Aug 2013

Kiwi Travel Agency Expands into Australian Market

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A virtual travel agency model has proved successful for House of Travel. New Zealand’s largest travel agency network recently launched into Australia leveraging technology to increase their market share.

Chris PaulsenNew Zealand’s largest travel agency is experiencing rapid growth across the Tasman following the acquisition of two Australian based travel companies.

As part of its innovative expansion strategy, privately owned House of Travel has procured a virtual travel management company – a step away from its local bricks and mortar structure.

House of Travel (HOT) Executive Chairman Chris Paulsen, says launching into Australia was a logical step for the 26-year-old Kiwi company, which has a history of successfully using innovation to adapt to industry conditions.

The new business model which uses virtual booking technology to allow agents to work from any location to make their sales has flourished, with demand for the company’s service seeing its broker team growing from 30 to 400, says Paulsen.

“We are able to attract a high quality of staff who want flexible working hours,” he says.

“Thanks to the unique cloud booking technology we have developed, one of our top personal travel managers was even able to run his virtual office from a beachside apartment in Phuket for four months,” says Paulsen.

The CEO of House of Travel Australia, Joe Araullo, says the company has employed a full Australian executive team who understand the local market to ensure the ongoing success of the company’s trans-Tasman division.

Araullo says customers have a choice about how they wish to initiate conversation with our personal travel managers – for example beginning the relationship by phone, email, live chat or even Skype.

Araullo believes the model, which has already been successful in the UK and the USA, will be a significant part of travel distribution internationally in the future. “The low overheads coupled with the fact the revenue equates to that of a comparable bricks and mortar based transaction makes this is an appealing business model,” he says.

House of Travel is New Zealand’s leading locally owned travel agency with over 650 consultants nationwide. The House of Travel group was recently recognised as one of the US travel industry’s top international travel buyers.

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Mark Devlin
With more than 20 years in public relations and marketing Mark Devlin has an impressive portfolio of clients who trust him with their brands. His ability to translate a commercial story into an informative and engaging business piece has seen his clients secure cut-through media coverage, position them as market leaders in their respective fields and grow their businesses substantially.
Kiwi Travel Agency Expands into Australian Market
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