History of Audley timeline
Company founder and Director, Craig Burkinshaw, leaves university and guides his own small group tours around Vietnam.
Asian Journeys is formed
Craig joins forces with fellow LSE-graduate John Brewer, to found 'Asian Journeys', a company specialising in tailor-made and group travel to Southeast Asia. The company's first brochure is produced and it takes on its first employee.
The company expands into North and Central Asia and an accompanying brochure is launched.
The Indian Subcontinent programme is launched along with an accompanying brochure.
Move to Oxfordshire
Quickly outgrowing its small premises in Northampton, which was a room above a post office, the company moves to a converted barn in the rural Oxfordshire village of Stratton Audley. An online presence is established with the launch of the first website.
Audley Travel is born
The name 'Asian Journeys' becomes obsolete with the creation of the company's South America programme. It is now that the company metamorphoses into 'Audley Travel' (the name relating to the place where its offices are at this time). A South America brochure is also launched in this year.
The original website design is superseded by something more up-to-date.
Going from strength-to-strength, the following new brochures are created: Africa Safari; North Africa and Arabia; New Zealand; Galapagos Islands. The company also receive their first ever award, which is from Wanderlust magazine.
Australia brochure launched
A new Australia brochure is launched and the company wins the following awards: Wanderlust magazine 'Best Tour Operator'; Sunday Times 'Best Small Companies to Work for'; AITO award for outstanding service.
Best Small Tour Operator
Audley moves to the New Mill in Witney, Oxfordshire, a handsome converted blanket mill on the banks of the River Windrush. The company wins the following awards: Guardian/Observer 'Best Small Tour Operator 2006'; Sunday Times 'Best Small Companies to Work for'.
Best Luxury Tour Operator
The following new brochures are launched: Canada, Alaska and the Arctic; Antarctica; Madagascar. The company wins the following awards: Guardian/Observer 'Best Small Tour Operator 2007'; Sunday Times 'Best Small Companies to Work for'; Telegraph Green Travel Awards 'Best Luxury Tour Operator'; Wanderlust magazine 'Finalist for Best Tour Operator'; AITO 3-stars award for Responsible Travel.
New updated website
A new updated website is launched. The company wins the following awards: Guardian/Observer 'Best Small Tour Operator 2008': Wanderlust magazine bronze award for website; Wanderlust magazine 'Best Tour Operator of 2008'; AITO 5-stars award for Responsible Travel; Tourism New Zealand 'Specialist Recognition award'; 'Friends of Thailand' award.
Awarded 'Best website 2009'
The new incarnation of the website is launched. The company wins the following awards: Wanderlust magazine 'Best Tour Operator of 2009'; Wanderlust Travel Awards 'Best Website 2009'; ULTRAS (Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards) 'Best Small Tour Operator Award'.
Condé Nast award
The company wins the following awards: Wanderlust Travel Awards bronze award in 'Best Website' category; Travolution Awards 'Best Tour Operator website 2010'; Condé Nast Traveller magazine 'Favourite Specialist Tour Operator 2010'.
Top website gold award
Wanderlust Travel Awards: silver award in 'Top Tour Operator' and gold in 'Top Website' category. We also launched an updated version of our website. This was one of the most comprehensive redesigns we have done to date.
Guardian Travel award and Wanderlust Gold Award
Wanderlust Travel Awards: Gold award in 'Top Tour Operator' and silver in 'Top Website'category. Guardian Travel Awards: Third for 'Best Small Tour Operator'Travolution Awards: First for 'Best Tour Operator Website'. We launched a new brochure for the USA.
Hidden Beaches is launched
In September we launched a brand new standalone website called Hidden Beaches, a hand-picked collection of beaches from around the world twinned with an excursion in another place. We continued to grow in strength with more awards flowing in, including Travolution Awards: First for 'Best Tour Operator Website'; Telegraph Travel Awards: First for 'Best Tour Operator'; we were also thrilled to be awarded the status of 'Which? Recommended Holiday Company'.
US office opens in Boston
In March we opened our first US office in Boston, Massachusetts and in May our new London office in Shepherd's Bush opened for business. We received the Guardian and Observer 'Best Small Tour Operator' award and in June were again awarded the accolade 'Which? Recommended Provider - Holiday Companies'.
Daily Telegraph Ultratravel Awards
Continuing to expand into new destinations, we added Turkey and the Caribbean. A new website was launched with a more modern design and easier navigation. We also won more awards including 'Best Small Luxury Tour Operator' in the Daily Telegraph Ultratravel Awards, 'Which? Recommended Provider' and our standing within the Sunday Times 100 best companies to work for continues.
Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards
As we celebrated our 20th anniversary, we continued to be acknowledged for our service and range of trips. In September, readers of the Times and Sunday Times voted us the Best Luxury Tour Operator in the newspapers’ Travel Awards 2016. This came close on the heels of being named Best Tour Operator in the 2015-16 Telegraph Travel Awards. We also expanded our offering in 2016 to include the Caribbean islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the British Virgin Islands.
Double Honours in the Telegraph Awards
In 2017, we received double honours in the Telegraph Travel Awards, where we won ‘Best Tour Operator’ and were named a runner-up in the ‘Best Rail Operator’ category. We were also recognised by the Times and Sunday Times in their 2017 Travel Awards, when readers voted us runner-up in the ‘Best Luxury Tour Operator’ category.