Restructured Kuoni to focus on Asia
Kuoni has announced plans to exit the tour operating business and focus its efforts on providing travel services in key emerging market, including Asia.
The Swiss company has put its tour operating business up for sale, covering operations in Switzerland, UK, Benelux, Hong Kong, China, India and Scandinavia. New owners are expected to be found in 2015. The move affects 3,800 employees in total.
Following the sale, Kuoni will focus on three core business areas: Global Travel Distribution (GTD), Global Travel Services (GTS) and VFS Global, which represent 60% of its consolidated turnover.
GTD, previously known as FIT, will be its B2B wholesaler, while GTS will comprise Group Travel Experts and Destination Management Specialists (DMS) organising accommodation, transportation, tours and activities. VFS Global focuses on travel-related processes such as visa applications.
The group will also now concentrate on markets with long-term growth potential, including Asia. Specifically targeting China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines, Kuoni said it plans to expand its sales presence, “address additional distribution channels”, and increase sales activities with key accounts for smaller groups in Asia.
It will also set up a “specific China development programme” covering all three divisions.
Asia is likely to be especially important to Kuoni’s VFS Global business, which generates 70% turnover from Asia Pacific travellers.
“Kuoni’s position as a unique service provider with a strong focus on Asia offers attractive opportunities to further drive growth and profitability by leveraging the group’s scale, exploiting cross-selling opportunities and developing more new business,” the company said in a statement.
Other growth areas highlighted by Kuoni include the Middle East and Africa.