Hays Travel invests in cruise booking app that targets young travellers

Hays invests in cruise app
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Hays Travel invests in cruise booking app that targets young travellers

Hays Travel has invested in My Kind of Cruise, billed as ‘the world’s first’ fully bookable cruise app, for an undisclosed sum.

My Kind of Cruise, which launched in 2022, has 300,000-plus users across its app, tablet and webite platforms, 65% of whom are from social media, including 30% from TikTok.

It says more than half its customers are new to cruise, and 50% are Millennials and Gen Z.

Creator and CEO Sefton Monk claims users can book a cruise on the app ‘in minutes’. It is currently powered by the consumer site Cruise Critic and bookings are protected by the Travel Trust Association.

Hays 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.”

My Kind of Cruise, which allow users to search, compare and book cruise lines, claims a repeat booking average of 46%.

Sefton said: “As a tech consultant and cruise fan, I had seen a gap for an app that would simplify and modernise booking a cruise for people in my generation, who are used to doing pretty much everything on their phone. 

“In March 2020 I was wondering what to do with myself, so unable to make banana bread, I got cracking on the app. Two years later we launched, and the response has been incredible.”

Hays 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.

Sefton added: “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, whilst strengthening our reach via their long-standing and successful relationships with their river and cruise partners.”

In a recent interview with Forbes magazine, Sefton said: “My Kind of Cruise understands that the cruise industry has a perception problem among younger holidaymakers. We’re shattering those outdated stereotypes by making cruise booking accessible and convenient.”

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