Kuoni now biggest travel operator in India

Switzerland's biggest travel company, Kuoni, is to become the largest tour operator in India with its acquisition of Sita World Travel. The firm will be merged with Kuoni's subsidiary already active in India.

This content was published on March 24, 2000 - 11:13

Switzerland's biggest travel company, Kuoni, is to become the largest tour operator in India with its acquisition of Sita World Travel. The deal will go through on April 1 and the firm will be merged with Kuoni's subsidiary already active in India.

The takeover should be completed by the end of September and the new company's annual turnover is forecast at around SFr 150 million.

"We have already been active on the Indian sub-continent since 1996," says Kuoni spokeswoman, Regula Weyermann, "That's very interesting for Kuoni because India is considered one of the most promising tourist markets of the future. Indians aren't travelling much yet but they will as their prosperity increases."

The Indian government forecasts that travel abroad by Indians is increasing by 40 to 50 per cent a year. Incoming tourist business is expected to see eight per cent annual growth up to 2005.

Part of the new company is to be floated on the Bombay stock exchange, but Kuoni is to remain the majority shareholder.

Sita World Travel has 29 offices throughtout India as well as subsidiaries in Sri Lanka and Nepal. It employs 850 people.

The head of the new company will be the current managing director of Kuoni India, Ranjit Malkani.

Swissinfo with agencies

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