Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Patrick Richards
Occupation: President Cox and Kings USA/Chief Commercial Officer Cox and Kings Group
College: University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
College major: Political history
YouTube: Cox & King, The Americas
Short bio: Patrick Richards is President of Cox & Kings, The Americas, and Chief Commercial Officer for the Cox & Kings group, where he plays a critical role in the strategic growth of the 260-year-old brand. Drawing experience from his preceding role as Chief Operating Officer and an extensive background in the tourism industry, Richards is able to foster relationships with key global partners, administering the company’s growing U.S. presence. He also holds an executive role in Cox & Kings’s sister company Ezeego1 Ltd., where he sits on the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining Cox & Kings, Richards was a core member of the management team at Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA), a small London based wholesaler which grew remarkably over 25 years to become a global leader and pioneer in the hotel bedbank and groups segments. Richards’s responsibilities included leading roles in GTA’s group business sector, overseeing a sales territory from India to the Americas, and re-engineering the company’s inbound business to meet market needs. With the original founders selling out in 2005, GTA transitioned through various owners and corporate structures, including the Cendant Corporation; Blackstone’s private equity owned Travelport, before finally being sold to Kuoni Travel in 2011. Throughout this transition, which involved intense business and cultural changes, Richards was able to reposition the company effectively for the new era.
Richards demonstrates his support for the tourism industry through his participation in a number of leading trade associations, including the World Travel and Tourism Council, the UK India Business Council, and the European Tourism Association, where he was chairman for seven years and has served as Board Director since 2014. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of East Anglia (UK) where he studied political and economic history.
How often do you fly? Seven or eight times per month.
How many countries have you been to? I don’t count, but well past my century.
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Traveling to Calpe, Spain in 1968. I can recall the medieval castles, the orange groves, the shimmering heat, the Franco-era policemen, oh and my dad bumping into a giant cactus in the dark on the first night!
Favorite American city: New York. Miami is a close second.
Favorite international city: Kyoto, Japan.
Least favorite country: Every country has its own charm if you are open to it, but I was once scarred by a bad experience in Hannover, Germany; I’ll settle for that.
I have no desire to go to: Back to Caracas, given the current regime.
Friendliest people in the world: The Indians.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Exiting Cartagena, Columbia is a bit of a drag (arriving by contrast, is great). Russian officials can be pretty glum too.
Favorite World Heritage Site: The Taj Mahal.
Favorite airline: Qatar Airways.
Favorite aircraft type: A380.
Aisle or window: Window (I like to gaze).
Favorite airport lounge: Heathrow, they have done a great job with the new lounges at Terminal 5.
Favorite U.S. airport: Indianapolis International Airport.
Favorite international airport: Changi Airport Singapore.
Favorite hotel: TUTC Chamba Camp, Ladakh.
Favorite cruise line: Azamara.
Favorite travel credit card: Amex.
Favorite island: El Hierro in the Canary Islands.
Favorite beach: Godrevy, Cornwall England.
Favorite National Park: Okavanga Botswana.
Favorite fancy restaurant: La Terrazza at Eden Hotel Rome.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Das 1219—Girona, Spain.
Favorite airport restaurant: Sushi Kyotatsu Narita—Narita International Airport.
Favorite bar: Chiringuito Leiva, L’Antilla Spain.
Favorite fruit: Melon.
Favorite food: Japanese.
Least favorite food: Lebanese.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Any good French wine like a Montrachet.
Favorite travel movie(s): Searching For Sugar Man.
Favorite travel show(s): The ones put together by my friends at Altour.
Favorite travel podcast(s): BBC Radio’s “Crossing Continents.”
Favorite travel book(s): “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” by Laurie Lee.
Right now I am reading: “Transcription” by Kate Atkinson.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Skift, Tnooz, Tauck’s Musings from Colin’s World.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Ezeego1
5 things you bring on a plane:
- A laptop
- A wooly jumper
- An open mind to my travelling companions
- My running shoes for the other side
- Polygon word puzzles
What do you always seem to forget?
- To renew my passport when it gets full…
What do you like least about travel? Eternal angst over jetlag.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Socks—too many embarrassing holes in the current collection.
Favorite travel app(s): Uber.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Waving goodbye to my family at Delhi airport, as I was barred from boarding due to my visa being expired.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: New Zealand.
Worst travel moment: Jumping over a cleaning lady’s water bucket to make an urgent visit to a loo in Charles de Gaulle airport.
What’s your dream destination? I’ve not skied in Hokkaido, Japan, which looks stunning.
Favorite travel charity: Just A Drop.
Best travel tip: Keep your heart open, your head on, and respect the locals.