Kuoni has teamed up with the founders of clothing brand Gandys to create a trip to Sri Lanka in the first partnership of its kind for the operator.
The itinerary, in Kuoni’s new Indian Ocean & Arabia 2019 brochure, is inspired by brothers Rob and Paul Forkan, who lost their parents in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami while travelling as a family in Sri Lanka.
It features their favourite places in Sri Lanka, where they have opened a ‘kids’ campus’ to educate children aged from four to 18.
The itinerary takes clients from the country’s cultural triangle to the coastal city of Galle via the Hill Country and Yala National Park.
Paul, whose parents took him out of school at the age of 11 to live in India and travel the world, was 15 when his parents died. Rob was 17 at the time.
The brothers, and their two siblings, who hitch-hiked 200 miles to the airport to get home to Britain, have since built up fashion brand Gandys, which funds the Orphans for Orphans charity.
Paul said: “We love travel and our brand is built around travel. Sri Lanka stood out; we know it so well and are passionate about it.”
Paul’s personal highlight is the village of Ella, known for its tea plantations and trail to Little Adam’s Peak, a hike the family went on during their fateful trip, and the Nine Arch Bridge, known as the Bridge in the Sky.
“Ella is magical. The air is so clean and the trees are golden-green. It’s like life has slowed down,” said Paul, who added that further itineraries could be in the pipeline if this one is successful.
Kuoni senior commercial manager Sheena Paton said it was the first time Kuoni had partnered with a fashion brand. “We felt the passion they have for exploring the world and creating designs inspired by travel and giving back are a great fit for our own vision and values,” she added.
Kuoni will make a donation to the kids’ campus as part of its commitment to responsible travel.
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