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Luxury travel news this week

Here’s a round-up of luxury travel stories that have caught the eye this week. To make sure you receive these new weekly alerts in your web browser, please click on the red bell icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page and click ‘subscribe’ (works on desktop only – for other ways to subscribe, please click here). This will also alert you to any other posts on the blog. Should you wish, you can unsubscribe at any time, by clicking on the icon again and selecting ‘unsubscribe’. Up to 50 per cent of five star reviews for luxury hotels on TripAdvisor are ‘suspicious’, investigation finds Up to fifty per cent of five star reviews for some of the highest-ranking hotels on TripAdvisor are “suspicious”, a Which? investigation has found. The consumer watchdog has criticised TripAdvisor for failing to stop luxury hotels being boosted by fake reviews which can mislead travellers and ruin holidays. The latest investigation by Which? Travel analysed almost 250,000 reviews for the top 10 ranked hotels in 10 popular tourist destinations around the world… [read more] As Hurricane Dorian dawdles private jets are speeding rescue and aid missions It’s expected over 50 million Americans are driving or flying somewhere over this Labor Day weekend, and many millions more are spending the three-day holiday grilling or chilling locally. On the other hand, many of the more than one million professionals who work in $219 billion business aviation industry are on duty, and for quite a few, they have been going nonstop for more than a week… [read more] Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen’s 414-foot superyacht just hit the market for $325 million Yacht enthusiasts best press CLT+Alt+Delete on work and start gathering cash: The co-founder of Microsoft’s superyacht has just been jointly listed for sale with Burgess and Fraser for a cool $325 million (€295 million). Commissioned by the late Paul Allen, who died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year, Octopus is one of the world’s largest vessels measuring a staggering 414 feet. Delivered in 2003, the lofty vessel features eight expansive decks—hence its thalassic title—and can accommodate up to 26 guests in 13 cabins, as well as 60 crew… [read more] Hurricane Dorian: superyachts rally to help the Bahamas Superyachts are setting sail for the Bahamas to help with the relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Crews are calling for donations as they continue to help divert yachts to the most affected areas and help local communities recover after the Category 5 hurricane hit the area on September 1. A number of superyachts have pledged to assist Operation Topaz, the relief effort set up by YachtAid Global in collaboration with CBS Bahamas, Sol Relief, World Hope International and NEMA… [read more] Bangkok tops list of world’s most popular cities for visitors again For the fourth consecutive year, a report has named Bangkok as the number one destination for travellers, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors descending on the city in 2018. Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index ranks 200 cities on visitor volume and spend data, and it found that Dubai tops the spend list with travellers parting with $553 (€498) on average per day there… [read more] We really enjoy hearing from our readers and would love to hear your views on any of these stories! Please click on the comments below and share your thoughts. Thank you. Have a story you’d like to share? Please contact us for details.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. Great that private jets and super yachts are helping to get desperately needed aid into devastated Abaco. But how many people will be returning to these islands in the Bahamas? There seems to have been a huge exodus once transport systems were operating again.

    Over the last two decades hurricane season has become much more of a threat to life and property in the Caribbean than it ever was before. Will the people have the will to rebuild knowing that another hurricane could wipe out all their efforts?

    1. That’s a good question, Sharon. It must be devastating and hard to re-build again but my guess is that for many – particularly an island nation – there is little choice but to do so. I’m sure certain aspects of any re-build will require a huge amount of consideration also, in terms of where best to place certain key pieces of infrastructure. It must be an unimaginably difficult time for all concerned.

  2. I am surprised that Bangkok tops the global rankings for the number of overnight visitors.

    Can you name one attraction in Bangkok? Can you give me 6 reasons to visit Bangkok? No, nor can I.

    However, I can’t argue with the stats when Bangkok has topped the table for 6 out of the last 7 years.

    But if I asked you for 6 reasons to visit Thailand it would probably much easier. My guess is that many of these Bangkok nights are for visitors on their way to Thailand’s resorts and islands as well as staff to work in the tourism industry.

    1. Have you not heard of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Steven? ;-)

      Also some further reading for you…





      I think you’re right – Bangkok is often used as a layover to get to other places, but it has plenty to offer to be a destination in its own right.

  3. I saw that story about how so many reviews on TripAdvisor are probably fake. When I went to Spain a couple of years ago, one of the entertainers for the complex I stayed in was always asking people to leave reviews; he was a very likeable guy but also rather pushy and insistent and everyone was leaving these glowing reviews because he asked for them. But then he asks people the next year and year after to review it again, even though we haven’t been that year. I said no but he was sure it’s ‘allows’ on TripAdvisor. That kind of thing can skew the reality of what a place is like and I don’t like it. So the thought of totally fake, paid for or just made up by the company reviews really annoys me. These reviews are what people can put a lot of stock in when deciding where to stay on holiday, and even though you can take some with a pinch of salt, it’s another thing entirely if half of them aren’t even genuine.

    It’s awful reading about the destruction left in the wake of hurricane Dorian. Some people I know were ready and prepared for the worst, and found the hurricane’s trajectory changed so they’ve been thanking their lucky stars to have been spared. But others..? It’s awful. Homes destroyed, lives lost, and many people who can’t afford to rebuild. Meanwhile, there’s Microsoft with a $325 million dollar superyacht! Puts things into perspective.

    1. Yes, I think reviews can be really helpful but must always be used with a huge degree of caution. I like to think that I have a good idea of what reviews might be fake or not, but of course I could be wrong.

      I also think instances where the reviewer rates an establishment 2, 3 or 4 out of 5 can often speak volumes, rather than those reviews where they rate a place with a 1 (which could be an unreasonably disgruntled customer with an axe to grind, or even a former empoloyee with a grudge) or a 5 (which could again be a whole myriad of things).

  4. The people of Abaco and the Bahamas will have to make some difficult decisions about their future.

    First of all they have to decide whether they plan to return. The evidence of recent years suggests that the incidence of hurricanes is increasing and their severity too.

    Should the Bahamian government be regulating to enforce stricter building regulations? I am not a building expert but I would imagine that it is possible to design structures to withstand the bite of a scale 5 hurricane. Though of course that may be expensive and beyond the budget of many people who have already lost their homes. There are no easy answers.

    Also should islands in the Caribbean be looking at making evacuation mandatory?

    1. Lots of good questions there, Gerald. I’m afraid I don’t have all the answers – I think they used to say that hurricane-proof homes were extremely costly but, when you consider the scale of devastation, you can’t help but think it must be a price worth paying. As you say, though, it could well be beyond the budget of many, particularly when those people affected may have already lost everything.

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