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 - Executive Chairman Appointed 20/04/2006
Michael Tollman holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town and is a South African chartered accountant. Michael was appointed as the Non Executive Chairman of Cullinan on 17 June 2008 until 19 March 2009, when he was appointed Executive Chairman. He 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 offinance and acquisitions.Michael is a director of a number of companies, including Wilderness Holdings Limited, Bouchard Finlayson Wine Estate and the Red Carnation group of hotels.
Linda Pampallis -Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Thompsons Africa Division Appointed 1/01/2004
Linda Pampallis brings extensive experience to the travel group through her involvement in the Southern African travel industry for the past 35 years. Linda was one of the original shareholders in ThompsonsTours (nowThompsons Holidays) and, in 1992, Linda started Thompsons Africa, the leading inbound tour operator in Southern Africa. In 1998, when Cullinan acquired the Thompsons business,
Linda joined the Cullinan Group. She is also a director of the International Convention Centre, Durban.
David Standage - Group Financial Director Appointed 18/03/2009
David Standage has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Natal (Durban) and is a South African chartered accountant.David joined the Thompsons group in 1998 as Financial Manager and then Chief Financial Officer of the Africa (Inbound) division. He managed the Thompsons Touring and Safaris division for two years from 2006 to 2008 before being appointed as the Cullinan Group Financial Director in March 2009.
David Hosking - Non-executive director Chairman of the Remuneration Committee Appointed 18/07/2002
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, setting up programmes in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Africa.
Gavin Tollman - Non-executive director Appointed 16/07/2008
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 CEO of Trafalgar Tours, a global coach tour operator. Gavin also serves on various industry boards and focus groups.
Michael Ness - Independent non-executive director Member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees Appointed 18/07/2002
Mike Ness is the deputy Chairman of The Travel Corporation. He has been involved in the travel industry for 43 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 expanding 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.
Rudewaan Arendse - Independent non-executive director Chairman of the Audit Committee and Lead Independent Director Appointed 15/12/2009
Rudewaan Arendse holds a BA (Honours) degree. Rudewaan has had significant consulting experience, particularly in project management in the regional and national government spheres. He currently holds the position of special advisor to the MEC for Education, Western Cape.
Ami Azoulay - Independent non-executive director Member of the Audit Committee Appointed 1/08/2011)
Ami Azoulay is the regional financial director of Wilderness Safaris South Africa. He was previously a partner in an audit firm and brings both technical and tourism related experience to the board..
Sindiswa Nhlumayo - Independent non-executive director Appointed 19/01/2011
Sindiswa Nhlumayo was the first-ever Director for Tourism to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape and was thereafter promoted to Chief Director. Sindiswa progressed to be the Head of Ministry to the National Minister of Tourism and later became strategic advisor to the Minister of Tourism, eventually rising to the position of the deputy directorgeneral
for South African Tourism. In her previous capacity as deputy director-general for tourism, Sindiswa 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.