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Tui, der größte deutsche Reiseveranstalter betreibt mit Tuifly eine eigene Fluglinie, Bild: Anton Volynets / shutterstock

The 5 largest German tour operators

When planning their vacation, many tourists like to resort to the offers of classic tour operators. If you book a package tour, you don’t have to worry about anything. From the train to the flight to the hotel transfer – the entire trip is thoroughly organized. Experience reports from all tour operators will help you find the right provider. But who are the largest travel companies in Germany? Below we have listed the five largest tour operators for you:

1. TUI Germany

TUI (Touristik Union International) has been the undisputed number one among the largest tour operators in Germany for many years.

TUI, or rather its predecessor company Preussag, was founded in 1923. Once a steel and trading company, the company developed into a travel company, mainly through its investments in ship and aircraft construction.

From 1997 onwards, Preussag became one of the largest service companies in the leisure industry worldwide through the takeover of the shipping and logistics group Hapag-Lloyd. Later, TUI AG and TUI Travel Plc merged to form the TUI Group, which still exists today.

In the travel sector, TUI Deutschland GmbH is the executing company when it comes to package holiday offers, holiday flights and cruises. The company owns its own airline, operates cruise ships and holiday resorts in the most popular holiday destinations worldwide.

The TUI Group also includes the travel brands L’TUR, Boomerang-Reisen, 1-2-FLY, airtours, Gebeco, OFT REISEN, berge&meer, OX-TOURS and Viverde.

In addition to the online booking business, TUI operates around 1,800 brick-and-mortar travel agencies throughout Europe.

Before the pandemic, around 30 million people made use of TUI’s holiday offers every year, which brought the large group annual sales of around 6.6 billion euros. Since 2020, as with all travel providers, sales have declined somewhat.

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2. REWE Group GmbH – DER Touristik and ITS Reisen

For many years, Thomas Cook Reisen took second place among the most successful travel providers in Germany. The company founder of the same name is still considered the inventor of the package tour (first offered for Egypt in 1869). In 2019, the group had to file for bankruptcy. The reason was the bankruptcy of the British umbrella company.

The German REWE Group became part of the company, which used it to expand its travel business. The Rewe Group is a German retail group based in Cologne. In addition to food retailing, the tourism sector has become the second most important division of the large group.

Package tours, flights, round trips, hotel stays, wellness trips and cruises are offered partly under the name REWE-Reisen (mainly via supermarket brochures and online). In addition, the well-known travel companies DER Touristik and ITS Reisen belong to the REWE Group. DER Touristik also includes such well-known names as DERTOUR, Meier’s Weltreisen, ADAC Reisen, Tjaereborg and Jahn Reisen.

Before 2020, sales in the travel sector were 4 to 5 billion euros annually.

3. FTI Group

The FTI Group (formerly Frosch Touristik GmbH) is a travel company founded in 1983 and headquartered in Munich. Initially, the FTI Group’s offer focused on language trips and later on trips to Mediterranean regions.

In the meantime, the FTI Group also offers worldwide package or modular tours, city trips, cruises and last-minute trips. Another focus is rental car brokerage. In addition, the FTI Group is behind the well-known travel channel sonnenklar.tv.

Other travel companies of the group are 5vorFlug, the online travel portal fly.de and the language tour operator LAL Sprachreisen.

The company normally has an annual turnover of around 4 billion euros.

Hint: On Monday, 3 June, the FTI Group filed for bankruptcy. If you have any questions, you can find more information in the daily press. FTI has also set up an information page: https://www.fti-group.com/de/insolvenz

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4. Aida Cruises

AidaSol
On the road with the Aidasol, Image: Bjoern Wylezich / shutterstock

Aida Cruises is the cruise division of the British cruise company Carnival Corporation & plc, which is based in Genoa , Italy, and is specially tailored to the German market.

The company’s fleet includes the ships AIDAprima, AIDAstella, AIDAmar, AIDAblu, AIDAluna and AIDAsol.
The fleet’s trademark is the kissing lips with the four-color AIDA lettering. Cruises and club cruises are offered on the Mediterranean and in worldwide waters.

The ships are owned by the subsidiary Costa Crociere, with Carnival Maritime GmbH in Hamburg managing and organising fleet operations. The company also owns the cruise companies Costa Crociere and Costa Asia.

The company has a turnover of around 2 billion euros annually under good travel conditions and, according to its own information, is the market leader in cruises in Germany.

5. Alltours

Alltours Flugreisen GmbH is a German tour operator based in Düsseldorf. The Alltours group of companies also includes the Alltours-X and Byebye divisions. Since the end of Thomas Cook, Alltours has risen to become the fifth largest tour operator in Germany.

Alltours owns or has a significant stake in a number of hotels in the Mediterranean region. The company operates over 35 of its own large holiday resorts in Spain and Greece.

Today, the travel portal offers long-distance trips to exotic countries in addition to Mediterranean tours. In addition to the classic package tours, Alltours operates the pure rental of hotel rooms and holiday trips with self-arrival. In addition, the group also rents out entire holiday apartments or apartments in the company’s own holiday resorts.

Alltours is especially popular with families with children. The holiday resorts and hotels have received several awards for their child-friendliness.

Before the pandemic, sales were around 1.5 billion euros per year.

 

Article updated on 05 June 2024