By SHAFQUAT ALI
Most travel and trade shows around the world strive to become bigger.
Not the International Luxury Travel. Despite overwhelming enquiries from exhibitors and hosted buyers to participate at the event, the organisers turned down a majority of requests and chose to limit the growth of ILTM 2005 to only 22 per cent over the previous year. If anything, exclusivity was the buzzword and the lucky ones who walked down the red carpet to the Palais des Festivals knew they were in celebrated company.
Held from December 5 to 8 in Cannes, France, ILTM once again reinforced its position as the exclusive annual business gathering event for the elite of the luxury travel community. Even though Reed Travel Exhibition, organisers of the world’s leading travel industry events, had acquired the show this year, ILTM’s founding members Serge Dive and David Hammond were very much around and sharing their unique understanding of the luxury market and helping to make ILTM 2005 a bigger success.
It’s remarkable how the show, which was launched in 2002, has developed so quickly to become a must-do event for the luxury travel industry. After all, it is the only global trade event dedicated to enabling over 1,000 VIP luxury travel buyers from 60 countries worldwide to meet with over 1,180 exclusive exhibitors from 80 countries in a VIP hosted buyer appointment-driven forum.
“ILTM 2005 has more than lived up to our expectations and those of the delegates,” Dive told TTN. “Having worked in this business for many years and having been one of the founders of the ILTM, it has been fascinating to see the inno¬vation and development within the luxury travel sector. The positive response we continue to get from exhibitors and delegates shows us that this is a dynamic and effective forum in which to meet. Also, thanks to Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), a good show has become better.” He was right. RTE chairman Tom Nutley was present to ensure that everything went according to plan to bring the most productive and exciting ILTM yet.
Whether it was the most exclusive of destinations, luxurious properties or elite transportation and unique travel experiences providers, ILTM had something for everyone. Going by the response of delegates, the event’s prestige has clearly grown – and not just because of the strong partnerships created globally by ILTM but also through the introduction of the ILTM Signatory. It made everyone a part of the show and its decision-making process by allowing them to determine which organisations should and should not be a part of what ILTM stands for in luxury and exclusivity.
Besides, delegates to ITLM also had the chance to enjoy the extraordinary services of Quintessentially – a private members’ club and concierge service, it teamed up with ILTM to offer special services to delegates such as hotel bookings for early or late departures, restaurant recommendations and reservations, sourcing clubs and nightlife for post-conference entertaining and organising spouse programmes. Phones dotted around the venue, equipped with the letter Q, for delegates to dial direct to Quintessentially staff.
With so much attention paid to detail it was not surprising that everyone who was there at ILTM 2005 felt truly special. And that’s what luxury is all about, isn’t it?
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.