Kuoni’s Swedish owner sells Asia businesses

Thomas Cook India buys DMC network including Asian Trails
Kuoni’s new Swedish owner EQT is selling another chunk of its business, this time the DMC network comprising AlliedTPro US, Asian Trails, Australian Tours Management, Desert Adventures/Gulf Dunes Middle East and Private Safaris Africa, to Thomas Cook India.
Asian Trails CEO Laurent Kuenzle tells TTG Asia that his brand, leadership and team will be retained and that the shift in ownership will strengthen the DMC further.
“They didn’t buy Asian Trails to make a Thomas Cook India out of us,” he said. “Thomas Group India believes that the original people who manage a company are the key drivers to its success. They are buying the entrepreneurial spirit, the management team that leads the company, and they are interested in the synergies that can be had.”
Asian Trails is established in eight countries in the region, excluding Australian Tours Management which reports to it. In all, it has 33 offices in the region.
Thomas Cook India has previously bought Kuoni businesses in India – the outbound travel brand SOTC and DMC SITA and Kuoni Hong Kong – before the Swiss tour operator was sold to EQT.
The deal does not include Kuoni Destination Management Europe or Kuoni Destination Management US (global MICE business), which remain in Kuoni’s Global Travel Services division.
EQT, which is also selling GTA to Hotelbeds, is left with what some say is the jewel in the crown, the highly lucrative VFS Global visa and passport facilitation services. Some industry observers speculate that this is the reason why it bought Kuoni.
TTG Asia