Helloworld cruise boost
The acquisition of Cruise Marketing Group by Helloworld will see the company’s wholesale division expand, with HLO executive director Cinzia Burnes insisting the new businesses will complement the existing The Cruise Team wholesale operation. Cruise Marketing Group owners Fred Sparksman and John Simos will share just over $1 million in proceeds, along with Peter Topping, who owns just under
5% of Cruise Factory which was also part of the deal. Cruise Marketing Group’s brands include Seven Oceans Cruising and Cruise Abroad, as well as the Worldwide Cruise Centres network which comprises about 120 affiliated travel agencies across the country. The Travel Corporation is certain to make hay from the announcement, with expectations the company will promote its Creative Cruising brand as “Australia’s only independent cruise wholesaler,” targeting Worldwide Cruise Centre members and other agents who don’t wish to buy through Helloworld. There’s speculation that Express Travel Group is also likely to switch allegiances, with Cruise Marketing Group currently powering its Express Cruise offering. However Burnes clearly believes the deal will be beneficial for Helloworld. “These companies bring a depth of management and an experienced pool of staff to the Helloworld business, and the existing management will continue to be involved going forward,” she promised.