Cullinan Holdings was established in 1901 as the famous diamond mining company which went on to produce the worlds largest ever rough diamond in 1905. The company has since evolved into one of South Africa’s leading JSE listed Tourism and Leisure Groups, and today comprises many of Southern Africa’s leading brands in Travel and Leisure.
The Group operates in four major segments, being Tour Operating, Travel Agencies, Coach Charter & Touring and in the area of Marine and Leisure.
In the travel and tourism sector, this integrated business model allows for the supply of high quality travel packages in which Cullinan is involved in most parts of the chain of supply, with consequent control over service and the ability to provide excellent value to the traveller.
The Travel Wholesaler segment (Tour Operators) includes Thompsons Holidays, Thompsons Africa, Planet Africa and Gateway Singapore. These businesses are all recognised leaders in the industry, providing quality and value tours for over 30 years.
The Group’s Retail Travel business in South Africa includes the well known travel agency chain, Pentravel, with 25 branches throughout South Africa. Thompsons retail travel includes a number of Corporate & Leisure travel branches. The Corporate business also incorporates the Visions brand, servicing corporate clients for special interest & incentive groups.
The Group’s transportation division includes two of South Africa’s leading tourism related transport and touring companies: Hylton Ross Tours and Thompsons Touring & Safaris. These two companies provide tourist related transportation services as well as tours throughout South Africa, Namibia, Chobe, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The Cullinan Group’s Marine & Leisure Division distributes many of the world’s leading brands. These include Aqua Lung scuba equipment, Lewmar Marine Deck Equipment, Musto Sailing Clothing and Oceanair Blinds for boats. The Marine Division comprises Manex Marine and Central Boating, who both service the marine leisure industry. The Scuba diving industry is serviced country wide from both the Cape Town and Johannesburg offices.
Cullinan has a rich heritage dating back to 1901 when the Company was first registered and it was on Cullinan property that the Cullinan Diamond was discovered. After a long history in the Industrial sector, Cullinan entered into the Travel industry in 1998 with the acquisition of the Thompsons Group of Companies, including Thompsons Holidays (Previously Thompsons Tours), Thompsons Africa, Thompsons Travel and Thompsons Touring & Safaris.
This was followed by the acquisition of the Pentravel chain of Travel Agencies and Thompsons Gateway (Pte) Ltd in 1999, followed by Manex Marine in 2001.
In 2002, the Company disposed of non – core businesses being Cadac and Karrimor and the majority shareholding changed, with the acquisition of 64% of the shares in Cullinan by Travcorp Financial Services Limited.
Travcorp Financial Services Limited are part of the Travel Corporation, one of the largest Travel Companies in the world, owning such household names as Contiki, Insight Vacations and Trafalgar Tours. This brought significant expertise into what was now essentially a Travel business, through the appointment of a new board of Directors.
In 2006, Cullinan acquired 100% of the shares in Hylton Ross Tours (Pty) Ltd. Hylton Ross is the pre-eminent Coach Operator in the Western Cape.
In 2008, Cullinan acquired Central Boating to complement the business of Manex Marine. Central Boating and Manex together represent some of the major brands in marine and boating, such as Lewmar, Musto & Aqua-Lung.
Michael Tollman CA (SA) : Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Cullinan Holdings Limited.
Age 47. Michael Tollman brings extensive experience to Cullinan through his worldwide involvement in the travel and leisure industry. In particular, he brings knowledge and experience to the board in the areas of finance and acquisitions. Michael is a Director of a number of Companies, including the Wilderness Safaris Ltd, Bouchard Finlayson Wine Estate and the Red Carnation group of hotels.
Linda Pampallis : Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Thompsons Africa Division.
Age 51. Linda Pampallis brings extensive experience to the Travel group through her hands-on involvement in the Southern African Travel Industry for the past 34 years. The Thompsons Africa division is the acknowledged leading Inbound Tour Operator into Southern Africa. Linda is a Director of the International Convention Centre Durban.
David Standage CA (SA) : Group Financial Director and Company Secretary of Cullinan Holdings Limited.
Age 44. David Standage has extensive experience in the Southern African Travel industry, having worked as the Chief Financial Officer of Thompsons Africa since 1998. He managed the Thompsons Touring and Safaris division for two years from 2006 to 2008 before being appointed as Group Financial Director in 2009.
Age 64. Resident of Switzerland. Mike Ness is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Travel Corporation. He has been involved in the travel industry for 42 years, during which he oversaw the growth of Trafalgar Tours from a small European operator to the world’s largest Coach Tour Operator. Mike was actively involved in the expansion of this business, including the purchase of Contiki Holidays, Insight Vacations, Creative Holidays, New Horizons and Evan Evans. This led to the formation of The Travel Corporation.
Age 55. Resident of Switzerland. David Hosking is President and Chief Executive Officer of Travcorp SA in Switzerland and the Managing Director of Contiki Holidays. David has extensive knowledge of touring worldwide, having set up programmes in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Africa.
Age 45. Resident of the United Kingdom. Gavin Tollman has had a far-reaching executive career in the travel industry which has included managing both hotel companies and tour operators. Currently he is the Joint CEO of the Travel Corporation Worldwide. Gavin also serves on various industry boards and focus groups.
Age 49. Resident of South Africa. Mato Madlala is the owner and Chairperson of Premier League Football team, Golden Arrows FC. She is a Director of the International Convention Centre, Durban.
Rudewaan Arendse : BA(Honours)
Age 40. Resident of South Africa. Rudewaan Arendsa has had significant consulting experience, particularly in Project Management in the Regional and National Government sphere. He currently holds the current position of Special Advisor to the MEC for Education, Western Cape.
Ms Nhlumayo was the first ever Director for Tourism in the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape and was thereafter promoted to Chief Director. Ms Nhlumayo progressed to be the Head of Ministry to the National Minister of Tourism and later became a Strategic Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, eventually rising to the position of the Deputy Director General for South African Tourism. Ms Nhlumayo in her previous capacity as Director General for Tourism served as a Director on the Immigration Board, the Board of Tourism Enterprise Partnership and on the Board of Federated Hospitality Industry of Southern Africa. The Board welcomes Ms Nhlumayo as a Director and looks forward to her valuable input.