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Kuoni Today and Yesterday

A portrait about the roots and the present of the travel company

Kuoni’s story began in Switzerland at a time when tourist travel was very much in its infancy. The company’s founder, Alfred Kuoni, sensed there was a new social trend afoot: the desire to discover the world.

Kuoni’s roots are in Switzerland, where the company was founded more than 100 years ago. Today, though, as an internationally active travel group, it is at home in many countries around the world. From North America to Europe and Africa, to Asia and Australia, an average of 8 772 employees (full-time equivalents) worked for the company in 2010. Kuoni currently runs branch offices in more than 45 countries.
The Group’s activities are focused on two core businesses, Leisure Travel and Destination Management. In the Leisure Travel sector, which represents 75 % of turnover, Kuoni offers a huge variety of holidays and services in all price categories through its different tour operating brands: luxury holidays to many different destinations, easy-to-book all-inclusive beach holidays, an outstanding concierge service for its most demanding customers, tailor-made individual and group expeditions, cultural tours accompanied by expert guides, breathtaking safaris, memorably intense sustainable holidays, and enlightening and rewarding volunteer programmes.

Alfred Kuoni (1874– 1943) founded Kuoni 1906 – in times of fundamental social changes. His training was in textiles, and he had a very good sense for what customers wanted.

Destination Management is an important business within the Group, contributing 25 % of overall turnover in 2010. This business is made up of a worldwide network of sales and destination management organisations that cover a variety of different services. These include looking after guests in holiday destinations, but also organising conferences and incentive packages (click here for more information about Kuoni’s business model).

A worldwide rebranding process was carried out in 2008. This involved the development and introduction of a uniform branding concept, a new corporate image and new products. The next step, and one of the biggest changes in Kuoni’s recent history, involved the introduction of a new Group organisational structure, which was kicked off at the end of September 2009 and fully implemented in 2010.
The new organisation has a twin focus: marketing and sales on the one hand, and a central Procurement and Production Unit for the whole Kuoni Group on the other. The new, global functional Group structure allows Kuoni to focus more sharply on customers, as well as facilitating further growth, efficient cost management and greater profitability. Kuoni continues to be one of the leading globally active tourism companies. As a tour operator in the premium segment, it is one of the leading providers in the world.

A look back:
respecting tradition

Alfred Kuoni, the company’s founder, trained as a textiles specialist and it was only a long stay in England that prompted his idea of offering travel services on a commercial basis.