12 February 2007

TC+MyTravel - 1st Choice = Big Change (albeit a little late)

The realization that the mainline businesses of Tour Operating is perhaps a dinosaur has finally dawned on the powers that big at the Big VTOs in Europe. And perhaps not a moment too soon. You only have to look at the numbers to realize that the trends of LCC and market segmentation (aka fragmentation) are the dominant forces. Tour Operating has been flat for YEARS. First Choice's numbers have been getting better and their stock has performed as a result better than their larger counterparts.

With the squeeze coming from all quarters and with Lufthansa now fully out of the Thomas Cook business retailer Karstadt Quelle (not exactly a stellar performer in its own right) thinks it can remake the combined entity into the major power house it thinks it should be. Sounds good on paper. Big equals better. Well I am not convinced. Big has resulted in big alright... big losses at all the major players. Yes its about supply chain, but yes its about the consumer. Can KQ lead this new entity into a new era of revenue AND profit growth? Or is this the last dying wish of a dinosaur before it heads to oblivion?

One thing for sure.. the Sun Sand Sea Sex and Beer market is forever changed. I almost feel nostalgic for that simpler time............

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