In 1951 John Harvey commenced his family real estate agency in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire. The travel landscape was very different at this time, with airline tickets commonly sold through suburban real estate agents. This is where our story begins.
The first stand-alone travel agency was opened at Cronulla in 1969 and was later named Harvey World Travel. In 1971 John’s son Scott entered the family business and together they grew the business to six agencies. It was in 1978 when John and Scott traveled to America looking for ways to grow their real estate interests that they saw the boom in the franchise business model. This potential was realised initially not through real estate but through travel.
Early in 1979, John and Scott formed a new company, Harvey World Travel Franchise Holdings Pty. Ltd, a total travel business that was to change the face of travel agencies in Australia and the fi rst of its kind in the world. At this time the Harvey World Travel group was recognised as the largest privately owned retail travel brand in Australia with 6 outlets. Scott as Managing Director with Paul Fleming as the group’s General Manager grew the Franchise outlet numbers to 27 before a new Trust Company was formed in the early 1980′s and most of the existing owners became shareholders. A new Board of Directors was established and hence the start of a new development era for Harvey World Travel.
Paul Fleming, who had interests in two of the Franchise outlets, then took over the reigns of the Franchise Company for the next 2 decades. From small beginnings, with a dedicated staff and a willing Board he steered Harvey World Travel on the path to becoming an Australian icon.
The first franchise outlet was West Gosford, operated by licensee Maxeine McKeon, who still owns and operates 3 Harvey World Travel agencies on the Central Coast, north of Sydney. From this time the company enjoyed massive growth and over the next 32 years built a reputation as
The Travel Professionals, with an instantly recognisable advertising jingle that is just as well known today as when it was created. The company now comprises over 430 travel agencies throughout Australia, New Zealand and Southern Africa.