Leading the luxury market
The final event of 2015 in the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Portfolio takes place in Cannes from November 30 to December 3. The business of ILTM will take place over the three days with up to 1,500 luxury travel brands from established hotels and resorts to private islands, authentic experiences, gastronomic delights, cruises and elite transport and many new suggestions for luxury travel agents from across the world.One of the largest ILTMs ever, this year ILTM will host up to 1,500 buyers from 77 countries, who will attend to meet with up to 77 suppliers in packed individual diaries of pre-scheduled appointments as well as social networking opportunities.Alison Gilmore, senior exhibition director, ILTM Portfolio, gives TTN the lowdown on the event and what she expects from the luxury travel sector.
How does Cannes fit into ILTM’s global portfolio?ILTM in Cannes is the flagship event in a global portfolio of six events, each focusing on a different region or market. The event in Cannes brings together international suppliers and buyers from all four corners of the world, while the other ILTM events see international suppliers meeting with agents from that region. The exception to this rule is ILTM Africa, which gives a world-class platform to elite products from across Africa.
ILTM is growing at a steady pace year-on-year. What are your expectations for ILTM 2015?ILTM is now in its 14th year. Since it first opened its doors, the event has evolved significantly and is now the largest event ever, inviting 1,500 buyers from 77 countries globally. The event will bring the world’s best luxury travel products and experiences together with the most sought-after of buyers, planners and designers of elite travel itineraries in over 60,000 mutually matched, one-to-one meetings.As well as fresh contacts, business leads and new and exciting destinations that frequently launch first at ILTM, we now have a responsibility to create a community through education and thought leadership. So, within the ILTM Global Forum (which precedes each ILTM event), this year will bring storytelling to the centre of the stage, highlighting its relevance to both luxury travel brands and agents as they convey their stories to their diverse high net worth clients. It is this form of education that we believe adds further value to our attending accredited hosted buyers and exhibitors.
What is new this year at ILTM Cannes?
How much interest have you received from the Middle East region?Middle East is a continually growing market for the ILTM audience and this year we welcome two new exhibitors from the region; Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai and Etihad Airways.Etihad Airways will be taking part in memorable style, bringing their Mobile Exhibition. The 16m long mobile exhibition includes full-size mock-ups of The Residence, the world’s only three-room cabin on a commercial airline, and the First Apartment – both currently on-board the airline’s A380 fleet, and also the B787 First Suite. The Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat, which feature on both aircraft types, are also displayed. Visiting key European commercial partners as well as consumers, ILTM visitors can have first-hand experience of the airline’s revolutionary new cabin products and inflight service elements. The mobile exhibition vehicle will be painted in Etihad Airways’ ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ corporate colours, ensuring optimal exposure of the airline’s branding as it makes its way around Europe.
How many new exhibitors will be present at the show this year?Fifteen hundred luxury travel brands will exhibit at ILTM 2015, 70 of them being first time main stand holders to ILTM events such as established hotel brands and resorts. Along with many more private islands, authentic experiences, gastronomic delights, cruises and elite transport and new suggestions for luxury travel agents from across the world.What are the latest trends you have observed in the luxury segment and what are your predictions for the coming year?We expect leisure and luxury travel particularly to see more buoyant growth across the globe with the highest growth seen in the Americas, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa, thanks to increasing income and a growing middle class. This will spell good news for both luxury travel and spending.Luxury travel has entered a new phase, in which conspicuous consumption is giving rise to meaningful and more authentic travel experiences. China is forecast to see the largest actual growth in arrivals between 2014 and 2019, with an increase of over 18 million predicted. The more traditional luxury shopping destinations of the US, France and Spain are next in line, each predicted over nine million new arrivals for the same time period, illustrating their eternal allure for wealthy foreign tourists. Overt consumerism stands alongside authentic experiences in 2016 – clearly both trends that are here to stay.
What will be the focus of ILTM Global Forum 2015?At this year’s ILTM Global Forum, we are focusing on storytelling – ILTM is the opening chapter of a storybook where we will encourage our participants to learn the art before you start the week and even create a few of your own to share with colleagues and clients alike.
The definition of luxury travel changes from person to person. What, in your opinion, is the definition of luxury travel? I have over 25 years’ experience in the industry and I believe I‘ve been incredibly fortunate to experience so much as part of my work. Luxury is a very personal thing – to some it’s a label, to others a level of service and to others it is an opportunity. To me, luxury is the quality of time – to be able to spend this time with friends and family in some of the world’s most spectacular destinations is absolutely fantastic.