German tour operator Schauinsland-Reisen is celebrating its centenary with strong growth this year along with hotel and flight expansion plans for 2019.
The family-owned company, founded in 1918 as a goods transportation business, will close the 2017/18 business year (ending October) with turnover of €1.34 billion and 1.61 million customers. Both figures are 13% higher than last year.
Schauinsland-Reisen has thus performed much better than expected, as it originally predicted 5% growth for this year and then increased the forecast to 10% at ITB this year. The company’s profit margin was 2.5%, indicating a profit of €33.5 million for 2018.
Schauinsland chief Gerald Kassner said at the presentation of the summer 2019 programme: “I’m delighted and proud that we have achieved the best result in the company’s 100-year history in our centenary year. We have managed to significantly exceed our growth targets in an economically challenging environment and take major steps for the future.”
Growth drivers among major destinations were Egypt (+51%), Bulgaria (+33%), Turkey and Greece (both +29%), according to sales director Detlef Schroer. But two major long-haul destinations suffered heavy falls: Cuba (-42%) and the USA (-25%).
Looking ahead to next year, the Duisburg-based group is again initially planning for 5% revenue growth. Most prices will be kept stable for next summer, with slight reductions for the Balearics and Canaries and slight increases for Turkey and Egypt.
Schauinsland has added more than 100 new hotels to the summer 2019 programme and expanded its programme of combined beach and cruise holidays with Aida, MSC and TUI Cruises. In total, seven routes with six different ships are planned for next summer.
Tourism chief Andreas Rüttgers predicted that 2019 “will definitely see a strong Turkey and a strong Egypt”, and emphasised that Schauinsland is focusing on affordable holidays for middle-market customers. “In the past we have seen many investments by tour operators in luxury hotels. But we want holidays to remain affordable.” For example, in Bulgaria it is partly financing the complete modernisation of the Algara Beach hotel in an 85,000 sqm garden landscape. Other joint investments are in Egypt, Greece and Tunisia.
Schauinsland has built up a portfolio of five own hotels in recent years but has no plans to create its own hotel chain, in contrast, for example, to rivals Alltours and FTI. “We have realised that every hotel has its own soul and that is exactly what we want to display. We don’t want to simply post something over the hotels, which some might then not be able to achieve,” Rüttgers said.
In contrast, growth is in the air at airline subsidiary Sundair. Kassner proudly explained that the joint venture only had to compensate passengers for two delayed flights (of over three hours) this year. The niche airline’s fleet will be expanded with a fourth jet at the end of October. But he revealed: “I can certainly imagine that we will increase to six planes in the coming year.”