non-binding expressions of interest.

The administrators were planning to provide an update on the sale at the second meeting of creditors on Monday, according to its much-anticipated report.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, a Helloworld spokesperson said the cost of the acquisition is “commercially sensitive, but was not significant”.

“We hope to complete the sale as quickly as possible and don’t anticipate it will be a long process,” the spokesperson said.

Travel Weekly has contacted KPMG for comment.

Former Excite staff find new roles at rival

Meanwhile, three former staff members of Excite have joined rival Stuba, as the company currently undergoes a restructure.

Paul Groundwater has been appointed as Stuba’s head of sales for the Pacific region, Brooke Hobson has come on board as the company’s state sales manager for NSW and the ACT, and Stuart Chalmers has been named business development manager for Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

In a statement to Travel Weekly, Stuba’s chief information officer, Mark Luckey, said: “It took a couple of days to get used to the idea of hiring an ex-competitor, and after a decade of busting my guts, five minutes of skyping with Paul highlighted two things for me: my god, he knew his stuff – he was clearly going to be great.

“Secondly, I had to acknowledge that for the next evolution of Stuba, someone else needed to focus the effort of sales and development. It was hard to let go. But when I did, it felt right – a real leap of faith.

“When talking to and meeting with Brooke and Stuart, I was left with the same impression – great people, awesome energy, seeing an opportunity to create something anew.

“For Stuba, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity to take what we love about ourselves but and merge the ideas from two companies to create what will be the very best agent-only wholesale travel company in Australia. It’s a pretty thrilling opportunity.”

Featured image: iStock/Fokusiert

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Familiar face returns to Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific as GM

Crowne Plaza has opted not to hire a stranger to lead its iconic Terrigal hotel. However, that’s not to say there were a heap of creepy job applicants.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Emirates cans decision to suspend Aussie flights

The UAE’s flag carrier has performed a bizarre backflip, complete with a couple of half-twists and a pike. Meanwhile, the government has introduced stricter rules for returning Aussies.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Norwegian launches agent incentives across all three brands

As the saying goes, all good things come in threes … except if there were four incentives being offered, of course.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Victoria and Tasmania announce further easing of border restrictions

by Huntley Mitchell

The relaxing of domestic border restrictions continues apace, so apologies if we’ve missed any updates here. Our editor’s typing fingers are quite tired and sore.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

WATCH: Intrepid releases heartfelt video to remind the world why we travel

Travel Weekly’s deputy editor cried her eyes out while watching this video. Partly because it’s so beautiful, but mostly because she just really wants to be on the next plane out of here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Australia’s first Mövenpick hotel opens its doors

Among the offerings at this new Accor hotel is a daily ‘Chocolate Hour’, which we can only assume involves bathing in Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourist slammed for daring Instagram video on the edge of 500m waterfall

A 25-year-old influencer has been heavily criticised for taking photos of herself on the edge of a very threatening-looking waterfall. Fair enough.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

CLIA names new global chairman

There’s been a major change in CLIA’s boardroom, and we’re not talking about the new fiddle-leaf fig.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Federal government accidentally advises visa applicants to travel overseas despite COVID-19 pandemic

Looks like someone at the Department of Home Affairs is getting fired after accidentally telling visa applicants to get overseas immediately during a global pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Savvy agent scores loads of cruise bookings during Victoria’s lockdown

Meanwhile, the only thing Travel Weekly’s editor achieved in lockdown was to eat his weight in potato chips while getting through Netflix’s entire catalogue.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Northern Beaches COVID-19 outbreak led to $7 billion loss for tourism industry: TTF

Avalon residents have reportedly gone back into quarantine to escape the blame for this huge loss to the tourism industry.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Federal government urged to introduce HECS-style loan scheme for small businesses

Could this turn out to be another much-needed funding opportunity for travel agents? Let’s bloody hope so.

Share

CommentComments