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Simon Ammann Goes for “direkt+ehrlich”

A new travel service approach based on transparency

direkt+ehrlich reisen, Kuoni’s new direct sales brand, sets the standards when it comes to transparency, openness and honesty. And four-times Olympic ski jump gold medallist Simon Ammann finds its approach so appealing that he has signed up as the new brand’s first travel ambassador.

“The hotel is situated by a busy road, which means there can be a noise problem.” Or “the breakfast buffet doesn’t offer much choice.” Have you ever seen statements like those in a travel brochure? Probably not – after all, at first glance they hardly seem likely to encourage people to buy. And yet both those statements are taken from the current travel newspaper of direkt+ehrlich reisen (which translates as “direct and honest travel”) – and do full credit to the provider’s name. “We want to be lowcost without pulling the wool over our customers’ eyes”, said Marco Wipfli, head of direkt+ehrlich reisen, explaining the basic concept behind the company.

In August 2010 direkt+ehrlich reisen was formed out of Direkt reisen, which by then had already been a player in the direct market for more than ten years. The new name expressed the new commitment. With its refreshing, unconventional approach, Kuoni’s direct travel arm has given a new meaning to the notion of transparency while maintaining the scope and quality of its product offering. Besides being structured in a user-friendly manner that makes it easy to compare the different facilities and services on offer, direkt+ehrlich reisen literature also indicates possible shortcomings and above all gives clear information on prices. This information even tells the customer how much direkt+ehrlich will earn on each sale: CHF 30, 50 or 80, depending on the price of the travel package. It even gives a price guarantee: if any customer finds a rival operator charging less for the same travel package, direkt+ehrlich reisen will charge the lower price.
Simon Ammann has been utterly won over by this new way of offering travel services: “Being honest about the content, I think that’s cool – typically Swiss. And booking holidays is so quick and easy, you can virtually go straight from the ski jump to the beach.” This is how direkt+ehrlich reisen persuaded the four-times Olympic ski jump gold medallist and Swiss Sportsman of the Year 2010 to become the firm’s first roving ambassador. The current issue of the company’s travel newspaper, which replaces the conventional holiday brochure, not only contains details of the services on offer and interesting articles on travel, but also tells the reader which beach Simon Ammann visited last year to recharge his batteries ready for the season ahead. He gives a full-length interview in which he relates in detail his holiday experiences in Mauritius, his own travel preferences and the pros and cons of various travel destinations. His openness and frankness readily explain why Ammann and direkt+ehrlich reisen make such a perfect match.


Simon Ammann was born in 1981 and is a Swiss ski jumper. He grew up in Unterwasser in Canton St. Gallen. He has been one of the world’s top ski jumpers for many years and was a double Olympic Champion in both Vancouver in 2010 and Salt Lake City in 2002.