Many years ago, I was on assignment for another magazine, following
hunter-gatherers around Borneo, eating whatever they shot or threw down from
trees. After a week of sleeping in jungle lean-tos, removing leeches, and
slipping in mud, I was definitely not a sight for sore eyes.
Before I even had a chance to change (not that I had any clean clothes left), I flew straight from my jungle base to Kuala Lumpur, where I had
reserved a room at the Ritz-Carlton. With my clothes and backpack covered in
mud and rain, I couldn’t blame the
cab driver’s raised eyebrow when I
told him my destination. I fully expected to have to show my reservation
confirmation—and possibly beg—just to get in the door. Amazingly, no one
blinked an eye. The white glove-clad bellhop hoisted my mud-caked pack onto his
cart, and the check-in staff even offered me a seat on their fancy furniture.
Think eco-friendliness can’t be fun? Then you’ve never heard
of Club Watt, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It featured a very unique dance
floor: the energy absorbed from all that dancing powered the club’s
Finding unique answers to trends was just one of the topics
discussed at last week’s MarketWatch, an event organized by Travel + Leisure at the Museum of Arts
and Design in New York. The theme, “Influencing the Global Influencer: What
Works” was discussed by speakers and an expert panel of those who live on the
cutting edge of trends.
I confess: I’m a fan of The Donald. The swagger, the money, the hair, the catch phrase. My interest in The Apprentice, however, has waned, and I missed the TV show’s introduction of Donald Trump Jr. So, when the opportunity arose to chat up Donald 2.0 about the new hotel he’s overseeing (with his sister and brother)—the Trump SoHo, which opened Friday in New York—I couldn’t resist.
We met in the hotel’s library, a masculinely decked out space with deep chairs, thick tables, and books no one will ever read. Besides being well-coiffed and well-clad, DT Jr. is: • Confident. (“People said, ‘Isn’t it horrible they changed zoning code because of what you did?’ That’s the dumbest question I’ve ever heard.”) • Affable. (“What drives me? My father calling at 5 a.m. asking why I’m not in the office!”) • Self-deprecating. (“I’m probably the only graduate of the Wharton School of Finance to move to Colorado to work in a bar.”) Ok, kind of self-deprecating.
Score one for the power of travel. Today, the U.S. Senate passed
the Travel Promotion Act, a piece of legislation that could attract some 1.6 million new visitors to
the U.S. Oh, and did we mention that it could also bring in an estimated $4 billion
(that’s $4 BILLION) in annual foreign
spending and create 40,000 new American jobs in its first year?
Here in the T+L offices we’re cheering the news. After all,
nearly every developed nation has a program to promote itself abroad, so it’s
about time the U.S. got on board.