Cruise.co.uk makes £20k pay pledge

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Cruise.co.uk makes £20k pay pledge

Online agent Cruise.co.uk has increased salaries to offer its homeworkers a minimum of £20,000 plus benefits as it looks to grow its UK business.

The move comes as the OTA confirmed it is also seeking a new private equity investor to expand further internationally.

Managing director Seamus Conlon said the ‘salary guarantee’ had been introduced to entice more homeworkers to join the OTA.

In addition to the salary, the agency offers a pension and paid holiday, and supplies all sales leads.

Cruise.co.uk has just taken on 10 new members of staff, who begin training this month, and aims to recruit 10 more homeworkers by the end of the month.

“The focus for the UK business is expansion,” Conlon said. “We would have grown the business further last year had we had more staff.”

Cruise.co.uk revealed earlier this week it was seeking new private equity investment to drive the UK business and fuel further international expansion.

The OTA received backing from Risk Capital Partners in 2013 and said its sales have since grown by 67%. Conlon said the agency was now seeking another private equity investment. Reports in the Telegraph suggested a deal was being mooted worth £50 million.

“It’s our intention during 2016 to look for a larger private equity fund to further accelerate our international strategy and acquisitions,” he added.

“I see this process completing in the second half of this year.”

The agency has already acquired businesses in Ireland (Travel Bookers) and Australia (Cruising Down Under), and has set up a new office in South Africa.

It is now looking to set up in New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Scandinavia and Canada.

In 2015, the Cruise.co.uk website had 17.5 million views, up 100% year on year.

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