Peter Kerkar first joined Cox & Kings as General Manager of its London head office in October 1996 at the age of just 23. He had been brought up in Mumbai, India, the son of hotelier Ajit Kerkar, who was the driving force behind the growth of the Taj group of luxury hotels. Peter graduated from Stanford University, USA, with a BA in Anthropology.
Cox & Kings has a long history at the heart of the British establishment - its roots stretching all the way back to 1758, with the company’s heritage involved in banking and shipping, largely related to the military and the administration of the British Empire.
Leisure travel, however, was a relatively recent strand of business which had emerged out of the shipping company, and when Peter joined Cox & Kings Travel it was a small, niche business, predominantly known as specialists in travel to the Indian subcontinent and special interest natural history tours.
Under his tenure, Cox & Kings soon diversified to sell Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Russia, India and the Far East.
In 2011, they acquired the UK-based company Holidaybreak Plc, an education and activity travel group that includes successful and widely recognised brands such as PGL, NST, Explore, Superbreak and Meininger Hotels.
For almost 30 years Peter has been the driving force behind the growth of Cox & Kings from a niche tour operator in 1986 to the major global travel company it is today. Peter, who is based in the UK, as the group CEO is responsible for the overall leadership, strategy, global centralised buying and international growth of Cox & Kings and its subsidiaries.
He was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2015.