You say that luxury is about service – making people feel special. Do you have any pet-hates when it comes to how you are treated on your holidays?
One or two but they are petty and so venting would only make me seem grumpy!
What is your ultimate idea of luxury?
Something where the whole family is happy! I work hard so do like to rest when I go away, but I also get restless if it’s just a beach or pool… I like to be doing something. New experiences are always fun – we have just returned from Cyprus where we got to go camel riding which was fun and something I’d missed out on around 20 years ago when in the Sahara as I was feeling particularly unwell at the time, possibly from dehydration.
You are a family man with young children – how do you maintain a level of luxury when you travel with kids, and what advice would you give to parents who are hoping to do so?
I don’t think luxury travel and travelling with children are mutually exclusive. You can still enjoy luxury on a family holiday. Making sure the children are happy and entertained is I think the secret to ensuring Mum and Dad enjoy the odd luxury too.
You might be focused on luxury nowadays but you travelled independently a lot when you were younger, inter-railing, backpacking and even camping in Greenland! What has been your least luxurious travel experience?
I suppose camping in sub-zero conditions in Greenland would rank somewhere as the least luxurious. I’d still do it again, though – a fantastic experience. A luxury for the mind, rather than the body!
What would you say are the pros and cons of luxury travel compared to travelling on a budget?
I think the pros are probably obvious – you can be treated wonderfully. As for the cons, some would argue that you don’t get to truly experience different cultures and countries through luxury travel. I disagree. It all depends on what you do. Certainly, if you forever spend your time within the confines of a luxury hotel or resort, then your experiences will be limited, but there’s no reason to do this.
Go on, fill us in on your favourite off-the-beaten-track destination…Keep it to a whisper!
Is it too cheesy to say ‘home’? I live on the edge of England’s Lake District National Park, an area I think many would agree is the most beautiful corner of England. Although it’s popular with tourists, particularly in the summer months, it’s beautiful all year round. The hills here have just had their first dusting of snow and look as beautiful as ever. If anyone reading is interested, we have luxury holiday accommodation here too!
Having worked in the travel industry for over 20 years, now primarily in online tourism marketing, you have to have your finger well and truly on the travel news pulse. What travel trends do you see for 2013?
I have worked in online tourism marketing since 1993 and in tourism for a few years before that. How time has flown! There have been a lot of changes during that time – for 2013, I’m sure we’ll see more changes but I’m wary about making predictions. I think we’ll see more tourists coming to Europe from emerging countries such as China, India, Russia and Brazil. I also wonder if, maybe not in 2013 but perhaps beyond, we’ll see a backlash against technology and an increase in the appeal of places where WiFi and the like is purposefully unavailable.
Just like My Destination, your blog has recently enjoyed a revamp! We think it looks great – where are you hoping to take the site in the future? Any plans you can let us in on?
Thank you! Until recently, A Luxury Travel Blog had been a labour of love more than anything, but I was finding it was taking up more and more of my time, and I was being asked for a few too many favours than I could readily cope with, so I decided to request a modest payment for certain requests. The vast majority of people are understanding that I ultimately need to account for the time I spend on the blog, but I also felt that if I was to charge for certain services, it also needed a re-vamp (its first for 7 years!).
There’s a great mix of free and paid opportunities available on the blog and we’ll always ensure that both continue. I anticipate we’ll get an increasing number of guest bloggers getting involved as this is something that has been taking off of late. To date, the blog now has more than 200 guest bloggers and I think with this growth, we can expect the amount of great content (and traffic) continue to increase. If we don’t cover your part of the world in as much detail as you would like to see, do please get in touch!
Where haven’t you been that you’d love to explore, and why?
I would like to visit Iceland some time – it’s been on the radar for a while and our children are just getting to an age where I think they’ll get more from a trip to a place where there will be so many new and amazing experiences. I’m also keen to go to Santorini one day, just because the scenery looks so beautiful – I’ve been to Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Skiathos, but Santorini looks to hold its own unique charm.
I’m also keen to run a marathon somewhere I’ve not been. I’ve done six marathons to date and they’ve all been different (3 in England, 2 in the United States and 1 in Scotland) so am on the look-out for the next challenge… any suggestions?
A huge thanks to Paul! Don’t forget to check out A Luxury Travel Blog and follow him on Twitter.
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Category: Big Blogger Interview