New Kuoni-Dertour boss has every reason to smile

Kuoni Dertour Suisse boss Stephanie Schulze zur Wiesch
Kuoni-Dertour Suisse boss Stephanie Schulze zur Wiesch in Zurich (Image:

Travel specialist Kuoni / Dertour Suisse has shaken off the coronavirus. Despite falling travel prices, there is still reason to celebrate.

With its Kuoni, Helvetic Tours and Kuoni Specialists brands, the Dertour travel group had a successful financial year.

Stephanie Schulze zur Wiesch, CEO Switzerland since June 2023, was visibly pleased with the results in front of the media in Zurich on Tuesday.

Asia, America, plus cruises

Turnover in 2023 increased by around 22 percent compared to the previous year to 590 million Swiss francs. This is well above the growth of competitors, it said.

The main drivers of sales growth were travel to Asia with an increase of 156 percent, South and Central America travel with +66 percent and Kuoni Cruises with an increase of 41 percent, the manager heralded.

The top-selling destinations in 2023 included the Maldives, Lapland, Iceland, Crete and Mallorca.

Central Switzerland leads the way

Throughout Switzerland in particular, customers value the knowledge and expertise of travel specialists for individually-designed and well-planned trips. Autumn is the new summer, the tour operator said, describing market developments.

Central Switzerland was particularly keen to travel, with an increase of 35 percent.

The increase in French-speaking Switzerland was 26 percent and in Ticino 25 percent.

Tourism as a profit driver

The results for the past financial year were also impressive at the bottom line. In 2023, Kuoni / Dertour Suisse achieved a significantly stronger result than in 2022, which was already well back in the black after the coronavirus pandemic subsided.

Kuoni / Dertour Suisse media conference in Zurich
Kuoni / Dertour Suisse media conference in Zurich (Image:
Beautiful ambience at Kuoni on Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse
Beautiful ambience at Kuoni on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse. (Image:

As is usual with large international groups, the company does not disclose the specific figures.

However, the tourism division belonging to the German Rewe Group, which also includes Kuoni / Dertour Suisse, contributed the lion’s share to the increase in profits for the Group as a whole, as was announced on the same day.

In this respect, the Travel segment was back on track.

Falling flight prices

However, the Swiss unit has not yet fully matched its 2019 turnover of 644 million Swiss francs.

Furthermore, CEO Schulze zur Wiesch is confident that the results for the 2024 financial year will prove successful once again.

After all, the booking situation is extremely good, even if prices to individual long-haul destinations such as the USA, Japan and the Maldives have fallen somewhat – with a return to larger flight capacities.

Trips are also becoming shorter again and fewer high-quality bookings are being made. But in terms of volume, business continues to pick up, the manager explained with optimism.

Waiting for information

When asked whether her travel group was interested in the Hotelplan Group, which Migros recently put up for sale, Schulze zur Wiesch explained that so far she was only aware of the intention to sell.

She added that currently there was neither a sales dossier outlining key figures nor negotiations regarding this competitor.

However, the head of Kuoni / Dertour Suisse emphasized to at the media conference that the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Group headquarters would ‘definitely’ have to be involved in a deal of this magnitude.


New Kuoni-Dertour boss has every reason to smile

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