Back to the future for Cruiseco

THREE prominent Helloworld Travel agencies have joined forces for a new “invitation-only” Platinum Club within the company’s Cruiseco wholesale operation. Phil Hoffmann Travel – which was one of the three co-founders of the original Cruiseco way back in 2000 – is part of the triumvirate alongside Queensland-based Clean Cruising and the Hunter Travel Group national network of agencies based in Newcastle, NSW.

The formation of the group is an indication of Helloworld’s strong commitment to the cruise sector, according to Helloworld Travel Limited Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Cinzia Burnes. She said the newly formed Club would bring together “experience and expertise” with an intention to “extend the membership opportunity and criteria to like-minded and cruise-focused agents…as the group hits various milestones”.

Karen Deveson, GM Cruise for Helloworld, said “The Platinum Cruise Club is a revisited strategic apporach which has been welcomed by our cruise line partners seeking to see more proactive packaging of their cruise product. We are thrilled by the positive response we have received,” she said.

Phil Hoffmann Travel CEO Peter Willliams said “the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded cruise-focused agencies backed by Cruiseco, presents a chance for everyone to win – client, cruise line, Cruiseco and the travel agent”.

The move comes amid major ructions in the Australian cruise wholesale market. Flight Centre Travel Group has just announced the formation of a new cruise wholesale operation under the CruiseHQ brand, while Creative Cruising, recently acquired by Helloworld as part of the Express Travel Group takeover, is recruiting for at least four senior roles including a new General Manager.

Helloworld’s new Cruiseco Platinum Club plans to curate exclusive cruise and land packages, and jointly sell into group allocations as well as promote ad hoc offers presented by cruise line partners. It’s unclear what

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