Germany’s largest and third-largest tour operators—Tui and DER Touristik, respectively—are proceeding apace with their previously announced plans to unify a brand (Tui) and to restructure following a major acquisition (DER Touristik).
In the first phase of the Tui’s international rebrand, the company announced that the Dutch travel operation Arke, had changed its name to Tui. Already well-known in Germany, where it is the largest tour operator, the Tui name will gradually replace the large tour operator brands, continuing with France in 2015, followed by Belgium, the Nordics and the UK in the next two years.
“Creating an internationally unified branding will enable us to offer our customers a consistent holiday experience,” said Erik Friemut, a member of the Tui Group’s executive committee, adding “A unified global brand will also significantly enhance our competitiveness in the important online segment and help us modernize our brand. Our Dutch colleagues have implemented the rebranding campaign within a very short period of time, and we are very proud of what they have achieved. They will now be the blueprint for the other European markets.”
DER Touristik, meanwhile, is organizing as a holding company with an international management board, and is divided into three regions covering 14 European countries, and with three central units. This follows the recent acquisition of Kuoni tour operator businesses in Europe. Schematically the new organization looks like this:
DER Touristik’s Three Regions
|Central Europe Region
|Northern Europe Region
|Eastern Europe Region
|Covers businesses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, to be managed by René Herzog.
|Covers Scandinavia/Finland, the UK and Benelux, to be managed by LeifVase Larsen.
|Covers the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungaryremains under management of Ferid Nasr.
At the three units, Michael Kimmer is CEO, destination management and hotels, with responsibility for expanding the worldwide destination activities. Chief transformation officer Dirk Tietz will head IT and corporate development, while a chief financial officer for the group remains to be appointed.
CEO Sören Hartmann, who will run the overall group, said the DER Touristik Group would be “lean” and would “act fast” and emphasized that the companies in the local markets would remain independent and be led by their existing management team.