Ferdinand Fransen

Dutch entrepreneur (1928-2021)

Ferdinand Gregorius Fransen (Enschede, 23 February 1928 – Borne, 11 July 2021) was a Dutch entrepreneur. He was director of the Dutch travel company Arke (later part of the German TUI AG). Fransen was also chairman of the football club FC Twente.


Fransen came from a working-class family. His father was a house painter who died in 1938. He played for some time with the second division team VOSTA, where he was captain of the first team. He later focused on athletics and became a champion javelin thrower. [1]

In 1944, as a 16-year-old, Fransen came to work at Travel Agency, Twenthe, which was led by Frits Arke and Jan ten Barge. In the 1950s he started the Reis- en Passagebureau Arke together with Arke and Hennie Agterhuis. After Arke retired in 1967 and Agterhuis died in 1973, Fransen was the sole director of the company. He developed the company from a company that mainly focused on bus travel to a full-fledged tour operator. In 1989 he sold forty percent of his shares to the German Touristik Union International (TUI) and in 1995 he did the same with remainder. He owned a number of hotels in the Netherlands and Spain, including Landgoed de Wilmersberg in De Lutte.[2]

In addition to his business career, Fransen was chairman of the football club FC Twente from 1977 to 1984. [3]


  1. "Ferdinand Fransen: de kantoorhulp die opklom tot miljonair". myprivacy.dpgmedia.nl. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  2. "Met Ferdinand Fransen ging een reispionier heen die ook kon delen". myprivacy.dpgmedia.nl. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  3. Heide, Ties van der (2021-07-12). "Ferdinand Fransen overleden: 'Eerst kneep hij je hand fijn, daarna kreeg je een glas Twents water'". www.rtvoost.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2022-05-23.