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​The ”haute couture” of travel

Kuoni France to join the DER Touristik Group

  • Market entry in France with seven premium-segment brands
  • The travel and tourism division of REWE Group is now doing business in 15 European source markets

Berlin/Frankfurt/Cologne, 6 March 2018. The DER Touristik Group has just entered a new market: With its acquisition of the French company Travel Lab SAS, a business that is better known as Kuoni France, on 5 March 2018, the travel and tourism division of REWE Group is now present in the attractive French market. The Cologne-based business group now does business in 15 European source markets with its own companies and brands. The Group has expanded its reach by acquiring the French tour operator with its flagship brand Kuoni France and six other specialist brands that offer exclusive travel opportunities.

“This step makes sense for two reasons,” said Sören Hartmann, CEO of the DER Touristik Group. “First, we are able to serve a new European market. And, second, we are investing in a highly profitable company whose first-class brands serve attractive target groups.” DER Touristik Group already runs a portfolio of 25 specialists. Through these specialists’ activities, the business group has gained valuable experience in the segment of premium travel for target groups with very demanding and exclusive wishes. The strategic expansion of this business segment was initiated in 2017. Following the acquisition of Exim Tours (Eastern Europe) in 2012 and of the European tour operators, specialists and stores of the Kuoni Group in 2015 (Scandinavia, UK, Benelux and Switzerland), the takeover of Travel Lab SAS represents the next step.

“The philosophy of the French premium travel operator is a true reflection of our very own approach to business – from Kuoni France’s tailored concept behind every trip to the unmistakable products and expertise offered to customers,” Hartmann said. “We now have an exclusive business card in France. With this acquisition, we are also demonstrating that companies with a good feel for travel today have a place in our group. The French market will certainly teach us how we can continue to successfully offer high-quality and profitable products in a niche segment.”

Kuoni France originally was part of the Zurich-based Kuoni Group. After the management buy-out in 2013, the management team successfully restructured Travel Lab SAS over the past five years. Products were fine-tuned, new trips were developed, and a new brand was acquired, Donatello. Today, the company based in Paris (Saint-Ouen) has an attractive market positioning and interesting growth perspectives. It generates revenue of 144 million euros and employs 228 people. Each year, about 58,000 customers take trips arranged by the brands of Kuoni France. “Kuoni France is small, focuses completely on its customers and is highly profitable,” Sören Hartmann said. “It is the haute couture of travel.” The current management team will continue to run the company under the umbrella of the DER Touristik Group.

Kuoni France has an integrated network of 17 travel agencies and ten franchise branches outside of Paris. Additionally, approximately 2,800 third-party travel agencies sell the Group’s travel offerings throughout France.

Emmanuel Foiry, the Managing Director of Travel Lab SAS, commented the acquisition: “In comparison to the German market, the French tour operator market is much smaller, but very high quality. With our brands and their distinctive profiles, we have been earning a good reputation for many years. We are proud of the fact that our profitable, well-established company will form part of the international DER Touristik Group. The same goes for our employees who will find in DER Touristik a strong partner, one that can offer valuable support with our future planning. We are looking forward to working as a joint force to expand our brands and profit from Group synergies.”

The brand world of Kuoni in France

As a tour operator, Kuoni France stands primarily for guided round trips, exclusive à-la-carte products, beach holidays in the Indian Ocean and exclusive ship cruises. Its high-quality product range covers more than 50 countries.

Scanditours provides its customers with trips to Scandinavia and Russia. Travellers get to intensely know the people and countries of the North during every season of the year, while journeying by ship or car. Over the last 15 years, Scanditours has become the French market leader in this area.

Celtictours applies the same concept in its market-leading role for Ireland and Scotland. The motto of its travel planning is: “In the footsteps of the Celts”. These journeys venture to places where nature remains untamed, to historic sights as well as venues of legends and myths.

Vacances Fabuleuses specialises in trips to the United States and Canada. Its portfolio also includes Hawaii and the Caribbean islands. The company’s background knowledge and long years of experience are reflected in the elaborate and multifaceted tours it offers. These trips can be booked as circular tours or car holidays. Experienced travel assistants provide local support to guests.

Donatello is the newest specialist of Kuoni France, offering trips to Italy. Accommodations in new, modern hotels, travel experiences through history and immersion into the Italian way of life provide guests with everything they are seeking. The combination of city trips and relaxing holidays on the beach or in the countryside provides travellers with a comprehensive introduction to Italy.

Les Ateliers du Voyage is a specialist in premium travel to Asia, South America and Africa that is committed to making travel dreams come true. Routes and schedules are customised and respond to all customer needs. Its travel studio in Paris serves as a pivotal hub where customers can book their trips in a stunning setting.

Émotions is the French market leader for luxury travel. The specialist stands for high standards and exclusivity. The destination is freely selectable – the main objective is to enjoy the features of luxury vacation. Émotions offers a range of formats that extend from secluded six-star hotels to exclusive weekend excursions.

Media contact

Tobias Jüngert

Telephone: +49 69 9588 8000


The DER Touristik Group based in Cologne, Germany, is one of Europe’s leading travel companies. The Group comprises 131 companies and generated total revenue of 6.3 billion euros in 2016. The DER Touristik Group is the travel and tourism division of REWE Group. It employs 10,100 people in 14 European countries. Each year, 7.1 million guests take trips arranged by one of its tour operators or specialists. Its brands include Dertour and ITS in Germany; Kuoni and Helvetic Tours in Switzerland; Exim Tours and Kartago Tours in Eastern Europe; Apollo in Scandinavia; and Kuoni in Great Britain. It also operates 2,400 travel agencies – including the market leader in Germany, DER Reisebüro – and online sales. DER Touristik Group includes five hotel brands, a business travel provider, an airline and destination agencies in 56 locations.

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