Speculation is mounting that some of Australia’s best known retail travel brands – Jetset, Harvey World Travel, Travelworld and Travelscene – will disappear and be replaced by a single new brand as part of the Jetset Travelworld (JET) corporate review by the Boston Consulting Group. As a result, confusion and dissension reigns among retail JET franchisees, some of whom are threatening to walk.
There is also talk of agents trying to buy back the redundant brands (if it comes to that) and going into competition with the new entity, should there be one.
The real issue is no-one knows what’s happening apart from CEO Rob Gurney and a few others, even though Mr Gurney has made every effort to be be inclusive with scores of one-on-one interviews over many months.
Lots of information coming in, but nothing meaningful coming out.
Maybe that’s the problem. Too much consultation. Not enough leadership or direction.
Communication 101 now dictates that it’s time for him to get on the front foot and take charge of the situation, which is threatening to spiral out of control.
But it would appear the advice Mr Gurney is getting, combined with his own conservative intuition, is to delay the inevitable until everything is just right.
Great example of his communication style is this bland hardly reassuring video update distributed to JET staff today.
So we all await a nice clean vision of the future brought to you by the faceless men and women of the Boston Consulting Group.
That scenario is not going to happen.
Nothing is ever perfect – and there’s zero chance that everyone will be happy with the outcome of this very corporate review, flagged in JET’s poor half-year result (23% fall in net profit).
At the time Mr Gurney said there would be “a brand refresh supported by a consolidated marketing spend which rivals competitors”.
Part of that appears to have already happened with a restructure of JET’s wholesale division.
It once featured a huge array of brands many of which, according to an insider, are no longer relevant with the internal focus now very much behind Viva and Qantas Holidays.
And so the retail brands are next: Jetset, Harvey World Travel, Travelworld and Travelscene.
What happening here? Wouldn’t everyone like to know.
Over to you Mr Gurney.