Strong Mideast presence set at first luxury travel show
Several major Middle East hospitality groups will steer a strong regional presence at the inaugural International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) later this year.Among those who will be featuring at the ILTM will be Al Hamra Fort, Ras Al Khaimah, Jumeirah International and SAPO Luxury Services. ILTM has been working with a prestigious group of Hosted Buyers from the Middle East which include White Sands Tours, Kanoo Travel, Algosaibi Travel and Ace Travel. Launched at the end of last year, the ILTM is becoming the "must do" for the market place. With over 400 exhibiting suppliers of luxury travel products and services joining the organisers in Cannes from December 10-12, the visitor attendance is expected to exceed 1,200. The first trade-only event for the emerging luxury niche market, ILTM will feature such icons of the industry as Leading Hotels of the World, Starwood Hotels, Relais and Chateaux, Concorde Hotels and Taj Hotels with individual properties such as The Ritz in London and the Hotel de Paris in Monaco also promoting themselves. Paul MacManus, CEO of Leading Hotels Of The World, said: "We welcome the opportunity to showcase our luxury portfolio at an innovative forum such as the International Luxury Travel Market. For nearly 75 years, our organisation has set the standards for the luxury hotel industry. "We believe that events such as this enable us all to benefit from the knowledge and experience of other purveyors of luxury products and services". Apart from the best accommodation and transport services in the world, ILTM will offer a wide array of the different and unusual in the exhibition. From the most luxurious in rail travel with companies such as Rovos Rail, through to space travel and experiences, and the most exotic and adventurous sea journeys in the world, buyers will have exclusive access to the world's premier suppliers, say the organisers. The hosted buyer programme is an integral part of the success of the show, with over 400 leading trade buyers from 27 countries receiving a complementary VIP stay at the event. The leisure and corporate travel sectors are well represented with a sizable contingent from the conference and incentive industry and include luminaries such as Bill Fischer, and companies such as Earth, the Skybridge Group, American Express Platinum, Nosylis, Exclusive Destinations and Rudi Steele Travel Inc. The organisers are also working closely with groupings such as Virtuoso in the USA and Quintessentially in the UK in addition to over 20 publications world-wide including CondŽ Nast Traveller and The Financial Times. Due the success of the exhibition the organisers of ILTM have also launched a conference to take place on December 9, also in Cannes. Key note speakers include Paul McManus, CEO of Leading Hotels Of The World; Bill Fischer, CEO of Fischer Travel Enterprises; John Spencer, Founder of Space Tourism Society; Howard Wolff, Senior VP of Wimberly Alison Tong and Goo, and Sarah Miller from CondŽ Nast Traveller amongst others. Exhibition director David Hammond said "We are looking forward to December and the first ILTM. The calibre of the exhibitors and registered buyers is astounding and I can only urge that companies not yet participating make sure they contact us to arrange their attendance."