Cruise firm on recruitment drive as demand swells

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THE cruise business of Stewart Travel Group has revealed plans to expand its workforce amid the booming demand from consumers to explore the world by sea.

Scotland’s Cruise Centre, part of the business acquired from Minoan Group in a deal led by travel veteran Duncan Wilson last year, has launched a recruitment drive for a further 30 staff.

The move, which will increase the division’s current workforce by 35 per cent, comes after the business doubled its team in the three previous years as the popularity of cruising holidays has soared.

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Rhiannon Kilbride, head of cruise at Stewart Travel, said: “Staffing across our cruise division has doubled in the last three years, and that includes roles in sales, customer service, sales support, administration, product and marketing.

“To fulfil our growth ambitions for the next part of our journey, we are looking to grow our sales and service functions by 35% and to immediately recruit new cruise experts and boost our administration and customer service teams.

“These 30 new jobs will make sure we continue to fulfil the highest levels of personal service.”

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According to Ms Kilbride, cruising is no longer the preserve of wealthy consumers, stating that it offers a “great value way to see the world.” She added: “It’s not for the elite anymore with ships being created to appeal to different audiences. Cruisers are looking for experiences beyond sight-seeing and cruise lines and cruise specialist agencies are meeting these demands.”

Stewart Travel had made a spate of acquisitions since former Direct Holidays chief Mr Wilson teamed up with Rick Green and Brian Cassidy to acquire the Glasgow-based firm. The new owners, which acquired Stewart under the Brooklyn Travel Holdings vehicle, immediately announced the acquisition of Lapland holiday specialist Canterbury Travel. That was followed by a deal in May to acquire Villa Select, which operates a chain of luxury villas.

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