JOURNEY Beyond found itself with a new owner last month when the American-based Hornblower Group agreed to acquire the company for $600 million.
The operator of iconic brands such as The Ghan and the Indian Pacific will now be backed by the weight of the San Francisco-headquartered travel business, which currently owns the American Queen Voyages brand and has a strong presence across 125 cities in the United States.
Hornblower is expected to use its expertise and large bank of resources supplied by owner Crestview Partners to accelerate the growth of the Journey Beyond network in Australia, a market it is anticipating will enjoy a sharp rebound in the coming month and years, and will also deploy more cross-marketing opportunities between Journey Beyond’s assets in the process.
“Hornblower is extremely optimistic about the tourism industry and the rebound ahead, one in which Australian tourism is seen as both resilient and highly desirable,” the company said.
“There is a unique opportunity to leverage Hornblower’s unmatched technology and marketing expertise to further develop and deliver incredible tourism experiences in iconic locations in Australia and around the world.”
The timing of the purchase coincides with a strong uptick in bookings for Journey Beyond, as Aussies look to book belated holidays in the domestic market as certainty around state borders staying open continues to grow.
In addition to its cross-continental rail services, Journey Beyond’s portfolio is also comprised of Outback Spirit, Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures & Melbourne Skydeck.
Despite the change in ownership, Hornblower has indicated that the brand’s 1,200 staff are unlikely to be impacted and that CEO Chris Tallent will remain with the company at its head office in Adelaide.