FCTG Appoints CruiseHQ Wholesale Leader

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has announced the appointment of Caroline Hitchen as GM of Cruise Wholesale for its newly established cruise wholesale division, CruiseHQ.

Having worked for Creative Cruising, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, The Travel Corporation, and Destination NSW, Hitchen has a strong cruise and travel industry background. At CruiseHQ, Hitchen will be responsible for the new dedicated B2B cruise wholesaler.

CruiseHQ will launch, with exclusives, a curated offering of fly/cruise packages bundling the very best rates with wholesale airfares, pre- and post-land, and touring to FCTG’s networks and external Agencies. With market-leading talent and cruise specialist expertise, CruiseHQ will provide an outstanding B2B marketplace, delivering exceptional service, products, and platforms for Agency partners.

FCTG’s CEO of Supply, Greg Parker, calls Hitchen’s appointment a major win in cementing the Group’s commitment to bringing a dedicated B2B cruise wholesaler to the Australian and New Zealand markets.

“Caroline has the specialist experience in cruise wholesaling we need to ensure we can deliver on our vision of an unrivalled partnering model and new age B2B wholesale model.

“We are committed to making sure CruiseHQ is best-to-market and promotes real value, and I believe Caroline is the right leader to help us achieve this,” he added.

Hitchen’s appointment as GM follows an earlier announcement of Tina Giannopoulos (Head of Operations), Carina Mullen (Head of Product), Caitlyn Paris (Marketing Manager), and Viktoryia Shliazhko (Business Development Manager) joining the CruiseHQ leadership team. Collectively, the team has 90+ years of experience in travel industry roles.

Parker, Hitchen, and the team are positioning CruiseHQ as “a new age trade B2B model” for agents across the FCTG network of brands and partners, including its rapidly growing Independents’ division – FCTG’s fourth most profitable division across the Group.

“Under the new age CruiseHQ B2B model, agents will be able to access exclusive pricing and products across airfares, charters, groups, nets, and commits that can be bundled together with hotels, transfers, and tours for end-to-end cruise holiday itineraries,” Parker said.

Caroline Hitchen is an accomplished Australian and New Zealand travel, cruise, and tourism leader with over 20 years of diverse experience. Caroline has excelled in roles spanning state tourism offices (Destination NSW), hospitality (Pan Pacific Hotels Group), digital agency (The Zoo Republic), and wholesale (The Travel Corporation and Creative Cruising).

Caroline’s wholesale excellence was recognised with the Most Outstanding Wholesaler award at the 2022 National Travel Industry Awards.

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