The fallout of the corona crisis had a massive impact on the Hotelplan Group operating result. The pandemic deprived the travel industry of almost its entire commercial basis. Tens of thousands of customers had to be repatriated, travel cancelled and flights rebooked, resulting in the worst financial result in the Swiss travel group’s history. During the crisis, Hotelplan Group proved to be a reliable and fair partner to its customers and delivered superb service around the clock – even amidst constantly changing circumstances. Hotelplan Group issued refunds to its customers as quickly as possible, even though the company often had to wait until a later date for reimbursement by service providers.
Despite the corona pandemic, Hotelplan Group invested in the future and continued to pursue numerous projects. With the specialist brand Travelhouse, Hotelplan Suisse launched a new product line with theme-based travel in Europe, while the two business travel specialists bta first travel and Finass Reisen created added value for their customers with new tools. A new type of offer gives vtours customers even more security and flexibility, and bedfinder added rail package tours to its portfolio. The group management approved a new multi-year IT project, aimed at speeding up the harmonisation of the system and process environment in the different Hotelplan business units, thus laying the groundwork to exploit further synergies.
Hotelplan UK strengthens the ski business – As of 1st of June 2019, Hotelplan UK is acquiring the British company Flexiski. This takeover will allow Hotelplan UK to expand its offering of skiing and snowboarding to include flexible and tailor-made short breaks.
Hotelplan Group acquires vtours – Hotelplan Group takes over the online operator vtours based in Aschaffenburg (D) and Glattbrugg/Zurich. vtours mainly produces and distributes beach holidays in the Mediterranean under its own brands and for third parties. The products are largely compiled dynamically and distributed via online platforms and travel agencies.
Hotelplan Group acquires Finass – Hotelplan Group acquires the business, incentive and event travel specialist Finass Reisen AG as of November 1, 2018. Finass with its head office in Wetzikon/Zurich continues to act independently.
Sale of Regaldive – Hotelplan Group divests the UK diving specialist Regaldive.
Closure of travel.ch – Hotelplan Suisse ceases operating the travel.ch brand at the end of October 2017. A re-evaluation of the brand portfolio has revealed too many overlaps with Migros Ferien and Hotelplan, making it more expedient to invest the available funds in these brands in the future.
New Department “Sport & Special Tours” at Hotelplan Suisse – Hotelplan Suisse launches the new department “Sport & Special Tours”, with a focus on sports, active holidays and special tours.
Sale of Hotelplan Italia – Hotelplan Italia is sold to the tour operator Eden Viaggi in Italy as of 31.10.2016. The Hotelplan brand is licensed and remans in the Italian market.
Hotelplan Group launches bedfinder ag – bedfinder ag is founded on 19.12.2016. bedfinder provides worldwide B2C and B2B travel services. On the one hand, this includes selling products directly to the customer via modern web platforms; on the other hand, bedfinder also makes white label products, technology and fulfilment services available to interested partners.
Hotelplan Group acquires leading UK soft adventure specialist – Hotelplan Group is acquiring the soft adventure provider Explore Worldwide and the diving specialist Regaldive. This will allow Hotelplan UK to expand its offering of skiing, cycling and hiking holidays to include group adventure and diving travel.
Integration of travel.ch into Hotelplan Suisse – As of September 1, 2015, Travelwindow Group, a 100% subsidiary of Hotelplan Group, has been integrated into the activities of Hotelplan Suisse.
Hotelplan celebrates its 80th anniversary – 80 years ago, on 29 April 1935, Gottlieb Duttweiler launched Hotelplan. In the meantime, Hotelplan has become one of Switzerland’s leading travel brands.
In launching Hotelplan on 29 April 1935, Migros founder Gottlieb Duttweiler’s aim was to help the struggling Swiss hotel industry and make holidays accessible to the ‘man on the street’. “We need to try to reach a new customer, one hitherto unfamiliar with travel,” ‘Dutti’ reasoned.
Today, Hotelplan Suisse is represented on the domestic market by the brands Globus Reisen, Travelhouse, Tourisme Pour Tous, Hotelplan, Migros Ferien and bta first travel. More than 1000 members of staff in 123 branches offer expert advice and ensure that customers can enjoy trouble-free, memorable vacations.
Hotelplan Suisse takes off with HolidayJet – Hotelplan Suisse enters into a cooperation with Swiss airline partner Germania AG. Flights with two A319 aircraft to short and medium-haul destinations with ‘HolidayJet – operated by Germania’ are being offered in conjunction with the travel brands Migros Ferien, Hotelplan and Globus Reisen.
Globus Reisen introduces new beach holiday brochures – The premium brand of Hotelplan Suisse – Globus Reisen – launches the new ‘Soley’ brochures onto the Swiss market. These brochures carry the best products from the former range of the Travelhouse sub-brands Sierramar, Caribtours and Soleytours under the premium brand Globus Reisen, from exquisite beach holidays and luxury travel to exclusive city breaks.
