Geoffrey Kent

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Kent in 2015

Geoffrey JW Kent, born July 14, 1942 is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent, an international luxury travel company. He is credited with introducing the first luxury photographic African Safari [1] in 1962.

Early life[edit]

Geoffrey Kent was born while his parents, Colonel John and Valerie Kent, were on safari in Zambia.

Kent attended the Duke of York School in Nairobi and then the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, He saw service in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Malta. .[2]

Professional career[edit]

While in the British Army, he joined his parents in founding Abercrombie & Kent. Influenced by his time in the military, Kent repositioned the safari experience as a "hunt with a camera, not with a gun"[3] and introduced the first mobile tented safari's with refrigeration that made it possible to have fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and ice in the bush.[4]

By 1967, Kent's parents retired and he transformed Abercrombie & Kent from a service providing luxury safari camps and lodges [5] to a more general luxury travel service. [6]

Kent pioneered travel by private jet with The Royal Air Tour in 1989, having been the first to feature the Concorde Supersonic Jet with British Airways.[7]

Awards and Council[edit]

Kent is a founding member of the World Travel and Tourism Council[8] He served as a Chairman of the council for 6 years. He was inducted into the British Travel and Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame[9] on April 17, 2012, for inventing the concept of experiential travel and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards[10] in 2014.

Kent has been appointed the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kenya to Monaco.

Television[edit]

To the Ends of the Earth with Geoffrey Kent aired on the USA Network in 1994[11] with Lauren Hutton in Papua New Guinea and James Brolin in Kenya. The series received two nominations for the Cable ACE Award.

Philanthropy[edit]

In 1982 Kent and then wife Jorie Butler Kent founded Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, a non-profit organization for protecting ecosystems and wildlife that also supports local communities. It was recognized by the World Travel and Tourism Council's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, Condė Nast Traveler with their World Savers Award[12] for leadership in social responsibility, and by Travel + Leisure with their Global Vision Award[13] for Leadership in Philanthropic Travel.

Personal life[edit]

He had one son with first wife, Andrea Joss. In the 1970s, he began working with Jorie Ford Butler of Oak Brook, Illinois, to expand Abercrombie & Kent in the United States. They married in 1978. He married Otavia Jardim in 2010 and they have two children.

Kent was a player as Captain of the Rolex/Abercrombie & Kent team polo team, winning the U.S. Open twice, the U.S. Gold Cup, the Cartier International , and the World Open Championship. He served as captain and patron of the Windsor Park polo team [14]

References[edit]