Kuoni vise un retour vers l

Travel: “It has become complicated to manage the abundance” of reservations! 🔑


TourMaG.com – A few weeks away from the big summer crossover. What vision do you have for this period for Kuoni? Emmanuel Fory: Since mid-January, business has picked up well. Apart from the small air pocket caused by the war in Ukraine, the dynamic is rather satisfactory. We also take reservations beyond this period. The summer is looking good, the bookings we are taking are approaching 2019 levels, but we will not be doing the same turnover.
TourMaG.com – Everything is looking good… Emmanuel Foiry: Rather, even if we all have big problems, on the quality of service at destination and in our teams.

As vice-president of SETO and to speak with my colleagues, this is an observation shared by a lot of people. We feel all the same, that the forced rest of the industry for almost two years, it weighs. Restarting is very complicated.

“The quality of services may be degraded”

TourMaG.com – So the restart is not as idyllic as it seems? Emmanuel Fory: We still have a lot of operational concerns, even if the situation may be different depending on the destination.
In some countries, you no longer have a rental car. When you race it’s problematic, so we stop selling them. Others no longer have French-speaking guides because they have changed sectors.

New guides are not always super professional. We will have to manage an important after-sales work. Honestly, I think there will be some difficulty getting the machine going again. The problem of employment in tourism in France is found everywhere on the globe. To tell you the truth, I spoke with a hotelier in Mauritius who has to close part of his establishment for lack of staff. Finally the address is 60% open.
TourMaG.com – Finally, the fear during the pandemic is very real. Tourism has been deserted and struggling to revive. Emmanuel Fory: Fears are confirmed everywhere. 15 days ago Amsterdam Schiphol airport had to cancel many flights. You add the 600 open positions at ADP, then all the returns from the profession asking their clients to arrive very early at Charles de Gaulle.
easyJet sells only 150 seats per flight, due to the shortage of Cabin Attendants.

The UMIH will sign an agreement with Tunisia, because of more than 300,000 unfilled positions in France. All of this will affect the image of tourism and the quality of services risks being degraded.

Kuoni: “towards a return to balance or a positive result can be as early as 2022”

TourMaG.com – So you are afraid of making bad customer feedback? Emmanuel Fory: Yes, I think that will happen. Do not be surprised, already look at the state of our sector. Between the recruitment problems and the employees who are now working in the provinces, working from home or who are having trouble getting back to it, we are going to suffer a little.
TourMaG.com – Should this rebound bring you closer to financial equilibrium in 2022? Emmanuel Fory: Yes, this is the package. Afterwards, it is advisable to remain cautious, the year is long. Our financial year is that of a calendar year, while for others it is from September to September.
We are getting closer to equilibrium and I even want to say that there is no reason why we should not return to positive very quickly, that is to say from 2022.

I am pleasantly surprised at how quickly our industry is rebuilding. This is great news for everyone.
TourMaG.com – Now that things are picking up again, is Kuoni moving forward again? Will it resume its development? Emmanuel Fory: Our brochures come out one after the other, like Emotion. There is no major revolution, which is quite normal for a company that is 110 years old. If we wanted to revolutionize the thing, we would have to get into holiday villages, but that’s not on the agenda.
The shareholder Rewe is still behind us and more than ever, with this takeover. At the distribution level, I don’t think we will go back. When I look elsewhere, Kuoni England has reduced its number of agencies by 2 and that’s everywhere else.

“There are currently crazy prices, until when will customers bear it?”

TourMaG.com – What works at Kuoni? Emmanuel Fory: I’ll tell you what’s wrong, it’s easier. Asia, but like everyone else, is at a standstill. Accompanied tours are struggling, but because of the geolocation of these offers. Generally the tours take place in Asia or India. This last destination is struggling to seduce travelers again. In the USA, we are picking up colors, which is traditionally a strong destination. All of Europe is doing well, Greece has been a hit for 2 years.

We still have a question mark over the start of the school year. We are in a certain euphoria, back to normal in the trip, but nothing says that it will last.
TourMaG.com – Do your customers still plan very little? Emmanuel Fory: Exactly, even if we have reservations after the summer. We were talking about the world before and the world after, there is a real change: the last minute. As a long-haul specialist and rather expensive, last-minute reservations concern departures in the coming month.
TourMaG.com – Why do you seem dubious about a sustained and lasting recovery in travel? Emmanuel Fory: I don’t want to be an ominous bird, far from it and I hope I’m wrong. There are currently very high prices in the air, even crazy prices and with full establishments. At some point, we may be overtaken by inflation and our good recovery could fade.
The question being: until when will the consumer continue to let go and support the price increase? I do not have the answer. And it’s not our margins that change or that can change anything. In all economic areas, everything is more expensive and rare.

“The recovery is such that we are stopping selling certain destinations”

TourMaG.com – Can this recovery also be explained by the liquidation of assets and carryovers in travel agencies? Emmanuel Fory: This is a question that is difficult for me to answer, since we are mainly in BtoB. Then I have an example that may enlighten you. We charter a boat in the fjords in Norway, this year I confirm that it was filled very quickly, by people who had assets. We are talking about customers who had originally booked on this ship and who had not left for 2 years. Besides, it doesn’t make us any money. Can this be generalized to the whole industry? I’ve no idea. For me, this does not justify the current travel boom. On the other hand, where the assets have an impact, it may be on the increase in average prices, with customers who change category. Instead of going to a 3 star, they are going to a 4 star. Summer will be full everywhere in France, in Europe! The recovery is such that we are stopping selling certain destinations.
TourMaG.com – That is to say? Emmanuel Fory: For example in Iceland, you can no longer find any rental car available on the island. In Canada it’s the same, there are no more cars.
Car rental is just hell.

To overcome this, in the USA we have referenced a 4th rental company, elsewhere we have created a platform. We have wealth problems. It is complicated to manage the shortage of customers, but also the excess or abundance.

Romain Pommier
Posted by Romain Pommier
Journalist – TourMaG.com
See all articles by Romain Pommier

  • facebook icon
  • Linkedin icon
  • email pictograph