Australia’s corporate regulator is taking a closer look at Accor Asia Pacific’s proposed $1.3 billion acquisition of its major Australian rival, Mantra Group. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it needs more time to investigate the impact this seminal transaction will have on the Australian accommodation market. More
Here’s the spectacular view from the InterContinental Sydney’s business lounge, declared the World’s Leading Executive Club Lounge 2017 at the recent World Travel Awards (WTA).
Australian travel retailer Helloworld has agreed to buy Magellan Travel Group for $32.5m in a 65/35 mix of cash and shares. Magellan has 130 agents and “will continue to operate in its current format”. More
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. That jibe often gets thrown at media but could equally apply to PR, which loves nothing more than a survey.
Case in point. The PR team at Asian OTA Agoda commissioned a survey that, among other things, shows the Millennial generation essentially is looking for the same thing as everyone else when they travel: scenic locations, great food. More
Express Travel Group has bought cruise wholesaler Creative Cruising from Travel Corporation for an undisclosed amount. According to a report in Travel Daily, it will continue operating as a standalone business offering packages from more than 40 cruise lines incorporating air and land. The message from Peter Forsyth, GM of Creative Cruising, is that “it’s business as usual”. Express Travel CEO Tom Manwaring said the cruise industry offered strong sales growth opportunities.
Australian hotelier Bruce Ryde has been headhunted to lead Marriott International’s fast-growing Asia-Pacific luxury portfolio – which it aims to double over the next few years. More
Daydream Island, devastated by Cyclone Debbie in March, has embarked on an $86 million rebuild due to finished by late August next year.
Work will include redevelopment of the Arrivals pavilion, Reception, main Atrium area, Waterfalls restaurant, Lagoons bar, all room types and Mermaids Restaurant. More
Perisher, Australia’s biggest ski resort, is replacing the Leichhardt T-Bar and Home Rope Tow with a new quad chairlift and also upgrading snow-making. Peter Brulisauer, chief operating officer of Perisher, said the development will boost lifting capacity by 75% in the area. Mountain manager Andrew Kennedy said the new lift will access “some of the best tree skiing in the resort off Powder Ridge.” The work will cost $4.2m and be completed in time for the 2018 ski season.
Experience Co yesterday announced its eight and ninth acquisitions since 2015, buying north Queensland tourism operators Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises (Cairns) and Tropical Journeys (Port Douglas) for $56m in cash and shares. Anthony Boucaut, Experience Co’s MD and founder, said this was further evidence of the company’s desire to become “the largest and most respected adventure tourism company in the world.”
The Lux Group, which owns online travel business Luxury Escapes, has bought Scoopon Travel and BonVoyage as part of a complicated, multi-faceted transaction with the Catch Group that will create a pure-play online travel business with $300m turnover and enormous buying power while clearing the way for further growth. More
A business that started as a PDF list of things to do in Bali shared among friends has raised $5 million to fund further expansion.
Now The Bali Bible – a website which attracts 2m visits a month – is the cornerstone of Travlr, providing a profitable template that will be replicated in numerous other destinations via an aggressive rollout strategy starting with Seychelles, Indonesia, Cook Islands and New Zealand. More
In April, the shares of corporate travel management and booking platform Serko – which listed at $1.10* on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 2014 – hit an all-time low of 25 cents. Now those same shares are worth $1.80 – an increase of more than 700%.
So what’s changed? The short answer is that Serko has stopped bleeding cash and is finally profitable. Revenue is also up, though still modest at an annualised rate of $17.8m, growth remains strong at 30%, while operating costs have been cut. More
As all actors know, it’s one thing working with a script but having to ad lib when things go wrong is the true test of any performer – or PR flack. So that was the test for Airbnb mouthpiece Brent Thomas when ABC talk host Jon Faine went off script in an interview on his top-rating Victorian show last Friday. It was ostensibly about potential legislative changes on the Mornington Peninsula to curtail Airbnb party houses but Faine was more interested in the amount of tax the multi-national pays. Thomas found that adopting the party line and avoiding the question can have unintended consequence. Well worth a listen: Faine v Airbnb.
