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Monday, 20 July 2020

Why Helloworld travel agents stores are vanishing

Franchises attached to travel agency group Helloworld are shrinking at an alarming rate.

Helloworld has revealed that 125 of its franchise stores have closed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The stores have shut over the past few months since border closures and lockdowns began, and represent about 5% of the agent network.

The company made the revelation as it announced it had raised $50 million in new equity.

In an update to investors, total turnover value was revealed as being only a fraction of pre-pandemic levels, although numbers are gradually improving and the company has said it expects to see a sizeable increase in bookings from September.

With some domestic travel resuming, corporate business bookings have started picking up.

Helloworld suspended franchise and marketing fees for a full year from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, to help struggling franchisees but that has not prevented several from falling over. 

"The company's diversified businesses, which include a mix of domestic and international leisure travel, corporate travel and wholesale travel operations, are positioned to benefit from a recovery in 2021 and 2022," Helloworld said in a stock market filing.

Helloworld says the money raised will see the business through to the end of 2022, assuming no change to the present operating environment. Helloworld has more than 2300 travel agents in its network right now. 

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