Barely a month after Thomas Cook India announced its purchase of Kuoni Global Travel Services’ DMC network in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, JTB Corporation today announced its acquisition of all shares of Kuoni Global Travel Services for an undisclosed price.
The Kuoni Global Travel Services acquisition is a move to bolster JTB Corporation’s ambitions to become a top global DMC, as the partnership is expected to strengthen the inbound business services and increase the market share in Europe.
It will also support the expansion and strengthening of the global MICE services in Europe and the US markets, which is complementary to existing JTB MICE business, the company said in a statement.
Thomas Cook’s acquisition does not include Kuoni Destination Management Europe and Kuoni Destination Management US, which remain in the portfolio of Kuoni Global Travel Services.
Reto Wilhelm, CEO of Kuoni Global Travel Services, said: “JTB is one of the biggest and most respected market players in our industry. Joining JTB provides our company with the best positioned owner, which will help us realise the full potential of Kuoni Global Travel Services.”
Eijiro Yamakita, president & CEO of the European regional headquarters of JTB, said: “Kuoni Global Travel Services is one of the world’s leading travel companies with an important presence especially in Asian leisure and corporate groups visiting Europe. The acquisition offers an excellent opportunity to be a unique operator by gathering the network and knowledge. It enables the provision of detailed services to meet each customer’s needs with high added-value and the expansion of the inbound business.”
In the past few years, JTB has been expanding the inbound travel business to Europe, a major destination for travellers. By 2020, it is forecasted that foreign visitors to Europe will reach approximately 620 million (a 150 million increase from 2010), driven especially by China and Asian markets.
In addition to the Japan market, JTB has enhanced the outbound travel business from growing markets. In February, JTB also bought a 40 per cent share of Panorama Tours Indonesia to grow its Indonesian outbound business and inbound business into Japan.
The acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant competition a1uthorities and compliance with any other local legal requirements.
Kuoni Global Travel Services in a statement says it will continue efforts to be a neutral land operator to work with many companies other than JTB, paying full attention on the protection of any sensitive information.