The 180-year-old British travel company Thomas Cook has sold its Australian travel insurance business - just 12 months after launch.

Accom wrap: Travel giant quits Australia in a week of big announcements

The 180-year-old British travel company Thomas Cook has sold its Australian travel insurance business – just 12 months after launch.

Thomas Cook originally operated Down Under until 2000, when it sold its Australian businesses. It returned in 2017 as an online-only travel insurance business, but a hot UK summer last year spelled disaster for the company as Brits in their thousands chose to holiday at home. Two profit warnings saw its share price plummet more than 80 per cent, causing the company to consolidate and pull out of its Australian commitments.

Its venture here has been bought by Australian chief executive Mark Tarring, who has rebranded the business as Tilda Travel and broadened it’s remit to create a “consumer travel and travel money one-stop shop”.

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Mr Tarring told The Australian Financial Review the decision was not a reflection on Thomas Cook’s first-year performance, with the company growing strongly and served 30,000 customers.

“The opportunity is to take a strongly growing business and make it a lot better and expand it into Asia – which is where we want to go,” he said.

“We have a plan to have half a million customers in three to five years in Australia.”

Portfolio of major SA pubs hits market

The GM Hotel Group in Adelaide is tipped to sell for more than $70 million following the announcement of its sale by Blue Sky Alternative Investments’ private equity arm.

The six-strong suburban pub portfolio includes two freehold hotels, Christies Beach and The Lodge, and four leasehold hotels, the Tower Inn, Crown Inn, Emu Hotel and Beach Hotel.

Together they offer 203 gaming machines, seven retail liquor outlets and more than 20,000sqm of real estate.

JLL national director John Musca, who is handling the sale, says South Australia had among the lowest number of hotels and gaming machines per capita across the country, providing an opportunity for growth.

Redcape Hotels Group has been touted as a possible buyer for the Adelaide pub network.

DoubleTree to fetch $100m?

Malaysian developer SKS Group has put its new DoubleTree by Hilton Perth-Northbridge hotel on the market with a price tag of around $100 million.

The four-star hotel only opened its doors in December and is run under a 15-year management agreement with Hilton Hotels.

It encompasses 206 rooms across over 15 levels at 100 James Street in the entertainment hub of Northbridge close to the Perth CBD.

A recent Deloitte Access Economics report forecast Perth occupancy rates to fall below 70 percent in the face of several new hotel openings and a quiet tourism market.

However, offshore investors are reportedly returning to the Perth hotel market looking to take advantage of lower asset prices compared with those on the east coast.

About Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson
Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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