The numbers in the June 11 year-to-date financial update by Zurich-based Kuoni were mixed, but the two numbers most closely watched for the company, which earlier this year stunned the tourism industry by announcing that it would sell off its tour operator-related businesses in 2015, were down. That is:
- Bookings for the tour operating activities that are up for sale, were down 8 percent in the first five months of the year.
- Sales for destination management specialist Global Travel Services fell by 7 percent year-on-year.
- Bookings made on the GTD Division’s booking platforms for room nights in hotels and destination services were up 12 percent in local currency terms
- Sales were up 11 percent for its visa business VFS Global.
In the statement that accompanied the report on the key figures, the company, which is the oldest tour operator in continental Europe, said, “The business environment remains ‘challenging and highly competitive.”
“In a persistently difficult market environment in Scandinavia/Finland, the booking trend improved slightly, but sales fell mainly because of a significant decrease in flight capacities,” the statement added, noting that business out of Switzerland, its home market, suffered because of the “removal of the floor on the euro/Swiss franc exchange rate” earlier this year.
Kuoni—it owns NYC-based receptive tour operator AlliedTPro, which is a few blocks away from Kuoni-owned GTA offices— said that it still expected the sale of its tour operator-related activities in Europe will take place this year.