Hays Travel invests in phone app My Kind of Cruise

Hays Travel has invested in phone app My Kind of Cruise as the product’s creator aims to continue “rapid” growth.

The app has gained 303,000 users across mobile, tablet and web platforms since launching in 2022, with more than half of them being Millennials or Gen Z.

The technology allows users to search, compare and book cruises with UK operators, but founder Sefton Monk (pictured) wants to expand beyond the British marketplace.

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Hays Travel chair Dame Irene Hays said: “When we first met, we were so impressed by Sefton and his innovative approach – making the decision to invest in his growing business was the obvious next step. We are delighted to be on board and look forward to supporting My Kind of Cruise’s growth ambitions.”

Two Hays Travel directors – chief operating officer Jonathon Woodall-Johnston and finance director Ken Campling – will join the My Kind of Cruise board to support Sefton and his team with their growth ambitions.

The app, which mainly markets itself through social media and recommendations, is described as having a repeat booking rate of 46%, while more than 58% of bookings are from customers who are new to cruising.

Sefton said: “Our ambition is to move beyond the UK cruise marketplace and diversify our product offering to appeal to all sectors of the public, including those new to cruise.

“To scale up well, we need access to experience, as well as financial support, and were impressed by the drive and ambition of the Hays team, who continue to grow and innovate in the travel arena.

“Partnering with Dame Irene and the Hays Travel team, including Jonathon and Ken, was an easy decision. It’s the perfect opportunity to work with a business partner who can provide expert advice and guidance, while strengthening our reach via their long-standing and successful relationships with their river and cruise partners.

“Having Hays Travel as our partner ideally places us to continue our rapid pace of growth and development of both our technology and product offering over the coming years. Who better to give us the access to the infrastructure, commercial buying power and business acumen we need than the UK’s largest independent travel agent?”

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