March 26, 2010 in George's Observations by George
I read this week that the Four Seasons Maui is now in default. Wow. This popular Maui resort has a very loyal following. Yet, even with the big name a great reputation and the beautiful beaches of Maui, it was unable to avoid bankruptcy. Does this event and other high-end hotel defaults indicate that luxury travel is dead?
Dead no, but changing yes. People want nice, but are looking for value. The Four Seasons Maui averages $425 per night plus taxes. You can feed a family of four for almost a month for the same amount as one night at the Four Seasons Maui. Stay for seven nights and throw in airfare for four at $500 a ticket and you have spent over $5k before buying food and optional tours.
People will always want the nicest they can afford. However, there has been a paradigm shift in how people view opulence and luxury.
- Deluxe is in.
- Opulence is out.
- Best value is in.
- Extravagance is out.
Big spenders? Not anymore. Consider that the average amount of money people gambled with in Las Vegas was a mere $580.
Purveyors of leisure escapes that recognize value for the dollar is the key to success will prosper. People who cling to the belief that people will blow money on opulence will continue to dwindle.
September 13, 2009 in George's Observations by George
Major societal events seem to have a 10 year impact. In the 40’s, WWII led African-Americans and Women to make contributions that would open the door for equality. However, the horror of Nazi Germany and the Atom bomb led to America to put blinder on during the Nifty Fifties, which delayed the civil rights movement, which led to the turmoil of the 60’s. The recession and drug hangover of the 70’s led to preppy look and extravagance of the 80’s. The 90’s and early 2000 were the era of unbridled greed by just about everyone. Which all led to us being broke and very frugal now. You see society moves in 10 year cycles. The tough economy has changed America for probably ten years.
We Americans are once again a frugal bunch. We’re not splurging on anything. Extravagance is now an embarrassing thing. So how does this fundamental shift impact your business if you made your living selling deluxe travel? In my humble opinion, if you market luxury travel as a product, you have a problem. Make no mistake there is still a market for luxury travel. However, it needs to be marketed as a deluxe experience. Focus less on the actual product annd more on the actual experience. People will respond to experiential travel marketing. Detail how they will interact with the people and places they will see, not the fact that they are going to just see them.My Two Cents,