The twenty-three-year-old David Hosking arrived in London in 1976 with a degree in agriculture from New Zealand’s Canterbury University, a keen interest in foreign cultures and history, a personal love of travel and a dream. It appears that this unique combination of qualifications and aspirations started Hosking on his career in the travel industry, leading ultimately to the positions he holds today of global managing director of Contiki Tours International Ltd. and director of Travcorp S.A.
Hosking started with Contiki Tours in 1976 as driver of a tour bus, soon assuming responsibility for long overland trips from Europe to India, through countries such as Jordan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nepal. The political unrest of the late nineteen-seventies in many of these countries lessened their attraction for tourists, eventually forcing Contiki’s decision to stop using these routes and look for alternate destinations. To this end, Hosking was sent to his homeland, New Zealand, where he established Contiki operations and served as operations manager. After a year in this position he was again transferred, this time to Australia to set up Contiki operations there. Once the Australian office was fully operational, Hosking relocated to the United States, with Los Angeles as his home base, where he set up Contiki USA. During this time, he was president of the American operations, fully responsible for both outbound and inbound activities. In April 1987, after four years in the US and a promotion to managing director of Contiki Europe, Hosking – by this time a family man with a wife and small son – moved back to London with his family.
1989 was a year of change for Contiki Tours, when it was bought by Trafalgar Tours. Trafalgar Tours later evolved into The Travel Corporation, incorporating both Contiki and Trafalgar into the group, which is, today, a highly successful international travel group including more than 25 brands ranging from boutique cruises, to luxury hotels and exclusive tour operators.
David Hosking joined the board of TTC in 2000, and his involvement in the company spans many areas, including the building and development of TTC projects. He manages several brands, while also serving on the boards of many subsidiary companies.
The ever-increasing awareness of environmental issues has not passed TTC by, and another of Hosking’s responsibilities is the Conservation Foundation – a non-profit organization founded and supported by the group’s companies. The Conservation Foundation is dedicated to supporting projects that encourage sustainable tourism in priority environmental areas. The Foundation recently announced its cooperation with Celine Cousteau, well-known environmentalist, with the aim of educating tourists on the threats that marine ecosystems are facing.
Nyon, Switzerland, is home today to David Hosking and his family where, in his free time, he enjoys a variety of sports.