THE 12th edition of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) is set to open in Cannes, France, on December 2, 2013.
The Opening Forum will be held on the first day. The business of ILTM begins the following day in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes and concludes on Thursday, December 5. TTN caught up with Alison Gilmore, senior exhibition director, ILTM Portfolio to learn about what is in store for 2013.
ILTM is growing at a steady pace year-on-year. What are your expectations for ILTM 2013?
ILTM opens the doors to the global luxury travel community in a time-efficient format; introducing select suppliers to the most sought-after of buyers, planners and designers of elite travel itineraries from all four corners of the world. A record 51,000 bespoke appointments are scheduled to take place this year and this figure does not include the more informal meetings that we hear take place during ILTM’s extensive social networking sessions throughout the four days of the event.
But it is always quality and not quantity that matters to ILTM. Our raison d’etre is to always feature the very best – from established brands and smaller independent products to meet with the most discerning as well as the newest and most vibrant of high-end agents from across the world. We leave no stone unturned in our quest to offer our hosted buyers the chance to visit the newest and the best the luxury travel world has to offer – in a matter of days at ILTM 2013.
What is new at ILTM 2013?
The Opening Forum promises to kick start ILTM 2013 with style and substance. Featuring modern day icons of luxury service and aspirational culture as well as business practice and social media, this is a truly inspirational line-up.
World renowned customer service and hospitality expert Holly Stiel will speak on ‘The Philosophy of Service’ and Facebook’s new global head of travel, Lee McCabe’s ‘Social Millennials’ presentation will profile how ‘the wisdom of friends’ is firmly at the centre of travel planning. Yaffa Assouline – one of the world’s foremost arbiters of style and taste and founder of LuxuryCulture.com – will focus on helping the industry to create enduring brands for the luxury travel market, addressing the evolution of modern luxury concepts. Finally, Kjell Nordström, as one of the premier management thinkers in Europe will urge the audience to think for themselves when he discusses ‘Funky Business’: his performances are high touch, interactive, thought provoking and always in line with time.
Following on from this opening, ILTM continues to develop a unique, coherent voice for contemporary luxury travel throughout the event itself too. We have created a new feature area for hotels and individual travel experiences – ILTM Debutants – for those planning launches and openings including Italy’s Park Hotel Vitznau and L’Angolo di San Pietro, Scotland’s Cromlix House and Africa’s Mantis Collection.
What kind of response have you received from exhibitors?
We are blessed with a very loyal and very significant number of fans in the global luxury travel industry. ILTM has a well-deserved reputation as the hub for creating business in the world of luxury travel and as a result we are welcoming not only the established brands from across the world but new products to the market – from private islands to a Chinese art gallery hotel to boutique hotels to culinary courses to yachts.
How much interest have you received from the Middle East region?
The Middle East is a growing destination for the global luxury traveller – the region is revered for its levels of luxury service from all four corners of the world. Oman is featuring strongly this year and we are delighted that Alia hotels will introduce their latest property scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2014: Oman’s Alia Jabal Akhdar. We also welcome exhibitors Bahrain, Dubai, Qatar and the UAE. Fifty seven luxury travel buyers will attend from across the Middle East – an increase of 30 per cent year-on-year.
How many new exhibitors will be present at the show this year?
ILTM welcomes exhibitors from 70 countries across the world, this year also introducing 78 new participants, many of who are independent operators launching new experiences to the luxury travel market.
What are the latest trends you have observed in the luxury segment and what are your predictions for the coming year?
We recently released a report with Circos Brand Karma that focused on the Luxury Traveller and Social Media: the ‘Millennial’ generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) is responsible for the growth of social media in record time. The report highlights that luxury traveller behaviour patterns – and specifically the way purchasing decisions are influenced – are now redefined by this generation of Millennials, who seek ‘Instagram-able’ experiences that are visual, one-of-a-kind and will generate buzz amongst their social networks.
The report also highlights that 5,000 Facebook ‘Likes’, a TripAdvisor rating of at least 4.5 and a strong presence on Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest are now considered the new minimum levels for social media excellence. North Americans and Europeans place the most online hotel reviews, but it is the emerging markets that lead in engagement on Facebook, Pinterest and other social networks.
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