Helloworld plans NZ rollout
Plans for the New Zealand expansion of the Helloworld brand are well under way, with the NZ operation now led by Simon Mckearney who confirmed that there will be 61 fully branded stores to be updated with the Helloworld brand early this year. Most of those were previously Harvey World Travel outlets, along with a handful from United Travel, with most of the former United members switching to First Travel Group. The change will also see Stella NZ’S independent and “broker” network members become part of the Helloworld affiliate model, with Mckearney saying this means the brand will present as a “family” of more than 265 businesses across NZ. “Our industry is no longer a cookie cutter offering, but the trick is in connecting the complete spectrum together within one brand,” he said, emphasising that there is “safety in numbers”. Mckearney said Helloworld NZ was re-engineering its business to “recognise the needs of its members and the part they play in a value chain for their clients”. with the announcement late last year that it would acquire FRHI Holdings limited, the parent company of the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands. The massive deal will expand the Accorhotels portfolio by 155 properties, including 40 currently in development, with ceo Sebastien Bazin describing the move as a “great step forward” for the company, offering “robust and global leadership in luxury hotels”. The purchase will see a significant increase in Middle Eastern interests in Accorhotels. Along with a US$840 million cash payment, new shares in Accorhotels will be issued to the FRHI vendors, seeing the Qatar Investment Authority end up with 10.5% of the company while the Kingdom Holding Authority of Saudi Arabia will hold 5.8%.
Our industry is no longer a cookie cutter offering, but the trick is in connecting the complete spectrum together brand’ within one