Vural Öger - his life and careerpath

German-Turkish entrepreneur, politician and investor.

The German-Turkish entrepreneur, politician and investor Vural Öger is owner and Chairman of the tour operator V.Ö. Travel, the flight operator Öger Türk Tur, the incoming agency Holiday Plan, the hotel chain Majesty Hotels & Resorts and the consulting firm Öger Consulting.

Vural Öger was born 1942 in Ankara, Turkey. When he was eighteen years old, he moved to Germany to study engineering at the Technical University in Berlin. After having worked part time at the travel agency of the university, he discovered a niche in the market: Offering direct flights from Germany to Turkey for the many “Gastarbeiter” that had come to Germany since the 1950s. He moved to Hamburg and founded his first travel agency in 1969. After his instant success, he started chartering more and more flights from Hamburg to many cities in Turkey and founded the flight operator Öger Türk Tur (ÖTT), which quickly became the specialist in flights between Germany and Turkey.

The rapid growth of ÖTT in the 1980s led to the founding of the tour operator Öger Tours- with Öger Tours he started promoting Turkey as a holiday destination for German tourists. Vural Öger thus became the pioneer of Turkish tourism in Germany and turned Turkey into one of the most popular destinations for German sun seekers. Within a few years, with 1.2 million passengers and a turnover of about 700 million Euros annually, Öger Tours became the largest travel company for trips to Turkey.

Aside from his business activities, Vural Öger has always been engaged in strengthening German-Turkish cultural, political and economic relations and encouraging cross-cultural exchange. In 2001 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit of Germany and in the same year the Order of Merit by the Republic of Turkey. Between the years 2004-2009 Vural Öger was a member of the European Parliament in Brussels for the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).

After Vural Öger sold the Öger Tours brand to Thomas Cook in 2010, he became Supervisory Board Member of Thomas Cook AG and held this position until September 2013. His other companies however remained part of the Öger group. While Vural Öger passed all operative and management tasks to his daughter Nina Öger, he remained the supervising body for all strategic decisions.

At present Vural Öger is Chairman of the Öger Group, which includes the charter flight company Öger Türk Tur, the hotel chain Majesty and the travel agency Holiday Plan and the consultancy firm Öger Consulting. In November 2013 he founded the "youngest" firm in his group, the tour operator V.Ö. Travel. 

Starting August 2014 Vural Öger will be part of the jury in the TV business show Höhle der Löwen- the German version of the US program “Shark Tank” and the UK show “Dragon’s Den.