Global Travel Services (GTS)

Turnover came to CHF 1,054.8 million in the 2015 financial year (2014: CHF 1,169.6 million). Organic growth came to –1.3%. The number of employees (full-time equivalents, FTE) at the end of 2015 was 2,820. The Division consists of two business activities, Group Travel and Destination Management Specialists.

Group Travel

There was above average growth in Group Travel in 2015, especially from source markets China and Taiwan

Rolf Schafroth, CEO Division Global Travel Services (GTS)

Kuoni Group Travel Experts is a leading worldwide provider of group travel. It organises and coordinates local travel services such as accommodation, restaurants and catering, as well as entertainment events, transport and event management. Tour operators, as well as online and offline travel agencies buy in these group arrangements from Kuoni and sell them under their own brand in local markets to their end customers. Employees of Kuoni Group Travel Experts look after the tour groups at the destinations.

The key source markets for Group Travel in 2015 were: Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong.


China (+32.3%) recorded the largest year-on-year growth in bookings. The largest source market, Japan, suffered from the depreciation of the yen and a low demand for foreign travel.

There is a clear difference in size of group and average age of travellers between the two biggest source markets, Japan and China. Japanese groups consist of just under 30 persons on average, while Chinese groups are larger with 35 on average. Chinese travellers, average age 40, are considerably younger than Japanese customers, whose average age is 55.

The most important destinations for Group Travel in 2015 were: Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain

There was a clear increase in Asian tour groups travelling to destinations in Scandinavia. In 2015, Kuoni Group Travel Experts was the biggest supplier of group travel to Northern Europe.

More than 143,000 guests visited 
St. Peterʼs Basilica
in Rome

The average Japanese travel group consists of fewer than 30 persons

Chinese group travellers are 40 years old
on average

The cities that attracted most group traveller bookings in 2015: Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Amsterdam, Lucerne, Milan, London, Prague, Vienna.

The most visited sights at destinations in 2015 included St Peterʼs Basilica, the Vatican Museum and the Colosseum in Rome, Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, the Swiss mountain destination of Titlis, the Eiffel Tower, the Château de Versailles and the Louvre in Paris, Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna and the Wasa Ship Museum in Stockholm.

During 2015 Kuoni continued its preparations as the official accommodation partner of the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship in France. After 2008 in Switzerland and Austria, Kuoni has again been chosen as UEFAʼs accommodation partner for 2016.

Kuoni has included around 500 hotels in the ten host cities in the programme. The online programme for team hotels for the participating football teams was launched in 2015 with 69 different offers. As the official accommodation partner, Kuoni offers its accommodation services to the football teams, officials, sponsors, journalists, tour operators and football fans.

More information about the activities of the Group Travel business within the GTS Division:

Kuoni Group Travel Experts is a leading worldwide provider of group travel. It organises and coordinates local travel services such as accommodation, restaurants and catering as well as entertainment events, transport and event management. Tour operators, as well as online and offline travel agencies buy in these group arrangements from Kuoni and sell them under their own brand in local markets to their end customers. Employees of Kuoni Group Travel Experts look after the tour groups locally.

The GTS Division also provides meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) services. The European unit is a reliable, comprehensive service agency for organising meetings, incentives, congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions for companies, organisations, associations and institutions in the public and private sectors as well as for football clubs and other sports organisations.

Destination Management Specialists

Destination Management Specialists offer various services at their destinations, including accommodation, tours, transfers, excursions and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, events). These are offered to tour operators, online and offline travel agencies, companies, organisations and their end customers

The global network of Destination Management Specialists consists of six largely independent, entrepreneurially managed units that have expert knowledge of their own regions. The Destination Management Specialists operate in their markets under their own brands: AlliedTPro (USA), Asian Trails (South-East Asia), Australian Tour Management (Australia), Desert Adventures Tourism/Gulf Dunes (Middle East), Private Safaris (East Africa, Southern Africa).

In the financial year 2015, the Indian Destination Management Specialists Sita and Distant Frontiers were sold to Fairfax/Thomas Cook India together with the Indian tour operating business.

