—TUI has sold its vacation rental tour operator business, TUI Wolters, as it continues a strategic direction to focus on its core business with hotels, cruises and destination activities. The short-term rental business Oyo Vacation Homes has acquired TUI’s vacation homes and tour operating business. The TUI Wolters business adds 17,000 holiday home units to Oyo’s portfolio. Oyo signed a strategic alliance with Germany-based travel aggregator e-Domizil, which itself just agreed to acquire TUI Wolters. TUI Wolters comprises a holiday home OTA platform, and a roundtrip and vacation homes-based tour operator.
“At Oyo, our acquisition strategy is focused towards building on our existing capabilities and with e-Domizil as a partner, we have found synergies to strengthen our presence across Europe,” said Tobias Wann, global CEO for Oyo Vacation Homes. A quick review of the Oyo website shows that it offers a substantial amount of USA product.
—The German cruise market leader Aida Cruises is taking North America out of its program. The company’s last USA and Canada routes for the time being will take place this autumn. According to Aida, the catalog announced for spring with trips from March 2021 to April 2022 will no longer contain any cruises for this shipping area. Instead, the season on the Baltic Sea and in Northern Europe will be extended. From August to November this year, a total of eight North America trips by Aida Diva and Aida Luna are on the program: between Montreal and New York, from New York to Florida and the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, or Jamaica, and several transatlantic trips.
—Miami-headquartered Despegar, one of the largest OTAs in Latin America, has acquired Best Day, a leading travel company in the Mexican market, reinforcing its position as an industry leader vis-à-vis Brazilian giant CVC. With an investment of US $ 136 million, Despegar has purchased 100 percent of Best Day Travel Group (BDTG) and closed an agreement that includes BDTG operations in all markets where it is present: Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Uruguay, Dominican Republic and Argentina. With this acquisition, Despegar expects to increase its revenues by 25 percent and strengthen its leadership strategy in the region. Alejandro Calligaris will remain CEO of Best Day for three years. According to Best Day, during 2019 the company recorded estimated unaudited proformance revenues and an Ebitda of approximately $140 million and $8 million, respectively, with online sales representing approximately 70 percent of the total.
In a move designed to increase business in the USA, Diversity Travel has joined Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest independent travel agent group. Diversity, which has offices in the UK, Ireland, Australia and the U.S. (Arlington, Virginia) provides services to not-for-profit, academic and charitable organizations and institutions. Commenting on the move, Christopher Airey, managing director of Diversity Travel, said: “We are extremely excited to have joined Advantage Business Travel. We feel that this partnership will enable us to offer clients an even wider range of choice when booking their travel, ultimately improving their overall experience. We’re looking forward to sharing knowledge and best practice within the Advantage Business Travel network.” As a collective, Advantage says that its members produce over £4.5illion ($5.8 billion) of travel sales annually.