Purchase was named ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ in recognition of the huge success and phenomenal growth of the company he created cruisingexcursions.com.
Managing director Purchase started crusingexcursions.com three years ago offering those booked on cruises a range of pre-bookable, competitively priced shore excursions and port transfers - an alternative to the often pricey excursions offered onboard cruise ships. Cruisingexcursions.com was launched with just 240 European excursions available at 60 Mediterranean ports and this has now grown to over 10,000 excursions offered at more than 700 ports worldwide
Purchase said: “I launched cruisingexcursions.com with £50K capital share and £100K loan capital in July 2011, after I became aware of a gap in the rapidly growing cruising market – nobody was really selling cruise port excursions – except the cruiselines – and they were making a very tidy profit on them! Within the UK and the rest of Europe there was no ‘one-stop’ product where a travel agent or a direct customer could view a cruise itinerary, or just a specific port of call, see all of the options available to them, and book their tours before departing on their cruise.”
After school Purchase did a chemistry degree at Coventry University and then worked in the travel industry for a tour operator gaining valuable experience and where he identified the gap in the cruising industry. Cruisingexcursions.com is based in Cannock in the Midlands and employs thirty-nine people.
The British Travel Industry Hall of Fame was created in 1995, ‘to honour excellence and outstanding achievement in those who have played a significant part in creating and developing the travel, hospitality and tourism industry. ‘
The Hall of Fame Awards are a fixture in the travel industry’s calendar where the best in the industry are honoured. Simon Purchase was in illustrious company with easyjet’s CEO Carolyn McCall receiving the 2014 the Business Achievement Award and The Ambassador Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Travel presented to Jane Ashton, Group Director of Sustainable Development at TUI for her dedication to sustainable travel issues.
The online shore excursions and activities company cruisingexcursions.com was launched in June 2011 with the aim of providing reliable, shore excursions at competitive prices. The varied choice of activities include walking tours, sightseeing, luxury beach days, cultural, historical, religious, fine cuisine or simply experiencing the culture and vibrancy of a region. The company now has a choice of close to 10,000 excursions at more than 700 ports worldwide. The company is based in Cannock, Staffordshire and is headed by MD Simon Purchase who in 2014 won the travel industry’s Hall of Fame Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.