Luxury Travel – The Effects of the Recession and the Boom Bust Cycle

The current recessionary environment sweeping the world has been notable for both its severity, and also its wide ranging scope. Travel, and in particular luxury tourism, is sentiment-driven consumption, and is therefore highly susceptible to the current recessionary mindset.

The decision to travel requires the means and the will. In a recessionary environment, both of these factors can be affected. The effects of a recession on the means are obvious: jobs are lost; investment portfolios are compromised and devalued. What is less obvious however is the effect of a recessionary mindset on the will to travel. Tourism is all about feeling good. People take luxury tours to enjoy themselves. Even though a recessionary environment might not affect the personal means of certain market segments, the general negative environment surrounding a recession is often enough to take away the feel-good factor, and therefore the will to proceed with a sentiment driven purchase.

The inbound New Zealand tourism industry is in a unique position in that our distance from almost all of our major markets makes travel to this country expensive. The cost of getting to New Zealand further encourages travelers to stay longer, thereby making their vacation even more comparatively expensive. Recognizing this paradigm, the New Zealand Tourism Industry has through the years focused on the value added segments of the tourism industry, including the luxury sector. This is an understandable position to take but does the inevitable high cost/value positioning of our tourism product make us more susceptible to recessionary down-turns? The answer to this question is complex. Our high cost/value tourism product feeds directly into a boom-bust cycle of demand. The higher cost aspect of our tourism makes us highly susceptible to the downturn of an economic cycle -the bust! Ironically however, while the distance to New Zealand underpins our high cost tourism product, it also makes the demand for the same high value product non-perishable. Put simply, a trip of this magnitude is anticipated so much that the desire to do it remains for many years even if current economic circumstances do not allow it. Any demand that is unfulfilled does not perish, but is simply deferred until circumstances improve, with a resulting deferred boom in the industry.

In summary then, the relatively isolated location of New Zealand makes it highly susceptible to a boom-bust tourism cycle. In a recessionary phase, the high comparative cost of our tourism product exacerbates a drop in demand. However the high comparative value of our luxury tourism product often results in that drop in demand being deferred until the recessionary cycle is over, with a resulting tourism boom.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Luxury, Family and Trekking Holidays in Nepal Need Not Be Mutually Exclusive

Kathmandu

Landing in Kathmandu can be daunting: it’s set in the stunning Kathmandu Valley and is home to a twelfth of Nepal’s total population. Raised 1400m above sea level, this literally breathtaking city is worth easing your way into. Therefore it’s best to make yourself at home at Dwarikas hotel, the pinnacle of Luxury Holidays to Nepal. This lovingly created property is the personal project of Dwarika Das Shrestha who bought the land in the late 1950s and over 20 years curated an elaborate personal-home-cum-hotel. The hotel, still owned by his family, is a unique homage to Nepalese culture and the perfect place to unwind and get your bearings in Kathmandu. Perfect for family holidays to Nepal, the hotel has all the facilities you could hope for in your attempts to cleanse your mind body and soul. Educate yourself in the library, bathe in the pool inspired by 12th-century royal baths, or indulge yourself in the Pancha Kosha Spa. Once you are well and truly rested have a wonder around the fascinating temples of Kathmandu. The key areas and sites being: Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Swayambunath.

If you feel touched by the spirituality of these places – wander over to the Kopan Monastery and wonder whether you might find inner peace through one of their 10-day introductory courses. A different breed of Nepal holidays: 6:30am starts, half-day silences, and guidance from Western sanghas and Tibetan lamas make this both an intimidating and intimate opportunity for those genuinely intrigued by Buddhist culture.

With your appetite building head back to the hotel and eat at one of the three in house restaurants specialising in Nepali, Japanese, and fusion cuisines respectively. Or if you want something a bit different why not try Chez Caroline. In a former royal stable house, this little French haven serves up very respectable gastro cuisine. With steak, wild-mushroom tart, imported cheeses and Pastis liqueur on the menu you might be shocked to find yourself in a lush outdoor courtyard in Kathmandu.

Read the rest of this entry »

Cape Town Accommodation Travel And Tourism For The Gay Community

CAPE TOWN GAY LEGISLATION

South Africa has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world and outlaws homophobia (hate speech on the grounds of sexual orientation is illegal), protects the sanctity of same-sex relationships and new legislation has acknowledged homosexual marriages. This being said it does not mean that Cape Town is less african than the rest of the continent. It only means that laws have been put in place to protect its citizens.

DE WATERKANT VILLAGE

The pinnacle of gay Cape Town has to be De Waterkant village in Green Point, that breaks free from the boundaries of what is normally defined as being exclusively gay. With its cosy cafes, multi-functional restaurants, delightful guest houses, chic designer shops and pulsating night life, it has transformed itself into a most pleasing community. But dont think that this is where the pink map of Cape Town ends, all along the Atlantic seaboard, guest houses, tearooms and exquisite break-away spots can be found that embrace the power of the pink.

Read the rest of this entry »