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Travel Europe: England and Scotland new targets for 2016

The development towards Italy is materializing

Pragmatic, reasoned, attentive. This is how we could rapidly define Helmut and Tony Gschwentner, leaders of Travel Europe, that is celebrating its thirty years of existence. They’ve confided their “recipes” and hopes to us…

Rédigé par Dominique Gobert translated by Joséphine Foucher le Vendredi 1 Mai 2015

Helmut and Tony Gschwentner: “we do not have the intention of changing the principles that have led to the success of the company: we’ll keep offering trips in Europe.” Photo JdL
Helmut and Tony Gschwentner: “we do not have the intention of changing the principles that have led to the success of the company: we’ll keep offering trips in Europe.” Photo JdL
For the occasion of the presentation of their new product, a normal sized yacht, Helmut and Tony Gschwentner, the owners of Travel Europe (and Visit Europe) give us updates on the present situation and especially the future of the company, created in 1984…And that has not ceased developing.

The figures speak for themselves.

Starting from the creation of a travel agency in Stand, in the Austrian Tyrol, Helmut and Anton that we’ll now call Tony, find themselves heading a company that has a revenue of more than 112 million euros (an increase compared to the previous year), along with some rather comfortable margins.

A success that isn’t getting to the two brothers’ head, comrades before all: the manager on one hand, and the man on the field on the other, linked by the same goal: making their economic model last.

For the 10 upcoming years, “it is very difficult to read the future,” they announce at the same time, “but we don’t have the intention of changing the principles that have led to the success of the company.

We’ll keep offering trips in Europe.”

England and Scotland: the new openings of the TO

But Europe is wide and Travel Europe doesn’t “cover” all of it, which gives it still a few perspectives.

The development towards Italy is materializing every year, and the next step is going through England and Scotland.

They are in fact the new “openings” for which Travel Europe will reinforce its production in the upcoming years…around adapted tours based on client demands.

Which doesn’t mean that it is not also considering destinations outside of Europe…

“But we’re not necessarily looking to make our business turnover explode. We’d rather stay solid.”

Of course, we cannot help to mention the sad period of the tentative buyout of Donatello.

“This is definitely over, exclaim the two brothers, in unity once more. We have not even tried to buyout the brand (sold to Kuoni, ndlr.)

And for the moment,the destination of Italy is becoming a great success for us.

We’re presenting it under the brand Visit Italie, that belongs to us thanks to Visit Europe.

But you know, everyone is selling Italy. However, Travel Europe has the knowledge in terms of air transport, and we are going to extend the coverage of the French territory.

Other than traditional departures from major French cities, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, we are going to set-up, little by little, one-time departures from some cities.”

Italy: one-time departures from some cities

Indeed, it is planned to serve Italy from Cherbourg, Lille, Brest, Clermont Ferrand, Deauville, Dijon, Biarritz or Pau, just to cite a few.

For the future and the upcoming ten years, the Gschwentner brothers remain very pragmatic.

Visit Europe (the French branch), for example, even though its profitability is still a bit unstable, enables to insure an important development, particularly towards Corsica that accounts for close to 20,000 passengers.

Developing B to C sales?

“Of course we have thought of it, and we’re still considering it,” they admit, “but this is not on our current agenda.

We have excellent relationships with the distribution, we are referenced by almost all of the major networks, and we do not want to betray the trust of our partners.”

Currently, 60% of the Visit Europe sales are done via the professional website, and 40% are made over the phone.

What about external growth?

Of course, the issue of external growth is present.

“We are, in fact, looking at the candidates presenting themselves, confide Tony and Helmut, but we don’t have a particular “candidate” for now.

However, we have maintained Visit Invest, the company we had launched for the sale of Donatello. Because we never know…”

And for now, everything seems to be going for the best. The establishment of a new boat in Croatia, the Corona, completes the offer of the TO that announces close to 40,000 French clients on Croatia (close to 69,000 for the Group), and close to 20,000 Spanish clients.

Without mentioning, of course, the strong point of Travel Europe and its air transport policy, that accounts for close to 700 yearly flights, and an investment of close to 25 million euros.

And when we cite the case of Air Med, of which Travel Europe is a major client, there is no question of buying it out: “Travel Europe is ending its contract with Air Med in September.

We're not even considering taking parts of the capital, but there could be some cash advances in the event of an agreement.”

A risk? “Yes, answer the two brothers, surely, but we must not be afraid to take some. Sometimes we lose…But we often win!”

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