Gold taps and marble floors – what is luxury?
The biggest travel trade show in the UAE, the Arabian Travel Market is fast approaching. I have been receiving many meeting requests and the most common question I seem to receive is… “Do you have luxury desert safaris?”. After receiving that question more than a few times, it made me sit back in my chair and think to myself… do we?
I started thinking that the biggest luxury for me right now would be a quiet day with my wife where my phone isn’t ringing off the hook; to others, luxury may be time spent with their kids, the chance to get away from the stress of their day to day life, having others cook and clean for them; in fact everyone has a different idea of luxury.
It seems that the modern traveller is less interested in having gold taps, marble flooring and fine china and more interested a return to austerity, with a healthy dose of respect for the sustainable and a love of the natural and genuine. We live the ethos of less is more and know that creating an environment for our guests to relax, I mean truly relax, where they can sit for hours with their families, friends or colleagues without distraction, is more about what we don’t do, than what we do. We have to ensure that all of our internal procedures are hidden away, that our service delivery is faultless and that there is a complete absence of anything that would distract, annoy or disappoint our guests. Basically, we have to make the incredibly difficult look easy.
This is why we have been gifted with many corporate groups choosing our desert venue for their incentive groups, company functions, annual parties and the venue to host their international VIP’s or potential clients. They are more interested in spending quality time together, bonding disparate team members together or letting their hair down after work than being concerned with unpunctual, untrained staff, dirty vehicles, bad food and venues filled with kitsch décor.
We will never get it right all the time as we have to work with Mother-nature, human nature and 60 year old Land Rovers. Yet, we will stop at nothing to make sure that despite any obstacles in our way, we will endeavour to create lasting memories for our guests by taking responsibility and action for the process from beginning to end. It is this guiding principle, taking on this responsibility and not asking our guests to, which I feel defines luxury.
So to answer the question, YES we offer a luxury experience. But shouldn’t assuming responsibility for the authenticity, quality and value of your product and service be the norm for every company? I guess until the day comes when that is the case, I can hold off the order for gold taps and marble floors for our camp.