Travel Bulletin

FC cruise backflip

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THE launch of the new Cruise Boutique sub-brand for Travel Associates has effectivel­y seen a reversal of last year’s brand consolidat­ion initiative by Flight Centre Travel Group, which resulted in the shutdown of Escape Travel and Cruiseabou­t.

Flight Centre’s annual results announceme­nt admitted the closures meant that “attachment of higher margin products that these two brands specialise­d in initially decreased after this strategy was initiated”. Danielle Galloway, the company’s Group General Manager of Premium Leisure Brands, is enthusiast­ic about the prospects for the new specialist Cruise Boutique operations.

Initially 14 Travel Associates stores – staffed by highly experience­d cruise experts – will come under the brand tweak, but Galloway told travelbull­etin she’s targeting 20 by the end of the year, and that is just the start.

As with other players in the industry, Flight Centre’s annual result reflected tough trading conditions. Despite TTV surging $2 billion to a record $23.7 billion for the year, the company’s profit was down about 10% to $343.1 million.

MD Graham Turner confirmed the company was working to address challenges in its Australian operations,

We would like to assure the trade we have already establishe­d a ‘Client Money Trust Account’ effective 16 August 2019... all client receipts are now diverted into that account Tempo Holidays and Bentours

and was also seeing strong growth in emerging businesses including online, home-based and package deals.

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