Kuoni to open more John Lewis concessions

Kuoni, a Swiss-based travel company is to open more concessions on the premises of stores owned by high street retailer, John Lewis.

The travel company intends to open four new concessions in John Lewis stores around the UK, a doubling of the four stores where it first opened concessions in the autumn of last year. The new locations will be in stores in Brent Cross, Aberdeen, Welwyn and Leicester, adding to existing stores in Southampton, Reading, Cardiff and Oxford Street in London.

The John Lewis store concessions are in addition to Kuoni’s own high street stores, of which there are 22 in the UK, along with another 5 independent partnership stores.

Derek Jones, managing director of Kuoni UK, said, ‘We are delighted our brand synergy with John Lewis has been so successful for both businesses and we’re really excited to have the opportunity to grow our partnership further and open four more concessions in autumn 2013. We strive to put our customers at the heart of everything we do and they really value the expert personal knowledge we provide. The success of our high street stores has shown that the best way to truly understand their needs is to spend time with them face to face in comfortable and inspiring surroundings.

‘The new concessions will allow us to bring our unique approach to travel retailing to even more locations around the UK.’

For its part, John Lewis also benefits from the partnership with Kuoni, as the travel company promotes the department store’s own travel insurance and is a partner to the John Lewis Gift List, which enables wedding guests to contribute to a honeymoon with Kuoni.

Kuoni Partners with John Lewis to Launch Travel Concessions

Kuoni Travel Ltd, a Swiss-based travel company, is partnering with John Lewis to offer new travel concessions in four John Lewis stores in the UK.

The Kuoni concessions will be available at select John Lewis stores in the UK, and will be offering the entire range of holidays from Kuoni shops, as well as creating 19 new full-time jobs.

Derek Jones, the managing director at Kuoni, said, ‘We are really excited about this partnership. Kuoni and John Lewis have a lot in common; we have a very similar customer base and share the same approach to business, putting customer service at the heart of everything we do.

We know that our customers really value the expert personal knowledge we provide and the success of our High Street stores has shown that the best way to truly understand their needs is to spend time with them, face to face in the right surroundings. These concessions will allow us to bring our unique approach to travel retailing into John Lewis shops.’

Sean Allam, the director of commercial operations at John Lewis, said, ‘We already have a strong customer base in our travel insurance services, so opening travel concessions in our shops feels like a natural step for John Lewis.

People will be able to take time out from speaking to a personal travel expert to shop or have a coffee, and choose their holiday in a relaxed and inspiring environment.

Kuoni’s commitment to customer service and expert advice was a perfect fit for John Lewis, and we believe this will be a long-term and successful partnership.’

Kuoni to organise adventure tourism in South America

Switzerland-based tour operator, Kuoni, has announced that it is planning to organise adventure trips to South America.

The company, which has already started marketing the concept, said that it would create holidays that are tailor-made to customers’ needs. The firm’s 21 retail stores and four partnership stores will offer bespoke advice, and plan adventure tours to South America, in line with the customer’s own preferences.

The firm said that its experienced staff, many of whom are also claimed to be seasoned travellers, would design the adventure tours from available itineraries.

Brazil is one of the highlights in the proposed itinerary. The company has suggested a 13-night independent itinerary starting in Rio. Destinations that would be included are Copacabana Beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer. After the initial sightseeing in the city, travellers can visit the Iguacu Falls and then go for a cruise on the Amazon river.

Another destination that is expected to be popular is Peru, where customers will have the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. Another package, ‘Taste of Peru’, is a seven-night private tour, during which customers could visit Lima, Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incas, and the Sacred Valley.

In Chile, the itinerary allows tourists to visit the Atacama Desert and the spectacular fjords and glaciers located in Torres del Paine National Park. Hikers will be given plenty of opportunity to trek in the spectacular terrain. Tailor-made holiday solutions are also available for visits to mystical, Easter Island.

Sarah Beckwith, market manager with Kuoni, said, ‘Kuoni launched the new Discover brochure in October 2011, bringing together the very best of Kuoni’s escorted tours and highlighting the opportunities for tailor-made travel, particularly in South America, to experience a true adventure, iconic sights and treasured moments. We hope this dedicated campaign will inspire our customers as these incredible and spectacular destinations are put under the spotlight.’


