Months after the liquidation of travel giant Thomas Cook, Raiffeisen Touristik (RT) Group, owned by Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris, acquired the German subsidiary.
The news, which was announced in a press release by Orascom Development Egypt (ODE), also revealed that hundreds of travel agencies in Germany would be redirected under RT which already overlooks Thomas Cook Netherlands, Otto Resland brand as well as 700 travel agencies.
The press release also revealed that through RT, Sawiris was expanding into the field of tourism; he currently owns hotels in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Switzerland with plans of establishing 35 hotel projects in Montenegro and Morocco.
Almost immediately after UK- based global operator Thomas Cook announced its bankruptcy after it failed to secure an emergency funding of £200m from the UK government, the German subsidiary filed for insolvency.
Thomas Cook’s liquidation resulted in the cancelling of 25,000 booked reservations in Egypt.
As such, Sawiris’ aquicisition is seen as significant as he is considered one of the leading tourism and travel businessman in Germany.
The real estate mogul’s efforts at reviving and ‘reinventing’ tourism were especially noted in terms of putting Switzerland ski village Andermatt, located in the Swiss Alps, on the global tourism map.
Sawiris is head of Orascom Development based in Egypt; he is also credited with founding El Gouna, a luxurious Egyptian resort town located near Hurghada.