Merren McArthur has been appointed the new CEO of low cost carrier Tigerair Australia, which is owned and operated by the Virgin Australia Group. More
Well-known Sydney online travel entrepreneur Mirza Juddani has sold his company Flight Systems, which operates skiddoo.com.au, to listed retailer Helloworld. Technology was a major reason for the acquisition, providing a low risk and low cost entry to some sophisticated distribution technologies, said Helloworld CEO Andrew Burnes. Flight Systems is expected to have turnover of $80m this financial year and the purchase amount was not disclosed. Juddani will be staying on and joining the HLO team.
Travelling through Vietnam, skiing in Japan, venturing to India and relaxing in Thailand – these were the hot destinations for Australians in the peak travel month of January.
Vietnam travel by Australians was up 28%, Japan holidays increased 16%, Indian tourism grew 14% while Thailand – which had been losing market share – rose 9.6%. More
“We’ve been hit right in the balls!” exclaimed Stephen Howard, the new Marketing Director of Ovolo Hotels. “A mysterious individual decided to take one of our beloved Ovolo Balls from our hotel late last week, they didn’t even buy us dinner first! ???? We’ve got $1000, a nights accommodation and a dining voucher for Alibi Woolloomooloo up for grabs for whoever reunites us with our steely beloved sculpture.” Get on it!
It now seems inevitable that more international visitors will be booking their accommodation through so-called home sharing sites like Airbnb than traditional operators such as hotels, resorts and motor inns. And it will happen sooner rather than later. More
Get set for Travel IQ, an industry-first initiative dedicated to providing definitive data on the ANZ travel industry’s leading companies and people.
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. More
The surge in Chinese visitors helped drive international tourism spending in Australia to a new high of $41.3 billion in 2017, an increase of 6% over the previous year, according to the latest International Visitor Survey. More
In an era of consolidation and monster billion-dollar online travel companies, WIT is throwing the focus on the little guy with a new one-day event. The first edition of WIT Indie will be held in Penang, Malaysia, on April 13. “WIT Indie aims to gather independents and creatives around the idea that not only can they compete in the digital age, but can thrive,” says WIT founder Yeoh Siew Hoon. “The idea is to offer a platform on which they can learn, network, collaborate and share best practices – when you are small, scale can come from thinking outside your business and collaborating with other like-minded people in a creative environment.” See website for details.
Sydney company Rezdy has raised a further $3m to fuel growth in North America, opening a second US office in Raleigh, North Carolina. The company said: “This was an interim round to fund acceleration in the international growth of Rezdy ahead of a larger equity round later next year.” More
Australia’s competition regulator, the ACCC, has cleared the way for AccorHotels’ $1.3 billion take-over of the Mantra Group, announcing today it will not oppose the acquisition because it believes the merger of the country’s top two hotel groups will not restrict competition within the sector. More
No pain no gain. That could be the mantra at tours and activities business Viator, which has staged an incredible turnaround over the past 12 months due primarily to the hard-headed vision of Dermot Halpin, who has shaken the company up and made it profitable – literally tens of million of dollars in the black – after years of spending money in the name of growth.
No-one saw this coming when Halpin, who had been running TripAdvisor’s vacation rentals business, was given additional responsibilities by TripAdvisor founder Steve Kaufer, replacing long-term CEO Barrie Seidenberg, who resigned in late 2016. More
The global economic recovery has played a significant role in a strong first-half result for Regional Express, which operates a fleet of more than 50 Saab 340 aircraft to 60 destinations across Australia.
Known as Rex, the carrier announced a pre-tax profit of $13.8m for the six months to December 31, 2017, up 60% over the previous year. Passenger numbers grew 3.8% and Executive Chairman Lim Kim Hai said “charter activity also increased, indicating the worldwide economic recovery is having its effect in Australia.”
Virgin Australia has decided not to privatise after suggesting it was a possibility last November and will instead offer thousands of small investors a way out by buying their shares. More
AccorHotels has sold 55% of AccorInvest, a subsidiary company which owns 891 AccorHotels, mostly in Europe, to a consortium of investors for US$5.4 billion, including the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Singapore. More
Investors were disappointed by the half-year results of Apollo Travel and Leisure despite strong revenue and profit growth over the previous year due to a spate of acquisitions, including North American van rental company CanaDream and several retail outlets.
Apollo’s revenue was $172m for the six months to Dec 31, 2017, while net profit came in at $16m. More
Cruise and marine transport operator SeaLink Travel Group has turned to accommodation to stimulate much-needed growth, buying the Kingfisher Bay Resort and associated assets on Fraser Island for $43 million.
Listed Australian travel companies are soaring with strong half-year results announcements from Qantas, Flight Centre and Webjet today driving exceptionally strong share price rises.
Qantas shares were up 9%, Webjet’s grew 15% while Flight Centre stock rose 11%. More
Flight Centre once again showed who’s boss in the Australian travel market recording strong TTV growth of almost 9% and upgrading its full-year profit forecast – clearly demonstrating the importance of geographic diversity and staff productivity, which grew 7% from $481,000 to $513,000 per head over the past year. More
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
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
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
Discovery Parks has created Australia’s biggest holiday park network by buying the Top Parks brand and entering into a licencing agreement with its members.
Under the deal Top Parks members will remain independently owned but form part of the Discovery Parks network, which will now comprise 220 properties. More
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.
Delicate question this. Should the tourism industry be supporting Myanmar while its regime kills and persecutes the Rohingya people because of their religion?
I ask after reading a trade story yesterday headlined Myanmar Jubilant as Asia Arrivals Swell based on government claims that in 2017 Southeast Asian tourist visits to the country increased 109% year on year. More
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
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.
Online Travel Agents and their rigid, take it or leave contracts are the biggest business concern for Australian hoteliers, a survey of 450 members by the Accommodation Association of Australia has revealed.
“The chief concern is around how the contracts are done,” says the Association’s CEO Richard Munro (pictured). More