Luxury Travel Magazine | Issue 78

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Sitting in a café at an airport recently, in an Australian capital city I won’t name and shame, I was surprised to see a handful of customers enjoying their ‘have-here’ beverages from take-away cups. Worse still, those customers were airline staff – again, no shaming, but it was something that surprised and disappointed me.

Of course, we are all travelling a different trajectory en route to better social and environmental behaviour, but I thought the reusable-cup message would have filtered (pun intended) far enough to halt such blatant waste.

Seems we have a way to go, although we hardly needed this anecdote to realise that. Like a seed, the word ‘sustainability’ has sprouted and continues to grow as people come to realise the dire impact so many human behaviours are having on our precious planet. I habour a sense of guilt for the negative impacts of tourism. Of course, I contribute to the problem. But we are all wiser now and better equipped to make positive choices. I see a brighter future in my daughters, members of a generation that is collectively demanding change. It’s time we all joined them.

Our Digital Editor Madelin Tomelty’s experience in the Maldives recently drives the issue home. She has written about the experience, as well as the damage done and inroads being made, in our cover story (Page 66). It is great to see the commitment some operators, big and small, are making in this space. It’s easy enough to talk the talk, but you’re doing more harm than good if you’re not walking the walk as well. My hat goes off to those that are thoroughly embracing progressive thinking.

For a pictorial illustration of the kind of beauty we should be desperately trying to protect, turn to Page 99 for photographer Chris McLennan’s photo essay. Specialising in wildlife, culture and adventure, Chris has captured striking imagery all over the world and we’re so glad he’s sharing some of it with us. Te very idea of his subjects in decline is unbearable.

It’s that time of year again. Our Gold List winners have been announced (Page 44) and deserve to bask in the recognition. Now in its 15th year, the readers’-choice awards attracted a record number of voters – thank you to the 7000! – and votes, with more than 60,000 cast. There is no trick to winning a Gold List award; you must simply impress our discerning readership. This year’s winners prove, once again, our readers have fantastic taste. Congratulations to all.

Also included in this jam-packed issue: a deep sense of wellness in Tailand; off-the-beaten-track in Japan; French winter wonderland, Courchevel; a city guide to picturesque Prague; the fresh favours of Tahiti; safari for the soul in South Africa; and more.

As always, thank you for fipping our (sustainably recycled!) pages and safe travels.

Gary Allen | Publisher

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