Luxury Travel Summer Report: Nihiwatu, Sumba, Indonesia

On The Edge of Wildness I rarely write about a specific property or experience, trying to focus my thoughts on the business aspects of hospitality and tourism. From time to time, however, I come across an experience that I believe is worth bringing to your attention. Recently I have visited the Island of Sumba – which lies about 400 KM southeast of Bali. For the past 26 years and perhaps longer, surfing aficionados from all over the world have been making the journey to the Indonesian Island of Sumba to experience the left hand wave at Nihiwatu, a magnificent surfing paradise. It was in 1988 that Claude and Petra Graves first arrived and painstakingly set about building a small resort with eleven keys. They continued to attract surfers limiting the…
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Innovation in Australia

While moderating the Tourism Australia Summit recently, I noted key themes emerging included digital technology and an extraordinary bounty of culinary adventures driving tourism to Australia. Tourism Australia has a reputation for innovation and thinking outside the box with an approach to marketing its destination that others in the tourism industry may want to watch and emulate. Technology is the preferred method of providing content to the travel industry and potential long-haul travelers, feeding them an abundance of information on experiences unique to Australia. Bloggers, digital writers and new technology leaders addressed the online/mobile approach to attracting customers. An innovative use of new media demonstrated how integral technology is in motivating tourists to dream — and book. Newly developed billboard capabilities recognize when a certain international flight passes overhead. The…
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Asian Hospitality Industry Energized

Traveling in Asia last month just prior to the arrival of Chinese New Year, I was again reminded just how dynamic the hospitality industry is in Asia. From the number of hotel brands opening new properties in Kuala Lumpur to the transformation of Singapore as a result of integrated resorts to Hong Kong, new restaurant concepts seem to open daily, and hospitality executives are continually reinventing and reenergizing to stay ahead of the curve. Much of this energy, of course, is driven by major property companies that all seem to have hotel subsidiaries. Flexibility is the key to the success. Market forces change, but the industry in Asia is adaptable. For example, China is experiencing a rapid slowdown in government entertaining, which has been drastically curtailed by the new government.…
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