Shopping worth half a million Euros or, better said, ‘luxury shopping’. When and where? This year, in Antalya. In many cases, the sums that rich Romanians spend on various things, one more expensive than the other, seem utterly unreal. Which is how paying 24.000 Euros for a seven-night stay – the equivalent of half the price of a well positioned two-room suite in Bucharest – also sounds. The luxury industry in Romania is called upon to answer the people’s need to satisfy their ‘hunger for expensive’ through an extravagant trip or to spend huge sums of money on various things.
”Once he had reached his destination in Antalya, one of our clients spent around 500,000 Euros on shopping. The people there only encounter such a tourist once in 20 years or, maybe, in a lifetime. Our partner agency there took him shopping and he bought two candelabra, which amounted to this sum”, told us Marius Pandel, CEO, Christian Tour. And this eccentric spender is not the only one around. All luxury tourists spend enormous sums, usually paying thousands of hundreds of Euros for only one trip.
Pandel remembers a seven-night stay in a villa in Maldives for which two people paid 24,000 Euros. Or another booking that he recently made for 10,000 Euros for Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic, also a seven-night stay for two, in a designated location, complete with private pool and a valet. And the examples go on.
Obviously, there are also tourists who choose traditional destinations, such as Greece, and pay up to 12,000 for it. Practically, in the last few years, luxury has become more accessible because of the development of air routes. As a consequence, tourists have easier access to fascinating destinations, such as Cape Verde, Australia or New Zeeland.
”The luxury holidays top does not include only exotic destinations and beaches on faraway shores, but also exclusivist European destinations. A simple holiday on the French Riviera can become a luxury treat if tourists will spend it on the board of a yacht, assisted by a valet and a personal cook. In the same way, a holiday in Spain or Greece can turn into something special, if the villa where tourists lodge has a bedroom with an ‘infinity’ pool”, says Mădălina Grosu, Product Manager at Happy Tour Group. Otherwise, amateurs for exotic destinations can opt for a ten-night stay in Seychelles or Bora Bora for a price as high as 20,000 Euros for two. And things don’t stop there.
Tents more luxurious than hotels
Safari experiences can be also filed under ”luxury holidays”, with lodgings in tents that are more lavish than five star hotels, situated in the middle of the natural reservations in South Africa or even in the desert. According to Mădălina Grosu, tourists who are interested in such exhilarating experiences can spend between 5.000 and 7.000 Euro for such trips.
Furthermore, the trips organized for those who want to discover unique places in the world, such as Easter Island, the Antarctic or Patagonia, can also be considered luxury holidays. ”Generally, moneyed Romanians have three or four holidays a year, with a budget ranging from 2.000 to 4.000 Euros for each of them”, adds Mădălina Grosu.
According to the National Association of Tourism Agencies, expensive destinations were also available until 2008, but, in many cases, they can be enjoyed today for much lesser money; for example, starting from 750 Euros. Last year, the market was characterized by a drop in prices, some agencies even cutting off 25% from the initial price. This move was not altogether accidental. The last recession has somehow changed the luxury consumer’s behavior, making him more attentive to details and, why not, more sensitive to sales.