Decent Profit But Turnover and Revenue Not So Flash at Helloworld (where the buoyant inbound story strangely takes a back seat)

No mention of booming Chinese market in HLO results…

Australia’s #2 retailer Helloworld Travel has posted a good pre-tax half-year profit of $26 million, up 39% over the previous year, but the main driver appears have been cost cutting rather than turnover or sales growth – which could be a concern.

Total transaction value was up 2.7% (major rival Flight Centre’s turnover grew 8.7% over the same period) while revenue declined 3.7%, “reflecting the continued lower airfare prices and mix changes across the business units and products,” the company said. More 

Sensational Summer Follows Bumper Winter in The Snowy Mtns

Australia’s mountain resorts are enjoying their place in the sun thanks to a brilliant six months in the Australian Alps where a sensational summer of tourism has followed the incredible #blizzardofoz 2017 winter.

Freak season. Three mega-storms. Epic snow conditions. And record profits for the likes of Thredbo, which has just announced it made $24m pre-tax in the six months to December 31.  More 

Veriu takes 16 Years to Become Overnight Success Story

Veriu founders Rhys Williams (R) and Alex Thorpe

Opportunistic and casually ambitious – that’s one way to describe the team driving Veriu, a hotel brand that’s seemingly come from nowhere in the Australian marketplace, most recently winning the race to acquire the Punt Hill brand and leases on its 13 properties.

But Veriu is anything but an upstart with roots stretching back to 2002 when co-founders Alex Thorpe and Rhys Williams identified a niche in furnished accommodation leasing and started with two rooms in Bondi. More 

Qantas Leads The Way as Australia’s Airlines Fly Tax-Free

Qantas, flush with cash after posting its largest-ever profits in the past two financial years, has not paid one cent of corporate tax for a decade. And while Australia’s national flag carrier, once owned by the Governmment, leads the way in tax minimisation, an investigation by the ABC into tax paid by major corporates, reveals that none of Australia’s leading airlines – including Virgin, Tigerair, Etihad and Qatar – has paid corporate tax since 2013. See story.

Veriu Hotels & Suites Quadruples in Size with Punthill Acquisition

Lobby at Veriu, Broadway, Sydney

Punthill Apartment Hotels has been bought by Veriu Hotels and Suites, a  new fast-growing brand with four Sydney properties prior to the acquisition.

Veriu has, for an undisclosed sum, bought the Punthill brand and leaseholds on 12 Melbourne and one Brisbane property comprising 777 apartments from the Caras family, who started the business 30 years ago. More 

Australia’s 50 Busiest Travel Websites Revealed – But Stats Show Popularity Isn’t Everything

Paid search is the pathway to online success – provided you do it really well and don’t go broke in the process – while online content (the current craze) may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, it attracts traffic but engagement levels can be spectacularly low.

These are two key takeaways from Australia’s Top 50 Websites 2017 supplied exclusively to TravelTrends.biz. by SimilarWeb, the global leader in digital market intelligence. More 

Booking.com and Expedia Australia’s Leading Hotel Res Sites

US online travel agents Booking.com and Expedia were the biggest revenue producers for Australian hotels in 2017, according to SiteMinder. 

Its data also reveals hotel websites were the third most important distribution channel, while large domestic wholesalers such as AOT, the Qantas Group and Lido produced significant revenue for local hoteliers using the SiteMinder channel manager platform. More 

Asia-Pacific Carriers Leads Global Aviation Growth Through 2017

Asia-Pacific airlines outperformed rivals in a strong year for aviation, posting annual international traffic demand growth of 9.4% through 2017 against the global average of 7.9% according to IATA research. Overall international aircraft capacity rose 6.4% while load factor climbed 1.1% to 80.6%. All regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand. Latin America was also particularly strong with 9.3% international passenger growth. More 

Ascott Aiming for 160,000 Serviced Apartments By 2023

Asia’s biggest serviced apartment operator, The Ascott Limited,  has announced aggressive expansion plans. “With the global economic upswing and international travel arrivals hitting a new high, we are confident of exceeding 80,000 units this year. We see immense potential to scale up to 160,000 units worldwide in the next five years,” said Kevin Goh, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer (pictured). Its brands include Ascott, Citadines, Somerset, Quest, The Crest Collection, and lyf.  Ascott has a presence in 130 cities across 30 countries.

