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The Skift New Luxury newsletter is our weekly newsletter focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.

Longevity isn’t necessarily a byword for quality. There are plenty of companies that have stuck around for decades but are happy to just tread water.

The key to sustained success is reinvention. Some do it better than others, but with 260 years to play with, tour operator Cox & Kings has been through its fair share of change.

How did a company associated with the British Army eventually become a giant of the luxury travel and tourism industry? It’s a fascinating story and one that plenty of other companies can learn from.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at or tweet me @paddywhyte.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

6 Looks at Luxury

Storied Tour Operator Cox & Kings Still Smoothing Out Travel’s Rough Edges: Longevity doesn’t automatically mean success. Cox & Kings has had to adapt to the needs of 21st-century tourists and the ever-changing travel market. That it’s still around after 260 years is testament to its ability to reinvent itself.

Innovative Hoteliers Tap Craft Cocktail Culture for Luxury Guests: Craft cocktail culture is based on the same principles driving change in the luxury hospitality world today: consumers’ desires for best-quality ingredients, a curated sense of place, and staff conscious of (and connected to) the local scene.

No DNA Required: Hotel Genealogy Butler Helps Visitors Discover Irish Roots: Hotel companies love to brag about providing local experiences for their guests, but few actually live up to their billing. One of Ireland’s top hotels created a job to literally help visitors find their place in the destination’s history: a genealogy butler.

India’s Outbound Tourism Spending Is Expected to Grow Rapidly: The India outbound market is already huge and doesn’t show any signs of slowing its growth. It’s about time the global travel industry started paying attention if companies hope to capture a share of the market.

Mr & Mrs Smith Targets Expansion With Crowdfunding Campaign: Mr & Mrs Smith has flown under the radar for a number of years, but now wants to use crowdfunding to raise money for expansion. It might not seem like a huge amount of cash for such an established company, but if successful, the funding should help it grow in markets like the U.S.

Volvo Believes Self-Driving Cars Will Disrupt Aviation: Busy travelers don’t love waiting at the airport for flights that might or might not be on time. But they don’t love sitting in traffic either, regardless of who’s driving. As long as gridlock is an issue, will autonomous cars really change the travel game that much?


Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Photo Credit: Sossusvlei in Namibia. Cox and Kings offers vacations to Namibia. Eric Bauer / Flickr