BEAUTY IS AN EXPERIENCE

Dear fellow travellers,

The world around us is full of beauty, and it is important to all our lives that we can appreciate it. Travel is often prompted by the desire to discover beauty, whether in nature, in encounters with other people and cultures, or in ourselves. So we were keen to think a little harder about the precise nature of the beauty that people go looking for on their holidays, about the different ways of finding it, and about how we can preserve it for future generations.

We integrated these ideas into a dynamic process of change and development that began two years ago and included a complete repositioning of the Kuoni brand. The central elements of this comprehensive transformation were presented in the first Kuoni Brand Report in 2008: from the new corporate values and new image, to innovative product lines and services, to the “Getaway Council”, Kuoni’s forum for thinking way beyond our industry’s usual parameters. By taking these important steps, Kuoni was continuing its centurylong tradition as a travel business pioneer, and setting the course for a successful future. Over the last year we have won yet more awards for our work and received a lot of positive feedback about our distinctive products and services, as well as about the high quality of our communications.

We live in increasingly complex times.

People’s needs are becoming more individualised and differentiated, making it harder to lump them into simple trends. As a leading premium travel company, we have to penetrate deeper into the zeitgeist of the 21st century, continuously developing new concepts so our travel offerings meet the needs of even the most demanding person.

Our 2009 Brand Report focuses on the theme “beauty is an experience”. We do not, of course, claim to be making any great contribution to the philosophical debate about the nature of beauty – but we can learn from this debate. At least since Kant and the philosophy of sensibility, we have known that beauty is not an objective quality, but that it’s based on our subjective perception of things around us. To put it simply, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To go back even further, the ancient Greeks developed a concept of inner beauty based on the nature of a person’s soul and character rather than on the way he or she looks.

Both aspects can provide important insights into the future of travel. In our industry, beauty is still usually understood in a very simple way: beautiful beach, beautiful hotel, beautiful landscape. But for Kuoni, the idea of beauty is also to do with a person’s state of mind and subjective perceptions. This kind of beauty can reveal itself in very different situations and experiences – on the Seychelles, in

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