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Kuoni bows out of tour operating

Kuoni will switch its focus to visas and hotel bookings Keystone

Swiss travel agency Kuoni is selling off its tour operating arm. A buyer is now being sought for the business with 3,800 employees and a yearly turnover of CHF2 billion ($1.9 billion).

The company organises and sells trips in Switzerland, Britain and numerous other countries. After a strategic assessment of the situation, Kuoni said a decision was taken to re-position the company and focus on “growth-oriented” aspects of the business, including supplying services to the global travel industry.

The company put the sale down to a change in market conditions and the many challenges this has brought about for the industry.

On the one hand, Kuoni will act as a broker of hotel rooms to other travel agencies, while on the other, it will continue to arrange group trips through the division Global Travel Services.

The company also runs visa application services on behalf of 45 governments in 117 countries. They currently have a 50% market share of this line of business worldwide.

The Kuoni group wrote in a media release that they will endeavour to keep their offices in Switzerland and to secure the continued employment of the staff.

By its own estimation, Kuoni is one of the five biggest operators of individual and package holidays in Europe. The part of the company to be sold off currently brings in around 40% of Kuoni’s annual turnover.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR