I can’t believe it’s been twenty years since we started the business. So much has changed and yet so little at the same time. Our objectives, desire and passion that we set out with all those years ago still burn as bright as ever, with our goal to create a truly unique travel business remaining at the core of our existence.

I like to think of ourselves as wiser and more streamlined, despite being a little thinner on top and a little wider around the middle (apart from Sue of course, she remains the constant beauty) but still trying to bring luxury holiday happiness to all who cross our path.

Over the twenty years three questions have been consistently asked; Why did you do it? Where did the name Turquoise come from? And, where in the world would you go if money and time were no object?

The last is the easiest to answer. Place is nothing without people and even the most beautiful hotel in the world can be the loneliest if you aren’t with the one(s!) you love. Perfection is a combination of people and place, the destination being different for everyone. Remember, you can have an awful amount of fun in a Travelodge if you’re with someone you love.

Why did we do it? Twenty years ago, things were different, not necessarily better, but certainly different. Brian, Sue and I felt we could create a travel brand that put some romance and glamour back into the travel industry. We wanted to create the fashion brand of travel and whether we have succeeded or not is for others to judge, but in being different, really caring for our clients and making truly memorable holidays, I know we have excelled.

With regards to the name, 2002 was the start of the internet boom and we found it incredibly difficult to think of a name that hadn’t been already registered, despite numerous bottles of wine in Brian’s sunny back garden. In the end, Turquoise was conceived out of my admiration for the packaging and branding of Tiffany & Co.  It was their turquoise colour which I felt conjured the perfect picture of the seas and oceans which were to lie at the core of our brand. And, in a chilled Sauvignon Blanc fuelled light-bulb moment, The Turquoise Holiday Company was born.

pearl farm in tahiti

Over the years we have been lucky enough to receive some very good advice from our friends and family. Unfortunately, I have not always listened, but something we were advised was to think of was five key words which encapsulate what the brand stands for and to stick by them through thick and thin. Those words are authentic, discerning, original, refreshing and unique.

I believe these core values, twinned with consistency and simplicity have been what has made our brand so strong. Clients and suppliers are always so surprised by the size of the company, we remain small, aiming to be not the biggest, but the best. I like to think punching well above our weight, in every field.

The other strength of Turquoise and where Sue, Brian and I have been extraordinarily lucky is with our staff. Many of whom I am blessed to call friends, all with an unbelievable passion and a real spirit. This was brought out in the most amazing way during the pandemic. Even during the darkest of days, the light and fight from our team was bright, to ensure our clients were looked after, refunded and rebooked. Words cannot express my gratitude to all the staff who stood up and saw us through. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you are all amazing.

Likuliku lagoon in Fiji

So, what of the future and where will the next twenty years take us? Well, I know we have the strength of a brand for a company three times our size. I know we have the most amazing staff and a book bursting with clients who love what we do. So onwards and upwards, more of the same and new destinations to love and explore. I’d like to expand our new European offering, add to our list of the world’s most beautiful islands and continue offering bespoke tailormade holidays. We will continue to play to our strength as a family run and owned operator, focussing on family owned and run properties around the world. We must be unique, refreshing, discerning, authentic and original in everything we do, making magic happen for our clients.

The team we have are very special and I promise to look after them as well as they look after our clients. If we can achieve only this – the next twenty years will be very exciting indeed.

‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’


James Bell, Managing Director

20 years of turquoise


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