Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

We can encounter beauty
even in places that might not seem
very beautiful at first sight.
In our industry, beauty is still usually understood in a very simple way: beautiful beach, beautiful hotel, beautiful landscape. But given the increasing individualization of aspirations, can we still usefully impose general aesthetic standards of beauty? If perception is subjective and beauty is a matter of personal judgement, is it still possible to identify objective criteria?

Kuoni’s contemplation on a new understanding of luxury and the changing needs of today’s most discerning travellers seemed to make it necessary to think a little harder about the precise nature of the beauty that people go looking for on their holidays. Intense individual experiences grow in standing and so do the bounds of what counts as “luxury” and “beauty” in travelling.

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: 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, on a demanding expedition or while working on an aid project. The decisive thing is always the individual traveller, and his or her particular assumptions, interests, desires and intentions.

We can only find beauty through our experiences. Kuoni’s job is to create the room for these experiences. We have to find possible new paths to this kind of beauty, show them to our guests and take care of them as they make their own journeys.
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