Text and photograph by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ
The pioneering ecotourism company CC Africa, whose mission is to “care for the land, care for the people, care for the animals,” hosted a summit in New York City this week to discuss if luxury travel can be a responsible form of tourism. Halfway around the world in Thailand, where I was recently, this topic has reached the tipping point.
On April 5, the posh Lebua Hotel in Bangkok invited 50 of the world’s richest travelers to a ten-course, $300,000 dinner on the hotel’s private rooftop. Six of Europe’s top chefs where flown in and paid $8,000 each for preparing the night’s menu. Guests dined on seafood risotto, scallops with truffles, and neck of Iberico pig, all washed down with prized vintage wines from France.
The only catch to this lavish feast was a requirement that the wealthy patrons also travel (by private jet) to a remote village in northern Thailand before sitting down to dinner.