Kuoni Travel Introduces New iPad App

Kuoni Travel Ltd, a travel company that is based in Switzerland, has announced the launch of a new iPad app for customers wishing to access the company’s brochures, videos, travel article feed and website through their tablet devices.

Matt Rooke, the company e-business and publishing vice president, said, ‘We want to make Kuoni as accessible as possible to all its customers and provide effective and efficient methods that feed the current demand. The app self-updates so we can rest assured that customers are getting the best quality of information on a daily basis, in a format that suits them. Also, iPad is a fast growing channel and we particularly like the way an app gives Kuoni a branded presence on our customers’ devices.’

The new app is available as a free download from the Apple’s App Store, and once downloaded it can be used to access a full catalogue of Kuoni information.

The app has been designed by inbro, a digital publishing company. Matt Gillam, the director at inbro, said, ‘The app’s purpose is to provide the user with the convenience of a single point of contact with the Kuoni brand on their personal device, which is why it offers one-stop access to news, video and an easy to use website link as well as Kuoni’s entire brochure content. We want the Kuoni brand to go to the customer rather than vice versa.’

Kuoni currently offers its services from 40 countries and has won many travel industry awards, including Britain’s Favourite Tour Operator and Britain’s Best Longhaul Tour Operator.

Kuoni Makes Foray into Scotland

Kuoni Travel Ltd, a travel company that is based in Switzerland, has announced its plans to offer Kuoni branded products through Barrhead Travel retail outlets in Scotland.

Barrhead Travel retail outlets will host a dedicated Kuoni service area in four offices in Glasgow, East Kilbride, Cumbernauld and Aberdeen, while more are planned at its other properties.

Although Kuoni has 21 shops in England offering luxury travel products, this is the first time that the company has entered the Scottish market in a direct sales form.

Amanda Darrington, the national sales manager for Kuoni UK, said, ‘We are delighted to be partnering Barrhead Travel in Scotland in four of their stores whom we have been working with for many years. We admire Barrhead’s innovative approach and look forward to working more closely with them as our Specialist Elite Agent in Scotland.’

Barrhead will also be offering customised holidays to its customers, using Kuoni’s ground services for activities such as cruising.

Barrhead Travel chairman, Bill Munro, said, ‘I am delighted to be able to welcome Kuoni to our stores in Scotland. We have had an excellent relationship with Kuoni in the past and we really think the decision they have made to position themselves in our stores is the right one. I believe it will really enhance our offering to the travelling public as Kuoni is such an exclusive brand which is not sold through all agents in Scotland, and it really demonstrates the commitment to the joint branding of Kuoni and Barrhead.’

John Lewis to Host Kuoni Travel Stores

John Lewis, a UK-based chain of high street retail stores, has signed an agreement with Swiss-based tour operator, Kuoni, to locate travel stores in four John Lewis department stores around the country.

The first four travel stores are earmarked to open by the coming autumn in the John Lewis stores located in London Oxford Street, Reading, Southampton and Cardiff.

Kuoni is in the process of looking for new staff for the stores and expects to create nineteen full time jobs. The stores are likely to be fitted with similar hi-tech equipment to some of Kuoni’s existing stores, and include the use of plasma televisions and I-pads.

As part of the new relationship between the two companies, Kuoni will promote John Lewis travel insurance to all of its customers, whether calling at a store, contacting a call centre or on-line.

Kuoni managing director, Derek Jones, said, ‘For us the key advantage of this deal is the brand awareness; much of our high-street presence has been about raising awareness. The John Lewis customer base is very similar to the Kuoni customer base so having our brand associated with John Lewis gives us additional, significant visibility.’

Commenting on the long-term future of the John Lewis-based Kuoni stores, Jones said, ‘The plan is to create a long-term partnership. After 12 months we will take a decision on the future expansion of the stores. There are still some gaps in our own shop portfolio and we may plug those gaps with John Lewis concession stores. There is a commitment for more than one year.’