Three months ago, Thomas Cook, a 178-year-old British tour operator, collapsed, stranding over 600,000 travelers and jeopardizing 21,000 jobs. Egyptian mogul Samih Sawiris acquired its German Subsidiary through his Raiffeisen Touristik (RT) Group .
Orascom Development released a statement disclosing that hundreds of German tour companies are to operate under RT, which already supervises Thomas Cook Netherlands, Otto Resland brand, in addition to 700 other travel agencies across the world.
Through RT, the Egyptian billionaire owns hotels in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Switzerland; he also plans to establish 35 new projects in Morocco and Montenegro.
Brexit has taken its toll on many British businesses with the lowering of the pound and according to CNN Business, the company had reported a loss of USD 1.9 billion for the six months leading up to March 31. Furthermore, Thomas Cook’s business model of flying customers on its own airline and then settling them in hotel rooms around the world has been pressured for years with the rise of online rivals and cheap carriers.
In German circuits, Sawiris is considered one of the country’s leading travel businessmen. He is renowned for renovating the Swiss ski village Andermatt, making it an attractive tourism hotspot.
Here in Egypt, Sawiris, the Head of Orascom Development, is best known for building El Gouna, a luxury resort town located along the coast of the Red Sea, just North of Hurghada.