Robert Avery founded Habsburg Heritage Cultural Tours in 1989 as the post-war map of Europe changed for ever. From 1971 he had helped run the Anglo-Austrian Society and Anglo-Austrian Music Society that had encouraged exchange and understanding between the peoples of both countries. Concert tours by the Vienna Boys Choir, and visits by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Spanish Riding School helped fund a worthwhile programme of educational exchanges for young people. Youth orchestras and choirs participated in the Youth and Music Festival in Vienna and charter flights were pioneered to encourage travel at modest cost.
In a changing world Habsburg Heritage had the aim of bringing the culture of central Europe to the British public through a carefully selected programme of visits to the cities and countryside of the region and to smaller music festivals.