TRUTH in marketing. That’s all most people want when they decide to take a holiday by the beach.
So when they sign up for “beachfront”, that’s what they should expect and get.
But more often than not, the description “beachfront” can mean the property is separated by a wide nature strip, garden or road, or even be a block back from the sand and shore.
Brisbane-born adventurer, photographer and publisher John Everingham was certainly over all the “hoodwinking” that has occurred in the past with so-called beachfront properties.
He even confesses to having played his part in aiding and abetting the situation by taking photographs for property owners and managers from angles that seemed to magically bring the beach closer than it really was.
That’s why the former Queenslander now living in Thailand has started a venture that is so simple in concept, yet so helpful and informative, that it’s a wonder no one thought of it earlier.
Along with hotel management careerist and former Perth man, Chris Ryan, Mr Everingham has launched an online travel site, www.thebeachfrontclub.com, that aims to answer the one question asked by millions of would-be tourists every year: “Is the property right on the beach?”
The website, for the first time, aims to detail every true beachfront resort, hotel and backpacker bungalow in the world.
Using satellite imagery and ground-level photographs, the pair and their researchers have so far meticulously mapped most of the 10,000 known commercial beach properties in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, North America, South America, Central America, Australasia and the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, Middle East, and Africa.
The free interactive site plans to become the global authority on beach holidays, accepting only those properties with sand at their doorstep.
Each place will have full explanatory notes, booking options and galleries of photographs, even down to close-ups of comparative sand texture.
“How many times have you booked a ‘beachfront’ hotel only to find yourself dodging traffic and crossing roads to get to the water?” Mr Everingham said.
“With this site, US$30 a night beach shacks on little-known Thai islands can be found as quickly as the best five-star beach resorts in the world.”
Operations are based in Thailand where the partners have spent more than three decades in the tourism industry.
To prove that properties are genuinely on the beach, the website has created 2000 high-tech beach maps and satellite images verifying the locations.
Statistically, a few countries are in for a shock.
Phuket, Thailand’s most famous island resort, has 900 hotels. Only 69 qualify as true beachfront. Koh Samui has 234 resorts on the beach.
The US, Mexico and Spain rank high on the scale.
Australia, with possibly more beachfront per capita than anywhere in the world, is one of the lowest, with only about 100, of which 35 are on the Gold Coast.
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