Our story

Alfred Kuoni launched his pioneering travel agency in Switzerland in 1906. He was a total visionary, an adventurer and explorer, opening up new destinations and experiences across the globe.


Kuoni grew to be the biggest travel company in Switzerland and arrived in the UK in 1965. Since then, Kuoni has grown to become the country’s leading longhaul tour operator, has picked up over 200 service and travel awards and has opened over 40 beautiful Kuoni stores.


Kuoni purchases Challis and Benson in London’s Bond Street.


Peter Diethelm establishes the Kuoni UK tour operation.


Kuoni takes 2000 UK visitors to the Expo 70 exhibition in Japan, and introduces the first holiday charter flight to the Far East.


Kuoni takes over Houlders World Holidays and launches a longhaul tour programme. The tour operation relocates to new headquarters in Dorking.


Kuoni installs a computerised reservations system, revolutionising the speed and flexibility of tailor-making holidays.


Kuoni introduces its first collection of summer holidays to Switzerland..


Kuoni wins the first Travel Weekly award for Britain’s Best Longhaul Tour Operator.


Kuoni operates the first chartered Concorde flight to the Caribbean.


Kuoni offers the first round-the-world holiday by Concorde and introduces the first charter flight to the Maldives.


We launch the KUDOS Reservations System for travel agents, the first system to offer considerable flexibility.


Kuoni is the first travel company to win both the TTG and Travel Weekly Best Longhaul Operator award for 10 years in a row.


Kuoni wins first ever award for ‘World’s Best Tour Operator’ at the World Travel Awards and Kuoni acquires Voyages Jules Verne.


Kuoni is the first UK tour operator to offer online booking.


Kuoni World Class is launched, a collection of the world’s finest handpicked holidays.


Sue Biggs becomes MD and Peter Diethelm remains Executive Chairman.


Kuoni wins Travel Weekly’s Best Longhaul Tour Operator award for the 20th consecutive year.


Peter Diethelm retires after 40 years.


Kuoni Group celebrates its centenary and Kuoni UK arranges an epic Cairo to Cape journey for charity. Kuoni also picks up 25 awards this year and acquires Journeys of Distinction and Kirker Holidays.


Kuoni is voted Travel Weekly’s Best Longhaul Tour Operator for the 25th year and the Daily Mail’s Favourite Longhaul Tour Operator. Kuoni acquires CV Travel.


Kuoni launches new-look brochures and we open our first two Kuoni stores in Kensington and Manchester. We also acquire luxury travel company, Carrier.


Kuoni picks up awards including Favourite Family Tour Operator at the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards. Kuoni stores open in Bristol, Bluewater, Milton Keynes and Knightsbridge.


Kuoni wins Favourite Family Tour Operator at the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards for the second year in a row. We also pick up the Travel Agents Choice Award for the Indian Sub-Continent and are named Star Wedding & Honeymoon Operator at the Travel Bulletin Awards. Kuoni stores open in Solihull, Cheltenham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Meadowhall.


Derek Jones takes over as MD. Kuoni Explore magazine is launched, as well as a collection of responsible tourism holidays called Ananea. We become a Which? Recommended Provider and pick up numerous awards, including Best Luxury Tour Operator at the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards. We open stores in Dorking, Cambridge, London City, Leeds, Kingston, Guildford, Canterbury, Chichester, Winchester and Stratford.


We become the exclusive travel partner of John Lewis and pick up numerous awards, including Best Honeymoon Company at the Perfect Wedding magazine awards. We open new Kuoni stores in branches of John Lewis, including Southampton, London’s Oxford Street, Reading and Cardiff. We also open a Kuoni store in Manchester’s Trafford Centre.


Kuoni launches its first TV advert in the UK. We also launch Stay & Cruise holidays and pick up seven awards. Kuoni at John Lewis stores open in Leicester, Brent Cross, Aberdeen and Welwyn Garden City.


Kuoni becomes one of the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For in the mid-sized category. We launch a responsive website so you can view it easily on your mobile and introduce webchat. We launch a new all-inclusive brochure, pick up eight awards and partner with Ski Independence to offer ski holidays. We also open Kuoni at John Lewis stores in Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway and Norwich; as well as Kuoni stores in High Wycombe and the Metrocentre in Gateshead.


Kuoni launches a new ‘Find your amazing’ TV advert, featuring a synchronised swimmer in the Maldives running on water. Kuoni partners with Neilson to offer activity holidays, opens a new Kuoni store in Chester and is voted Best Large Luxury Tour Operator at the Telegraph’s Ultra Travel 100 Awards. Kuoni Group also sells Kuoni UK to DER Touristik, part of the REWE Group.


Kuoni opens new stores in Edinburgh, Leeds, Lakeside, Harrogate, Glasgow, Bromley, Cheadle, St Albans and Chelmsford. Kuoni picks up awards including Best Large Luxury Holiday Company at the British Travel Awards; Best Large Luxury Tour Operator at the Daily Telegraph Ultratravel Awards; and Best Long-Haul Operator (multi-destination) at the Travel Weekly Globe Awards. We were also named one of the Sunday Times’ 100 Best Mid-sized Companies to Work For. At the end of the year, Kuoni launched its new ‘Travel out of the ordinary’ campaign, which included a TV advert directed by Luke Losey, who has created campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Mulberry, as well as films, music videos and live shows for bands ranging from The Libertines to The Verve.


Our ‘Travel out of the ordinary’ campaign kicks off the year. We launch a new Travel Trends Report for journalists, a new Honeymoons magazine for our customers and Kuoni becomes part of the newly-formed ATAS, the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers. We also bring back our Worldwide College for travel agents, helping them train with the travel experts to become travel experts themselves. We open two new Kuoni at John Lewis stores in Cheadle and Oxford; and also exhibit at the BBC’s Countryfile Live show for the first time at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Our awards list also increases, winning Best Large Luxury Holiday Company, Best Holiday Company to the Indian Ocean and Best Holiday Company to East and Central Asia at the British Travel Awards. We also pick up Best Wedding Travel Company at the UK Wedding Awards and are again voted one of The Sunday Times’ 100 Best Companies to Work For.


‘Our experience makes yours’ is our focus this year, ensuring our customers get to talk to a travel expert who has actually been there, so we share the very best advice. We open a new Kuoni at John Lewis White City store; and Kuoni at Peter Jones in Chelsea. Kuoni teams up with TV presenter Anita Rani for a UK tour; and, after 44 years at Kuoni House in Dorking, the headquarters moves to Touristik House in Dorking.