Cruise.co.uk has acquired a travel agency in Ireland and is in advanced stages of a deal to buy one in Australia as it looks to extend its model internationally.
The online cruise holiday publisher and travel agency snapped up Travelbookers in Dublin this week which it will use as the foundation of an Irish version of its successful business, called ie.cruise.co.
The deal sees cruise.co.uk take on the three existing employees of Travelbookers, including owner Elaine O’Brien, and it has already employed two further members of staff.
Cruise.co.uk managing director Seamus Conlon said: “We acquired Travelbookers because we like the people – and we liked their enthusiasm.
“It’s currently a regular high street travel agency selling everything, but we can teach them the cruise knowledge so that over the next 12 months they will transition to being a cruise-only operation, which will adopt the same strategy as the UK of having predominately homeworkers across Ireland.”
O’Brien will remain in charge of the Irish arm of the company.
Conlon said Cruise.co.uk was also keen to break into the Australian market and is close to securing a similar retail agency there to launch its business.
The expansion comes as Cruise.co.uk finally reached the milestone of £100 million turnover in the last 12 months.
Conlon said: “It’s been one-and-a-half-years since Risk Capital invested in us and we have really grown. In 2014, we did £90 million turnover versus £63 million in 2013.”
The firm now employs 110 homeworkers across the UK, with the former offices in Redditch now being occupied by management, marketing, IT developers and social media teams.
“Our business is completely social-driven. All of our consultants as well as the company has their own facebook accounts and combined we have 250,000 ‘likes’,” explained Conlon.
“In January, the posts of Cruise.co.uk consultants were displayed over 13 million times to people that had liked or were ‘friends’ with us.”
This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.