Following the announcement earlier this month that Swiss travel conglomerate Kuoni Group will sell its tour operator business, the company’s U.S.-based tour operators are assuring customers that the decision to sell does not include them — and could benefit them.

“North America and Travel Bound are unaffected by these changes, and in fact, the decision of the Kuoni Group to exit the European business-to-consumer sector of their portfolio will have a positive impact on the Travel Bound business, which serves travel agents exclusively, as further investments will be directed into our division to drive our business forward,” said Elizabeth Crabill, president of New York-based wholesaler Travel Bound.

Crabill noted that Kuoni will sell its European business-to-consumer operations, and will focus on its business-to-business divisions, which includes Travel Bound’s FIT and groups business.

Brite Spokes, an experiential tour company launched in 2013 by New York-based AlliedTPro (a Kuoni-owned company), said it is part of Kuoni’s destination-management division, and that it too will not be sold.

Ivan Walter, CEO of Gullivers Travel Associates (Travel Bound’s parent company), assured customers that it is “business as usual” at GTA, Travel Bound and TravelCube.

Travel Bound’s Crabill said that with the support of Gullivers and Kuoni, Travel Bound recently has invested in new technology, including a new itinerary builder and mobile app, which takes the itinerary that a travel agent creates on the Travel Bound website and displays it to consumers in a on their desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Kuoni’s exit from the tour business includes offices in Switzerland, the U.K., Benelux, Hong Kong/China and India as well as operations in Scandinavia and Finland. Kuoni intends to find new owners for this segment of its business over the course of this year, the company stated.


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