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The Karma Royal Group’s John Spence owns 17 boutique resorts
throughout Asia and has six others in the pipeline. The ‘professional
holidaymaker’ lives in Perth, but splits his time between London,
Singapore, Bali and Mykonos. The 2010 Ernst and Young Australian
Entrepreneur of the Year takes 50 to 60 international flights a year.
Is travel work or pleasure for you?
I kind of live a holiday lifestyle. That’s both good and bad. I’m always in
holiday-mode, but whenever I’m on holiday it’s also work. I rarely get away
from it all completely but I do spend July in the Mediterranean with my
family, mostly at my villa in Mykonos. I still do board meetings there.
Do you suffer from jet lag?
Not really. My jet lag cure is a g ood bottle of red wine and a sleeping pill on
the plane, and getting into the new time zone as soon as possible. Having said
that, jet lag usually creeps up on me a few months later on a cumulative basis.
What do you always pack when you travel?
An iPhone (for phone and toys) and my Blackberry (for emails). I have my
laptop, which is always an Apple. I travel with two iPods – an iPod classic,
which has some 20,000 songs, and an iPod Nano, which I take to the gym
every day. I also pack my iPad, filofax, notebook and pen.
I’m ex-music industry so I like SoundHound, it’s better than Shazam. You can
hum the song and it will tell you what you’re humming. Viber is also brilliant.
It allows you to talk iPhone to iPhone free. We’re buying all our senior
manag ers iPhones just so they can be on Viber.
Perth is pretty bad. And Mumbai.
Three times in the past 12 months.
Why live in Perth?
It’s a fantastic city to live in. It’s a great place to bring up children. It’s g ot a
beautiful climate. It is g eographically a superb place for me to be for the area
of my operations, which is South East Asia.
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