Hotelplan mulls GTA takeover

THE SHIFT of business into dynamic sales and sourcing will not stop and will change the way traditional tour operators source and distribute in the future, according to Hotelplan CEO, Thomas Stirnimann.

Interviewed yesterday on the impact of Kuoni’s GTA acquisition on Hotelplan, Stirnimann foresees that traditional tour operators in the future will not work with as many suppliers and retail agents as they do today. Rather, it will be about building up tighter relationships and true partnerships to win loyalty.

“Twenty years ago, you’d work with everybody, now you downsize the sheer volume of agents you work with, but you try and establish true relationships with the remaining ones by, for example, educating, training and outsourcing services to these agents. The same would apply to the relationship with suppliers.”

He said there was space for relatively smaller companies such as Hotelplan, which can build on strengths such as nimbleness and leanness—“the fast boat among the big oil tankers that are building up these days”.

However he also does not rule out going into B:B e-business by buying “probably some other candidates”.

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