The rich and fabulously wealthy with cash to burn traditionally hire luxury yachts, secluded villas or expensive hotel suites to pass the time. Now they can go to a whole new level by hiring an entire country.
The principality of Liechtenstein, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east, is just 160 square metres and has the second highest GDP in the world, has decided to make itself available to private clients from $70,000 USD a night, complete with customised street signs and temporary currency.
It’s a big step for the country best known for its tax-haven status and exporting false teeth. Last year authorities refused a request from rapper Snoop Dogg to hire it for a music video. They have since woken up to the marketing opportunities. The price tag includes accommodation for 150 people, although the 35,000 inhabitants would remain.
Visitors would be presented with the symbolic key to the state, followed by a wine tasting at the estate of the head of state, Prince Hans-Adam II. Other options include tobogganing, fireworks and carriage rides.
The principality has yet to be rented out – although a couple recently came close to hiring it for their wedding until the marriage was called off.
It is unlikely that “hiring” the country will allow national or policy decision making to occur during the rental period – after all, money making all the big calls is hardly a new thing.