All In The Family – Bound Round Expands Travel Niche Reach

Bound Round, a business which started life as a kids travel app” and expanded into other area of publishing – has continued its evolution as a multi-platform travel media company, buying the Family Travel magazine and brand from Elwin Media.

CEO Janeece Keller (pictured) said the merger creates the largest family travel editorial platform in Asia Pacific with a “combined reach of over 3,500,000 (readers, viewers??) per year.” More 

Queenstown and Auckland Stars Performers in Hot NZ Market

Queenstown and Auckland were the star performers in a hot New Zealand accommodation market during 2017, according to analyst STR. Overall NZ hotel room revenue rose 12% through the year. Queenstown was up 15.3% followed closely by Auckland at 13.4% revenue growth.  The strong performance was driven by a buoyant tourism market and virtually no new rooms built. Overall NZ occupancy reached 80%.

Australian Travel Continues Long-Term Growth Trend

The tourism boom shows no signs of abating with strong travel figures once again reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Inbound tourism grew 7.2% during November with India (+19.6%), Hong Kong (+20.7%) and South Korea (+16%) the fastest-growing major markets. Outbound trips by Australian in the month were 4.7% higher than the previous year despite drops in travel to the United States (-4.8%), Indonesia (5.8%) and Fiji (-5.1%).

Great Idea, Poor Execution – Gidget Retro Campers Wipes Out

The ABC reports that Gidget Retro Teardrop Campers has gone into voluntary administration owing customers, staff, investors and suppliers $3.5m with one of its directors due to face court on 11 charges amid claims the company had sought insolvency advice more than 18 months ago but kept trading. “It was a really good business driven into the ground by poor management,” one former employee said.
See ABC coverage.

Express Travel Buys Creative Cruising

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.


Who’s Who in The ANZ Travel Zoo

People, Companies, Research, Data.

Travel IQ is an industry-first initiative dedicated to providing definitive data on the ANZ travel industry’s leading companies and people.

-Register for Updates

It fills a yawning gap in the local travel industry – so much going on, so little meaningful information on the people and companies who make it tick.

Research is well advanced, and the first iteration is due for release by June 1.

Travel IQ will feature:

- Top 150 travel businesses in Australia and NZ, local focus

- Detailed profiles, expert industry analysis, exclusive insights

- Information on hundreds of ANZ industry leaders

- Major industry investors, deals and transactions listed

- Key sector overviews and analysis

- Financial information where possible

- Interviews with industry entrepreneurs and innovators

- Member access to 3000+ unique stories on TravelTrends.biz

Travel IQ is being researched and written by TravelTrends.biz publisher Martin Kelly.

It will cover the leading companies and people in retail, inbound, cruise, shipping, attractions, operators, aviation, tours & activities, media, technology, shipping, car rental and accommodation.

There’s an initial focus on locally-owned companies and industry dynamics.

Due to nature of travel, private companies dominate the research though every publicly-listed company (there are now more than 30) with exposure to travel will be covered.

Travel IQ will also feature key New Zealand companies and investors, while select international companies with substantial local infrastructure and holdings will come under the microscope.

The aim is for Travel IQ to be the indispensable, insiders guide to the local travel industry.

It will evolve over time and more details will be revealed in the coming weeks.

If you'd like to register your interest in the project, please sign up for updates.

Alternatively you can contact Martin Kelly on 61-414-774-978 if you believe your company should be included.

- It's All About The Information - 

TravelTrends founder Martin Kelly has diversified and now also runs Bluewater Press, a communications and thought leadership consultancy with a particular expertise in travel. Services include:

- Strategic Communications
- Media Releases & Distribution
- Crisis Management
- Thought Leadership
- Industry Advocacy
- Positioning, Messaging
- Marketing Plans & Execution
- Engaging Content

Martin is a communications, public relations and media professional with extensive high-level experience across the travel, internet, property and banking industries, both in-house and as a consultant.

For further information please email martin@traveltrends.biz

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