Don't let the bad times roll

November 26th, 2009 in General by Sarah Lee 1
Enjoy a guilt-free stay | pic: Nikolay Okhitin, Dreamstime
As the credit crunch and subsequent recession caused many of us to tighten our belts we’re all looking towards 2010 with a certain optimism. If we’re honest, we hope for a return to our pre-recession existence. For us travellers (those that don’t own a backpack and never will) that means luxuriating on lucious breaks or staying at the latest cool hotel.

However a story published today has evidenced a growing trend in our mid to post-credit crunch travel – that ostentation is out and austerity chic is becoming a la mode.

As human beings most of us have an intrinsic sense of empathy. Few of us would be able to listen to the economic woes of friends, family and colleagues faced with unemployment, or worse still potential bankruptcy, without feeling sympathetic. If we can afford to travel and stay at the hottest new boutique spa resort, while they struggle to pay their bills we’re bound to question the ethics of such an indulgence.

So it seems recession-ethics, led by empathy and economic guilt is driving a change in the way we plan our travel and where we chose to stay. Surely some, particularly those with a green agenda, will argue that this is a good thing. That for far too long we have flashed the cash with wild abandon. But for me this is a short-term trend that will do little to save the world.

Yes, we may all be reassessing our expenditure and seeking greater value, but avoiding luxury breaks in a bid to quash economic guilt puts us all on a hiding to nothing. One of the most important elements to economic recovery is confidence – if we have the confidence to spend our hard earned cash businesses can, in time, return to profitability, invest in their future with staff, capital expenditure and more, creating a process which builds until we are out of recession. If we feel guilted into ignoring the luxury sector it will naturally suffer a longer, deeper recession than most, affecting everyone involved – not least staff working at luxury hotels and the communities they support.

This isn’t a time to let the bad times roll, but to pick ourselves up, dust off the shackles of recession and go see the world in a way that suits you. For me, that’s the most stylish way I can afford.

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