TUI Travel expands into CIS and Russia

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Car Rental News - 16/04/2009


Through new joint ventures, TUI is working to establish a stronger presence in the region.

TUI has announced that it is acquiring majority shareholdings in the VKO Group, a tour operator and travel agent based in Russia, and in Ukraine-based Voyage Kiev.

The joint venture agreement also has TUI Travel with a 75 per cent controlling interest in Moscow-based Mostravel, an Egypt and Turkey specialist.

Last year TUI announced the formation of a joint venture company with S-Group Capital Management and affiliated parties, for the purpose of developing a presence in CIS and Russian leisure tourism.

The holding company is 51 per cent owned by S-Group Capital Management and 49 per cent by TUI Travel. Acting as an investment holding company, it will be financed by both parties, according to the ownership proportion.

As much as $40 million in investment is expected by the end of this year, and TUI’s share is likely to be half of the total amount.

Up to six million Russians and a million Ukrainians head to sun and sea destinations on holiday each year, which is approximately the equivalent of one-third the UK charter market size, according to TUI.

TUI Travel’s chief executive, Peter Long, commented: “TUI Travel will be the first major international tour operator with a significant presence in Russia and CIS.”

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