Luxury tour operator Kuoni is to buy Cotravel, a Swiss provider of educational travel, for an undisclosed sum.


Founded in 1986, Cotravel sells primarily through reader offers in Swiss newspapers and magazines. It offers arts and culture or science-themed tours with expert guides in locations worldwide.


The company turns over about £3 million a year and employs eight staff, who will all keep their jobs.


When the sale is completed on January 1, 2009, the Cotravel brand will be retained and the current management will still be responsible for the development of the business.


Kuoni Group executive board spokesman Max E Katz said the acquisition was in line with the operator’s strategy to grow within the premium sector.


“In acquiring Cotravel, we are underlining both the importance to us of the kind of exclusive and sustainable travel products that we already offer in Switzerland through our ananea and cultimo product lines and the further growth potential that we see in these areas,” he said.