European expansion

DER Touristik buys Romanian travel businesses

DER Touristik Group CEO Sören Hartmann has made another European acquisition.
DER Touristik
DER Touristik Group CEO Sören Hartmann has made another European acquisition.

DER Touristik Group is moving deeper into Central & Eastern Europe with the acquisition of Romanian tourism businesses Nova Travel, Danubius Travel and Touring Europabus through its Prague-based subsidiary Exim Holding.

Exim is buying up the tour operator and sales activities of the three businesses, which have been bundled in a holding company called Travel Brands, for an undisclosed price. With the acquisition of Travel Brands, Exim will gain the largest travel agency chain in Romania with two head offices, 80 branches and a total of 370 employees. The Romanian company’s turnover was not disclosed.

DER Touristik Group stressed that it will retain all the Romanian branch locations and all the employees. “We will also rely on the current management team in future,” said Sören Hartmann, CEO of DER Touristik Group. “The successful entrepreneur Dragos Anastasiu is handing over well-managed, established businesses.”

The acquisition will deepen the German group’s presence in the Romanian market. Its tour operator brands Dertour, ITS, Billa Reisen, Jahn Reisen, Meiers Weltreisen, ADAC Reisen and Travelix are already bookable there. DER Touristik Group will now also have its own local travel agency network to sell Travel Brands and its other products.

DER Touristik described the acquisition as another step in its ongoing internationalisation. “I am convinced that the Eastern European, and in particular the Romanian, travel market will grow strongly,” Hartmann emphasised. "With this acquisition, we are laying the foundation for even stronger growth in the Eastern European market in the area of ​​tour operators and travel distribution."

The German group took over the Czech firm Exim Tours, which is also active in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, in 2012. Last year, Exim Tours increased revenues by more than 30%.

Overall, the DER Touristik Group is Europe’s third-largest tourism group (behind TUI and Thomas Cook) with turnover of €6.7 billion in 2018 and some 9.9 million annual customers. Outside Germany, its leading brands include Kuoni, Apollo (Scandinavia) and Helvetic Tours (Switzerland).