The destination management specialists Asian Trails and Australian Tour Management (ATM) operate in the Asia/Pacific region. The existing product portfolio was further refined in financial 2015, and digital marketing activities were expanded. Investment was focused in particular on online channels for booking tours, transfers and excursions through specialised retail suppliers.

Myanmar and Indonesia were the destinations that saw the biggest increase in bookings in 2015. There was particular demand for private, tailor-made tours as well as for tours that offer unique special experiences. In Australia the most-booked sights and destinations included the Sydney Opera House, the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and the island of Tasmania.

In the Middle East, Desert Adventures Tourism (DAT) was one of the leading suppliers of travel activities, and Gulf Dunes one of the leaders for MICE business. The destination of Bahrain was added to the portfolio in 2015. The most-booked destinations were the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan. The main sights and activities booked included desert safaris with barbecue dinners, the Great Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Petra and the Dead Sea in Jordan as well as Nizwa Fort and the Wahiba desert in Oman. In the MICE business, team-building activities such as a treasure hunt in Dubai, camel polo and desert experiences were the most popular options.

Las Vegas

AlliedTPro and Kuoni Destination Management are the brands operating on the market in the USA. The selection of guided tours was extended, especially for the south-eastern United States. To give tour operators greater planning security, the most popular tours were offered with a new “performance guarantee”. The booking system was enhanced to allow customers to book transfers, excursions, tickets for attractions and activities online. Favourite destinations in 2015 were New York, Las Vegas, California, Florida and Arizona. The most-booked tours were the “Western Wonders” trip through west coast states, and the “Eastern Triangle” on the east coast.

Private Safaris offers its services as a destination management specialist in East Africa and in the countries of Southern Africa. The most popular and most-booked trips in East Africa are safaris in Kenya and Tanzania. A new “World Heritage Tour” in Ethiopia was added to the product portfolio in 2015. Cross-border car tours were introduced in Southern Africa. These take travellers through various countries in the region. A new series of trips that visit local people to experience different cuisines, art and culture proved especially popular. On the technical side, new investments were made in business-to-business booking options and in systems that allow customers to put together individual itineraries. The most-booked destinations in 2015 were Cape Town, Kruger National Park, the Garden Route and Namibia.

For further information about Destination Management Specialists:

Destination Management Specialists are local experts with offices in the travel destinations themselves. The Kuoni Group runs a worldwide network of six Destination Management Specialists. Their local presence and networks provide substantial added value for customers. They employ local people who have great local knowledge, which they pass on both to the guests who arrive from abroad and to tour operators in Europe. These inbound specialists tend to operate in the destinations under their own well-known brand names.

AlliedTPro/Kuoni Destination Management USA

This company, with offices in New York, Miami, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Hawaii, specialises in holidays within the USA. These include individual and group holidays, guided tours and tailored holidays in the VIP concierge sector.

Asian Trails

Asian Trails operates in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. It offers a wide variety of leisure and MICE products in these countries. These include guided tours, adventure holidays, individual holidays, family holidays, tailor-made travel, incentive programs and classic beach holidays. Asian Trailsʼ main business is still leisure tours for guests from Europe, South America and India.

Australian Tours Management

This company specialises in services for private and group holidays, specially themed holidays and MICE business in Australia. Its most important source markets are in Asia (India, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Korea and Japan) and Europe. Australian Tours Managementʼs services are booked by tour operators, travel agents and online platforms.

Desert Adventures Tourism

Desert Adventures Tourism is one of the leading providers of destination services in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan. The company specialises in individual and group holidays, tours and excursions, as well as arranging additional leisure activities and providing sports events packages. As per 1 January 2013 MICE specialist Reem Tours is part of the Destination Management Specialists organisation.

Gulf Dunes

Gulf Dunes specialises in incentive tours and meetings (MICE) in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The company was acquired by Kuoni in 2010.

Private Safaris

The staff at Private Safaris guide and look after customers who want a taste of primeval Africa. The company, employing nearly 300 staff in 6 offices, offers services in 17 sub-Saharan countries with a focus on Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Counting on more than 35 yearsʼ experience, it specialises in land arrangements such as safaris, jeep tours, individual and group tours and MICE.