Luxury holidays & the Art of Spending Money


(Charter a yacht for your next holiday. Photo from Sunseeker)

Paradiso, the new tour operator brand launched by the Sahara group focuses only on premium & exotic holidays – Scottish castles, French vineyards, Caribbean beaches, Fancy yachts – the whole caboodle. I like the idea and have been mulling over the execution of such a model for some time. The problems are obvious, notably the size of the market & the sales delivery method. But for a player ready to slowly and carefully build a brand, the medium to long-term value creation from such a business can be significant. After all, India is creating an uber-rich class faster than any other country on earth with the possible exception of China. And clearly ‘Experiences’ are trumping ‘Things’ as the true indulgences. So the need is there, which is an excellent starting point. The question is – have Indians, even rich Indians, got to the point where spending over USD 15,000 (Rs 6 lakhs) on a luxury holiday is ‘natural’? My conversations with a number of friends in the tour operator business & our own experience on HolidayIQ tells me that it is starting to slowly happen, especially among the younger rich.

Which brings me to another point. I am absolutely convinced that for Indians, the ‘Art of Spending Money’ is a tougher one to master than the art of earning money, simply because we will have to unlearn generations of our own mindset. (I am just back from another one of my ‘holiday observation trips’, this time to Hong Kong and it was obvious that the Chinese have a natural flair for spending money which we do not have). As Indians get richer, I am sure we will figure out how to spend money. The faster that happens, the easier Paradiso & others of its ilk will find life.

Click here to find out about a holiday in outer space,

Click here to find other posts around luxury holidays,

And finally, here is my selection of the Top 5 Holidays for Winter 2007.