Before privatisation in 1992, Intourist was the official state travel agency of the Soviet Union. It was founded in 1929 by Joseph Stalin and was staffed by NKVD and later KGB officials. Intourist was responsible for managing the great majority of foreigners' access to, and travel within, the Soviet Union. One witticism of the Cold War period characterized Intourist by stating that "Intourist is to tourism what indigestion is to digestion." In 2011 VAO Intourist established the Joint Venture with Thomas Cook Group plc with the share of 49.9 % and 50.1% respectively. The incoming business within the JV was fully transferred to the Intourist LLC that will continue to expand the touroperating services and host tourists on the traditionally high level.