Kuoni’s German parent, Der Touristik Group, has revealed a top management shake-up.
The new corporate structure does not result in any further changes in the UK, where Francis Torrilla continues to lead as interim CEO following the departure of Derek Jones.
Der Touristik plans to strengthen its market presence in source markets and destinations while creating strong synergies at the operational level, from purchasing to digitization.
Torrilla reports to Northern Europe Managing Director, Leif Vase Larsen, who becomes International Managing Director covering the fast growing France, UK, Nordic, Benelux and Eastern European markets.
Vase Larsen will also oversee the destination management business, digital transformation and IT for Europe’s second largest travel group.
The changes come ahead of the expected departure of group chief executive Soren Hartmann at the end of the year.
Announced in March, Hartmann will hand over responsibility for the tourism business to Lionel Souque, CEO of parent company Rewe Group, and will then continue as an adviser.
Confirming the new leadership structure and the group’s joint strategy for future growth, the Cologne-based group said: “As the recovery of the travel and tourism sector accelerates, the time has come for Der Touristik to take advantage of the strength of its international group in 16 markets. .
“This will include the reshuffling of the group’s international board of directors to ensure a smooth transition after Soren Hartmann, CEO of Der Touristik Group, leaves the company at the end of the year.
“The new management structure will sharpen the group’s focus on operational priorities and enhance cross-regional collaboration.”
The newly created executive board from January 1, 2023 will be composed of three of Der Touristik’s most experienced senior managers: Ingo Burmester, Vase Larsen and Boris Schnabel, who will report directly to Souque.
“Der Touristik’s new executive board will ensure strong operational leadership of the group’s source markets and divisions, including key growth areas such as the destination management network and the hotel business,” the company added.
Souque said: “Soren Hartmann has driven Der Touristik’s international growth with tireless commitment and outstanding performance.
“Under his forward-thinking navigation, the group became one of the leading travel and tourism companies in Europe.
“With the latest acquisitions in the fast growing Eastern European markets and the hotel business expanding greatly, he once again demonstrated his ambition and dedication to the sustainable growth of our tourism business.
“I want to thank you for your outstanding work over the last decade. It lays the foundation for our future success and allows Der Touristik to go one step further as a strong group.”
He added: “I look forward to taking responsibility for our travel and tourism business as an important pillar of our Rewe Group’s core business and embarking together with the newly appointed executive board on this journey towards future growth.
“Today’s tourism market requires rapid responses to disruptions, as the flight situation once again demonstrated this summer.
“I am confident that with this highly experienced and motivated team of senior managers we will be able to quickly anticipate trends and be extremely well connected at an operational level. This will be the key to our future resilience and growth.”
Vase Larsen said: “Customer focus, product development and digitization are closely intertwined today.
“Prioritizing our digital transformation agenda will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs and become a leading travel company that puts travelers’ needs first, from inspiration and booking to the travel experience at destiny”.