Cessation of the Denner Reisen discount brand – Hotelplan Suisse takes the discount travel brand Denner Reisen off the market as of 31 October 2014. Denner will however continue to be used as an important distribution channel, for example through advertising attractively priced Hotelplan offers in the “Denner Woche” weekly brochure.
Interhome wins gold and silver for its new e-shop – The leading vacation home rental agency Interhome has won gold in the “Usability” category and silver in the “Business Efficiency” category for its newly launched booking platform at this year’s “Best of Swiss Web” Awards. Interhome ranked third overall among nearly 400 projects.
Travelwindow Group withdraws from the Scandinavian market – After a strategic review it has been decided for the Travelwindow Group to withdraw from its expansion within the Scandinavian market and along with this the travel.se portal for the Swedish market has been closed.
Reorganization of Hotelplan Italia – Despite massive falls in demand and a difficult business environment in the Italian travel and tour operating market, the Hotelplan Group still has full faith in Hotelplan Italia, and has subjected the company to a total realignment with substantial structural adjustments. The new strategy will see Hotelplan Italia focus on its core competencies, i.e. the long-haul business and – under its existing Turisanda specialist brand – on Egypt, offering Nile cruises and Red Sea beach holidays. At the same time, the company will also make a particular effort to strengthen its distribution network.
Hotelplan Suisse further expands its dynamic tour operating – Hotelplan Suisse continues to develop, refine and further expand the dynamic tour operating which was introduced in September 2012. Having been successfully adopted for the hotelplan.ch website, the technology concerned is now being extended to the web platforms of Hotelplan Suisse’s further travel brands to meet the needs and the booking behaviour of the company’s customers.
Hotelplan Group disposes of Ascent Travel – The Hotelplan Group sells its shareholding in Russia-based tour operator Ascent Travel, headquartered in Moscow.
Hotelplan introduces dynamic tour operating – Hotelplan is re-launching its www.hotelplan.ch website. With its flexible state-of-the-art technology, the new site enables visitors to find and book both conventional brochure products and dynamically-generated inclusive-tour arrangements in real time. In offering these new booking functions and facilities, Hotelplan is adding “dynamic tour operating” to its classic tour operating business.
The Hotelplan Group launches a modern dynamic packaging platform – Dynamic holiday packages and last minute offers at day to day prices are available at travel.at, the Austrian branch of Travelwindow. This powerful dynamic packaging platform will be gradually introduced throughout the Group and used as of spring 2012 for online sales in Switzerland.
Hotelplan Group to acquire Inter Chalet – As of 1 November 2011 Hotelplan Group acquires a 26% equity holding in Inter Chalet Ferienhaus-Gesellschaft mbH, based in Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany). In a second step, Inter Chalet – which is Germany’s leading specialist provider of vacation rental homes – should be acquired in full by the Hotelplan group, with a view to further strengthening the position of the group’s own Interhome brand.
Hotelplan Group sells its ‘Riviera Beach Club’ to Belambra – The Hotelplan group sells its ‘Riviera Beach Club’ to Belambra, France’s number 1 operator of vacation resorts and thus concludes the strategic step of disposing of the ‘Horizonte’ hotel group.
travel.ch grows further – after Austria follows Sweden – travel.ch, a pioneer among online travel agencies, is expanding its leading position in Switzerland consistently. Following the successful expansion of its presence in western Switzerland in 2010, the company Travelwindow starts with the founding of subsidiaries in Germany, Austria and Sweden across national borders.
Hotelplan Group expands in UK – The Hotelplan Group expands its operations in Britain by acquiring the Enigma Travel Group, a company specializing in skiing holidays, which comprises the Esprit Holidays and Ski Total brands. As a result of this acquisition, Hotelplan UK – comprising tour operator Inghams with Inntravel and now the Engima Travel Group – has become one of the best diversified skiing and walking holidays specialist in Britain.
Hotelplan Group with new business structure – The business operations of the Hotelplan Group are re-organised in three new divisions: Full Service Travel Operations, Specialised Tour Operating and Travel Related & Online Services. The largest of the three new business divisions, Full Service Travel Operations, comprises Hotelplan Suisse with bta first travel and Hotelplan Italy. The Specialised Tour Operating division consists of the tour operators Inghams and Enigma Travel Group in Great Britain and Ascent Travel in Russia. The third division ‘Travel Related & Online Services’ comprises holiday apartment provider Interhome with Vacando and Swiss online portal travel.ch.
In addition, the Switzerland Business Unit is renamed, changing from M-Travel Switzerland toHotelplan Suisse.
Interhome enters exclusive partnership with Orascom Development in El Gouna (Egypt)– Interhome is further expanding internationally by entering into an exclusive partnership with Orascom Hotels & Development S.A.E. of Egypt, a 100% subsidiary of Orascom Development Holding AG (Orascom Development), a leading developer of fully integrated towns. The group’s largest project – the Red Sea resort of El Gouna – is an integrated holiday and leisure destination comprising some 2600 villas and apartments. Since 1 March 2010, Interhome is present in El Gouna with a branded local office, offering a full range of services to property owners as well as to holidaymakers.