Luxury Becomes A Dirty Word
You name it Bernie Madoff, Paris Hilton's recent controversial shopping extravanga's, the Big 3 automakers showing up in the US capital in private jets and then of course AIG's over the top incentive parties in six star resorts. From Wall Street to Main Street everyone has felt the crunch of the economic crises and one of the new social phenomenons is "luxury guilt."
For those lauding lifestyles of the rich and famous the new mantra is taking it behind closed doors and publically taking an austere face. Luxury hotel brands are registering a significant drop in occupancies and most everyone these days are trading down rather then up in one way or another.
Taking a quick look at Google Trends the other day its revealing to see how over the past two years the key word 'luxury' when attached to certain phases has declined and at the same time words like 'cheap" are on the rise. Everyone is looking for a deal and the paradigm of the Phuket property market in using the term certainly looks due for an update.
At the same time as the reversal of fortunes for luxury more revealing is the sky rocketing fame of Scottish singer Susan Boyle who appears on Britain's Got Talent and to date has garnered over 50 million views on YouTube with an appearance on Oprah coming up. She represents a stunning turnaround in what the masses aspire and appreciate. Certainly it will be interesting to see how luxury products on the island move to address what's no become something best lived out in private. Thought of course with the great variety of private gated estates and pool villas this may be the best place for those in the know to ride out public opinion.