Martin founded the company in 1988 to combine his background and continuing passion for art history and music with what he had learnt from ten years in the travel business. He has a BA (Hons) in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London University, and studied aesthetics in the Philosophy Department York University. After a number of temporary and part-time posts in the museum world, and spending a year in both Italy and Germany, he turned to specialist tour operating. He stepped down as Chief Executive in April to take on the new role of Creative Director. This allows him to retain a leading role in the planning of the company’s tours and festivals and in shaping company strategy, policies and practices. He has been on the board of ABTA, the Association of Independent Tour Operators, Classical Opera and History Today.