Kuoni to sell off tour operating sector
Swiss travel group Kuoni said Wednesday it was exiting the tour operating sector to focus on core activities.
The Zurich-based firm said the move would affect tour operating interests in Switzerland, Benelux, China, India and Scandinavia.
"Kuoni ranks among the top five tour operators in Europe and has a well-established presence in Hong Kong and India," a statement said.
"In spite of this Kuoni's outbound business faces increasing challenges from changing market conditions."
The move affects about 3,800 staff in total and a business that generated turnover of 2.2 billion francs ($2.16 billion) last year.
"Kuoni firmly believes that the outbound business can be better developed under new ownership," it said.
The company said it would "seek assurance about the continuation of the existing business locations and the continued employment of staff."
It said the move will not impact current or future bookings.
The group will focus on a growth strategy in the emerging travel markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
"Proceeds from the sale of the tour operating businesses will mainly be invested to further develop the group's core business and strengthen its leading global market positions," the company said.
The Kuoni Group also provides destination and accommodation services, as well as visa processing services.
It employed approximately 8,000 people and generated revenues of 3.4 billion francs in 2014.
Mid-term targets for the new set-up will be issued together with the full year results announcement on March 17th.