Luxury travel that helps reduce poverty

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

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Elite travel operators are increasingly seeking to combine the opulence of traditional safari travel with the experience of poverty more typically associated with charitable ‘gap-years’, creating a new range of range philanthropic yet luxurious holiday packages.

New York-based Artisans of Leisure have reported a 15% rise in requests to combine luxurious African trips with charitable visits to underprivileged health clinics, schools and orphanages in packages that can cost in excess of $50,000 per week.

The explicit purpose of twinning luxury with poverty is to solicit donations for the communities involved, whilst still providing the travel experience wealthy donors are accustomed to. Indeed the not-for-profit sector is increasingly seeking to muscle in on a market previously dominated by exclusive travel agents, recognising that big donations are easier to acquire from those that experience development issues first hand.

The increasing popularity of the packages has been linked to the role of celebrity campaigners such as actress Angelina Jolie and US singer Bono in raising awareness of development issues, a trend which is helping to fuel the rapid expansion of luxurious charitable travel.

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