ZURICH, 13 September 2017: Tourasia Roemer, the largest tour operator in Switzerland specialising in travel to Asia and Zurich-based Diethelm Travel Holding are merging their Asian destination management operations.
It involves the merger of “All Asia Exclusive” and “Blue Horizons Travel & Tours” brands with the Asian portfolio of Bangkok-based Diethelm Travel.
The deal creates one of the largest destination management companies in Southeast Asia, with more than 500 staff in 13 countries and a combined annual turnover of USD90 million.
Roemer commented: “By joining forces and combing our considerable strengths, we will be the only travel company operating a fully comprehensive service network with its own locations throughout Southeast Asia.”
Roemer will be the new CEO of the Diethelm Travel Group as well as serving on the board of management of Diethelm Travel Holding.
Country managers in Asia will in future report directly to Stephan Roemer.
No mention was made of Lisa Fitzell, the current CEO of Diethelm Travel Group, who based in Bangkok.
However, in response to email questions, Roemer said: “I will personally take over from Liza, next week. She is leaving Diethelm Travel, of course, with thanks for her work.
“It is obvious in the new constitution where tourasia is owning party we will bring in our own resources. I will personally be at the steering board and the general managers of the regional offices will report to me directly. The trading name of Diethelm will remain all over Asia, so will the trading name of Blue Horizons Travel & Tours in the Philippines.”
Fitzell said in a Facebook message she was leaving the company 18 September and that the merger with tourasia would “further bolster the company.” She wished Diethelm Travel and the new CEO Stephen Roemer “great success”.
Diethelm Travel Group (founded in 1957) is a subsidiary of the Diethelm Keller Travel Group, the travel division of Switzerland’s internationally active Diethelm Keller concern.
Ironically, DTG started its career in 1957 as a joint venture with Swissair to sell airline tickets and quickly branched out into sightseeing tours. Its significance was underscored by the issue of commemorative postage stamps. Today, the merger with tourasia hints of a return to the joint venture model, although financial details have not be released by either partner.
The Diethelm Keller Travel Group also owns STA Travel – the world’s largest student travel company – and as well as holding a 50% stake in the Globetrotter Group in Switzerland and a majority shareholding in the Explorer Group in Germany.
Diethelm Travel is one of the oldest- established tourism enterprises in Asia, operating from locations in 12 countries, including Sri Lanka/the Maldives, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Singapore.
Tourasia operates subsidiaries in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, servicing prestigious and predominantly specialized tour operators from throughout the world as well as private travellers.
DK Travel Holding Chairman Angelo van Tol said: “With Stephan Roemer we welcome aboard a top travel specialist with long and extensive in-depth experience of Asia”.
Roemer (53) has been working in the Asian travel sector since 1982, having first helped to develop the Wettstein tour operating company in Switzerland before founding Tourasia 10 years later.
Tourasia is based in Wallisellen/Zurich, also operating in Germany and Poland and currently employing 50 staff in Europe.