Luxury travelers adopt ‘eco values’

Isaac Mostovicz writes that leisure with a conscience is the way forward for a recession hit travel industry...

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Interesting new developments in luxury travel that offer the “sophisticated” traveller sustainable options have recently surfaced. These are tagging onto the growing trend of eco tourism by combining high-end luxury and ecology.

Eco Luxury, a collaboration between a number of luxury resorts around the globe, is one example. It gives travellers the opportunity to observe and even participate in local community projects while on location. The resorts are also built in a sustainable way.

One of them, the Al Tarfa Desert Sanctuary in Egypt, was created by local masons using forgotten construction techniques, and a large number of families and societies were hired and supported to tailor-make the lodge’s building, furnishings and decoration.
99 per cent of the lodge employees are also from the local area.

Another example, with a slightly different take, is the Cacao Pearl Resort built on a private island in the Philippines. As the worlds first not-for-profit eco resort, it can truly offer visitors peace of mind because it donates a whopping 100 per cent of its operating profits to local environment protection and social improvements.

As the recession has changed luxury consumption (perhaps forever), and today’s luxury consumers don’t necessarily want to flaunt extravagant consumption, offering luxury with a clear conscience is a smart move. This should also appeal to both Theta and Lambda types; Theta’s will be attracted by the social capital that this holistic leisure retreat offers, whilst Lambdas will appreciate the combination of achievement and uniqueness entwined – both of which are part of Lambda’s ultimate life purpose.

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