It was on a beautiful terrace in the heart of Paris that Frédéric d’Hauthuille brought together nearly a hundred partners – DMC, OT, airlines, etc. – on May 25 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his TO Authentic World.
Indeed, in 2003, this former GSA of airlines (including Spanair and Germanwings) created, at the request of a Kenyan company, the brand Zanzibar Voyages to sell the island of southern Africa, a segment of activity that was to become his credo. Colombia will follow two years later to satisfy Avianca, then Malaysia.
“It was during our participation in the Wedding Fair in 2008 at the Carrousel du Louvre that we had the idea of presenting ourselves under the umbrella brand of Monde Authentique, which would eventually become a natural choice,” he recalls. A member of the voluntary Tourcom network, Monde Authentique now offers 50 destinations, with twenty employees for some 1,600 customers per year – 45% of whom are repeaters -. Its business volume reached €7.7 million in 2022, close to the record of €8 million in 2019.
“We have above all become one of the best profitability in the profession with an average basket of 4,800 euros and a 5% net margin”, welcomes Frédéric d’Hauthuille. A financial situation which also fully satisfies Bruno Gallois, his co-shareholder in the adventure and former boss of the late-Marsans-Transtours.
20 years old, the age of maturity
“We have retained our position as a tailor-made company, each trip being developed from a blank sheet according to the tastes and expectations of the client”, he underlines. The activity is concentrated on Africa for 40% with South Africa and especially Zanzibar where a third of these customers stay, Europe with more particularly Scandinavia for 20%, and Asia including Japan and Thailand for 20% as well.
While the Asian routes were recently closed, the Zanzibar Voyages, Nortours, Safari VO and Acabao brands (acquired in 2016, 2018 and 2022 respectively) coexist alongside Authentic World. “The milestone of €10 million in business volume should be achievable this year or in 2024 knowing that we exceeded €6.3 million in May”, adds Frédéric d’Hauthuille, who considers that his “baby” has reached maturity. .
“After many disasters that have hit the profession, the Covid being the latest, the agency idling with only 5 employees, 2021 has been a rebirth and 2022 a kind of accomplishment. Authentic World has indeed become a benchmark for tailor-made travel in the same way as Voyageurs du Monde, Marco Vasco and Les Maisons”.
Enhance the expertise of the tailor-made agency
Building on this success, Frédéric multiplies the projects. First with “Le Son du Voyage”, radio podcasts to discover its most beautiful destinations, with Japan, Zanzibar, Iceland, Namibia and the Faroe Islands already being listened to. “I’m having a blast like when I was doing free radio,” recalls the man who once dreamed of becoming a journalist.
Since June 2022, he has been involved in the creation of a collective of 9 tailor-made agencies including Voyages Couture in Marseille, Le Goût du Voyage in Le Havre and Anapia in Ascain, in the Basque Country. “We share best practices and carry out discussions and projects together, on invoicing in particular, then on pooling, he explains. The ambition would be to offer customers a tailor-made common travel center in order to make our specialist and motivated salespeople work together. »
Read also :