Cruise.co.uk expands into Australia and South Africa

Cruise.co.uk expands into Australia and South Africa

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Cruise.co.uk is continuing to extend its model internationally after acquiring a travel agency in Australia and expanding into the South African market.

The agency began branching out into other English-speaking markets earlier this year when it bought Travelbookers in Ireland.

It has now snapped up Cruising Down Under in Brisbane, and has set up in South Africa, with plans to launch in the next three months.

Sukie Rapal, who is leading Cruise.co.uk’s international expansion, said the three staff in Brisbane would be kept on and the team would eventually be expanded.

“We’re currently implementing our model in Australia, in terms of what we do in the UK, with social media, Facebook and Google, as well as the emails we send out to the customer base,” she said.

“Our content works well and is easily transferred. We will be following up with our homeworking model. We’re also on a big recruitment drive in Ireland, so we can expand the team there.

“The plan for this year was to launch in Ireland, Australia and South Africa, and then look further afield in 2016.”

Rapal said Australia was a growing cruise market that benefitted from brands focused on the region, such as P&O Australia.

In South Africa, Cruise.co.uk is setting up a business rather than buying an existing agency.

Graeme Promnitz, who has worked for Cruise.co.uk for more than five years and is originally from South Africa, will return to the country to run the start-up.

Rapal said no targets had been set for the international businesses as they would be “bedding in” until the end of the year.

She said the agency would 
look at setting up operations 
in New Zealand and the Middle East next year.

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