Traveling in style. Editor and Founder of the Luxury Traveler helps niche market find their niche abroad.
Jeffrey Moorhouse, of San Jacinto CA, answers the phone in a friendly, rumbling baritone. An impeccable vocabulary is the only hint at the nature of the business and clientele that occupy his busy days. Everything about him is inviting, gracious – suggestive of a warm welcome home after a long journey. It’s clear Moorhouse has a genuine love of travel, culture, and the arts. And perhaps an even greater love of sharing these experiences through his Web site, LuxuryTraveler.com.
Moorhouse was working for a European luxury hotel chain when he began to notice a distinct trend among upper-income travelers. The number of high-end travel agents was on decline. The Internet was making it possible for the elite traveler to make his or her own travel arrangements and there was an increasing need for good, reliable, information about cultural events, artistic happenings, and other points of interest for this audience. Moorhouse founded his company and launched LuxuryTraveler.com in 1998 as a means to provide information about travel and culture – exclusively regarding Europe, and exclusively for the very, very financially blessed.
“We’ve found our niche market,” Moorhouse said. But, that’s all he’ll say. “We never discuss how many clients or visitors we have, because our emphasis is strictly on quality not quantity.”
Quality appears to be the single-word mission statement for Luxury Traveler. The Web site has the look of a thick, glossy magazine, with vibrant graphics and a wide breadth of flavorful, insightful content. “We set out to create something that had the look of a periodical. Good, crisp graphics and rich content,” Moorhouse said.
“When we began, we didn’t know how to create a Web site,” he continued, “I was entirely self-taught. We did look into [an image editing product competitor], but what I noticed about Paint Shop Pro immediately was that it was so intuitive. You can function well within the program almost immediately. Then, as you work with the program, you simply develop a better and better skill set. As a result, we have used Paint Shop Pro exclusively from the very start.”
Clearly, the program was a good fit for Luxury Traveler and its founder. “I am such a believer in Jasc Software,” Moorhouse added. “We could not do what we’re doing if we didn’t have it.”
In the early days, Moorhouse frequently made trips to Europe to work on the content for the site. “Paint Shop Pro always came with me,” Moorhouse said, “I traveled with a digital camera and Paint Shop Pro on the laptop. It gave us the ability to immediately look at and improve whatever photos we had just taken. One day I was in Switzerland. It was a dismal day and I needed a shot of a certain street. People kept walking into the shot and finally I just took the picture. We were able to use the Clone Tool to erase two people so that we could use the shot.”
The Luxury Traveler team uses Paint Shop Pro for a variety of functions. “We’re always using the Crop Tool and adding titles to shots. We use a number of the functions in the “Enhance Image” group especially to adjust color, contrast, clarify or fade correction. The one thing we always get compliments on with our Web site is the quality of our graphics.”
Moorhouse seems as content with his website as he is with his favorite graphics program. There are no major changes in store for Luxury Traveler. “We are really satisfied with our format,” Moorhouse said. “We do plan to increase our editorial content, but it will be more of the kind of writing we do now. We’re always exploring new perspectives on travel. We believe in putting the information out there and letting people think for themselves rather than presuming to know what they would like.”
With one exception. “We like to feature information of special interest to women,” Moorhouse said, “simply because there isn’t enough of it. We covered an exhibition about women travelers who traveled under amazing circumstances. That’s our specialty, finding fascinating exhibits and cultural events that otherwise might be missed.”
With Luxury Traveler thriving, Moorhouse finds himself staying stateside more and more. He lets his network of writers, photographers, and fellow travelers do the legwork for the Web site though he does still make the occasional hop “over the pond.” He enjoys life with his wife of 47 years, whom he describes as his “best partner,” and who is also involved in the site. He has five children, ten grandchildren, and one great grandchild, and he talks with the ease of one who enjoys the fruits of his labors, and the company of those around him.
“I’m very pleased with the success of Luxury Traveler.com,” Moorhouse said. “We provide reliable information as it relates to arts, cultural activities, sight seeing – information that people can’t find anywhere. We inspire people to have better itineraries and discover things they might not otherwise have realized was available.”
Now that’s traveling in style.