Candour at last! In a remarkably transparent appraisal of its business model and operating environment, hotel meta-search engine Trivago has revealed 79% of its mostly click-based revenue comes from just two customers, online travel agents owned by either Priceline Group (45% share) or Expedia (34%).
Now Trivago, and TripAdvisor (see story), are paying the price for putting all their eggs in a single basket with Priceline and Expedia cutting back on their their meta-search spend. This is having an immediate impact on the meta-search bottom line, forcing Trivago in particular to reassess its business model. More
Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton has declared the company is aiming to triple its revenue to $1 billion by 2025, becoming the world’s first adventure travel business to breach that lofty benchmark.
Thornton, pictured, said Intrepid Group revenue has grown 20% per annum in the two years since it returned to private ownership and recently confirmed annual revenue in excess of $300 million, meaning that to reach the $1 billion goal, Intrepid will have to double present growth rates to more than 40% a year. More
Airbus has landed one of the biggest aircraft orders in history – 430 jets from from a group of low cost carriers, all connected to private equity group Indigo Partners. The airlines combined to get a better deal on the A320neo aircraft. Normally the jets would be worth almost US$50 billion but the group buy could cut 50% from the listed price. Meanwhile Boeing announced that Flydubai has agreed to buy up to 225 of its 737 Max aircraft, potentially worth US$27 billion.
How the mighty have fallen. TripAdvisor is now in deep trouble with its transition to a hotel search and booking site going backwards.
Of major concern is that the steps taken by TripAdvisor’s leadership to turn its hotel business around – “a fresh new look”, “streamlined hotel shopping experience” and increased brand advertising – have actually accelerated the decline. More
A government in disarray has proved to be good business for Canberra hotels as lobbyists and politicians flock to the nation’s capital for reasons that still remain unclear. Consequently, Canberra has emerged as Australia’s most improved accommodation market with revenue per available room room increasing by almost 12% in the year to September 30, according to Savills Hotels. More
British Airways will invest AUD$7.7bn (£4.5bn) into new aircraft and product improvements over the next five years. Chief Executive Alex Cruz says the money will buy: More
Growth. That’s the remit for Markland Blaiklock, appointed Deputy CEO of Thai accommodation group, Centara Hotels & Resorts. It’s a newly created role for Centara, which wants to double revenue and properties over the next five years. More
GetYourGuide has raised $US75 million just days after Asian tours & activities rival Klook picked up $US60 million in a frenzy of fund-raising for the sector, which is clearly the hottest in travel from an investor perspective right now.
“We are experiencing explosive growth this year and have stepped up to become the largest online booking platform for travel activities,” claimed Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide.
Reck says GetYourGuide, based in Berlin and strongest in Europe, recently breached the 10 million bookings mark, with almost 5 million bookings in 2017 alone. More
Quest Apartment Hotels is expanding to the United Kingdom, redeveloping an office building in Liverpool, north-west England and is in advanced negotiations for two more sites. Founder and Chairman Paul Constantinou said Liverpool is the beginning of an “aggressive” brand expansion in the UK for Quest. More
Bookings are now open for Travel Massive’s annual Christmas Party on spectacular Sydney Harbour. It’s happening aboard a 65 foot ‘party boat’ on Thursday, November 30. The event’s sold out for the past couple of years, so get in quick. Details and bookings.
Melbourne has a lot going for it but varied topography is not on the list. It is frying pan flat. However, there are benefits, such as this unimpeded city skyline from the rooftop of The Chen. More
Airbnb is doing a Donald Trump Down Under – insulting, alienating and potentially making enemies of the people it should be working closely with simply because it can’t get what it wants.
The highlight so far has been the attack on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian by Brent Thomas, the Head of Public Policy at Airbnb in Australia, who should be smoothing the way in the halls of power. More
The phenomenal growth of Asian tours and activities booking platform Klook has hit warp speed with the Hong Kong company raising a further US$60 million to fund global expansion and product innovation.
Currently generating more than one million bookings a month, the vast majority through its mobile app, Klook has raised almost US$100 million – including US$30 million from Sequoia Capital China just eight months ago – since it was founded in 2014 by Ethan Lin and Eric Gnock Fah. More