“With such an attractive country and such strong growth potential we are determined to ensure that Kuoni retains its leading position in the Indian market. We intend to put a special focus here on outbound travel, where we will be promoting vacation travel products for individuals and special-interest tourist in particular. In concrete terms, we want to see the turnover of Kuoni Travel India increase by about 15% a year in the next few years.’’ Andrea Hemmi, head, corporate communications, Kuoni Travel Holdings Ltd
A statement of intent from Mr. Andrea Hemmi as Kuoni tried to reproduce its success in India. The Indian market was very attractive and Kuoni had a huge investment when it came to India in 1996. Today, in the year 2001, Kuoni India has taken 2 major steps to reinforce its position in the country. * The acquisition of SITA travels, India’s largest Inbound Tour Operators and * Diversification of its Business portfolio with the VFS (Visa Facilitation Services) The acquisition of SITA would strengthen Kuoni India’s Inbound Travel Business and with the background of SITA travels, Kuoni India has taken a major step to be India’s largest Travel and Tourism Company. The road ahead for VFS is still relatively unknown but the business being completely unique and seemingly in demand, the future does look more bright then dull.
The Kuoni Group is one of Europe’s leading leisure travel companies, and generated consolidated turnover of CHF 4 855 million in 2008 with a worldwide workforce of 9 797 (full-time-equivalent) employees. The company’s activities are focused on its Leisure Travel and Destination Management businesses. Head Office is in Zurich, Switzerland, where Alfred Kuoni founded the company back in 1906. The Kuoni Group has steadily and systematically developed its position in the world travel market over the years, and has branch operations today in more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. Kuoni aims to be the world’s best and most successful tourist travel company in the premium and specialist segment. The Kuoni Group was named “World’s Leading Tour Operator” at the World Travel Awards in 2008, the eleventh time in a row it has earned this distinction.
Indian Tourist Industry
In the year 1991, the Government of India headed by Narasimha Rao decided to usher in several reforms that were collectively termed as liberalisation of India. The reforms progressed furthest in the areas of opening up to foreign investment, reforming capital markets, deregulating domestic business, and reforming the trade regime. Liberalisation had done away with the Licence Raj (investment, industrial and import licensing) and ended many public monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors. One such sector was the Travel & Tourism Sector. This was the first step led to Kuoni entering the Indian Market. The Tourism and Travel Industry in India was very attractive and rich in opportunity for a number of reasons: * There was constant growth of 3-6%
* Diverse natural beauty: over 4000 km of beach front, perennial glaciers, deserts, tropical havens, temperate grasslands, mangroves, etc. * Over 15000 sites and structures that are over 500 years old, with the oldest structures being well over 2500 years old. * A gastronomical delight with over 15 different cuisines that are well entrenched within their respective geographies * Historical sites that cover all the major world religions. * A melting pot of cultural diversity within a generic commonality Kuoni Enters India – Acquires SOTC
In the mid nineties, Kuoni made its debut in India by picking up a majority stake in SOTC Holiday Tours, one of the top tour operators for Indians travelling abroad. Kuoni acquired a stake of 51 % in SOTC on World Tourism Day in September 1996. FIPB and RBI approvals had been received by Kuoni...