News in Brief

Refugees, acquisition and insolvency

Tourism jobs for refugees, a European acquisition, a sell-off and an insolvency are among the news items this week.

The German tourism industry aims to support integration of refugees with jobs and training, Michael Frenzel, president of the German Tourism Industry Federation (BTW), told the association’s annual Tourism Summit in Berlin this week. Tourism is “a growth sector with three million employees that offers opportunities for nearly all qualification and education levels”, he told some 450 participants. According to a BTW study, emerging and developing countries profit strongly from German travellers. In 2012, 11.2 million Germans spent about €13.5 billion in countries around the world, supporting 738,000 direct jobs. This amounted one job per 15 German tourists.

German TV broadcasting group Pro Sieben SAT 1 is expanding its online travel business with the acquisition of Sweden-based Etraveli through its subsidiary 7 Travel. Etraveli, which operates in 40 countries, had revenues of €70 million last year and was valued at €235 million. 7 Travel CEO Jörg Trouvain said Etraveli would contribute online flights sales to 7 Travel’s portfolio and the group would support the Nordic firm’s market entry in Germany. 7 Travel already operates diverse German portals such as Tropo and

Munich-based tour operator One Touristik, which has annual turnover of about €2.5 million, has declared insolvency. The number of customers affected is not known. The company, which was apparently sold to a private investor on Cyprus in August, is believed to have suffered from a drop in bookings for Turkey.

TUI has sold its accommodation broker Late Rooms, with sales of about £300 million (€404 million) to India-based tour operator Cox & Kings for a reported sum of just £8.5 million (€11.5 million).

Thomas Cook is aiming to boost Caribbean and Canary Islands bookings this winter by allowing travel agents to offer customers €50 and €100 discount vouchers for selected destinations. The promotion applies to bookings up to the end of October for departures between November and April.

JT Touristik has added 1,000 more hotels for summer 2016, offering a total of 8,500 properties. The dynamic packages company has expanded its portfolio for Croatia, Greece, Portugal and long-haul destinations.

TUI’s cultural holidays tour operator Gebeco is adding more combined packages with TUI Cruises next summer. Gebeco will offer cruises on Mein Schiff 3 from Dubai combined with tours of South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, or on Mein Schiff 1 from Singapore combined with New Zealand and Bali.

Aida Cruises will move into the Chinese outbound travel market by stationing a ship in Shanghai from spring 2017 onwards for cruises from the Chinese metropolis. Sister company Carnival Cruise Line will also have a ship in China from 2017, joining group brands Costa and Princess Cruises which are already present in the market.