Tourism industry professionals look-ing to reach the burgeoning Far Eastern markets would do well to look at the brand-new Asian Luxury Travel Market (ALTM), which seeks to tap the region’s luxury market.
A spin-off of the successful International Luxury Travel Market held in Cannes each December, the inaugural ALTM will be held this summer, from June 18 to 21 in Shanghai.It is the first event in the Asia-Pacific region aimed exclusively at the luxury end of the travel industry, and showcases the world’s most exclusive hotels, resorts and operators of luxurious travel experiences.
Which is where, the Middle East fits in, says event director Jay Martens, with connectivity and product. “The biggest interest is from the airline industry – every airline from the Middle East is flying through Asia or further into Australia. The Middle East’s richness of product in terms of five-star properties and above is perfectly placed to exploit this market, and deliver the sort of deluxe experience Asian buyers want,” he says. “For instance we have a concierge service in Japan looking for absolutely unique products because he has a membership base of 3000 people, each of whom needs a million dollars in liquid assets to be a member of the group, and they all want unique, different and custom-built experiences.”
An example of this sort of traveller would be a cash-rich young executive from China and India, who, Martens says, want the lifestyle of the big American entrepreneurs. “They have their own private jet, they own top-end cars, stay at five-star hotels – it’s a market that is hungry for new and unique products and perfectly positioned for the Middle East to tap into.”
In China alone, luxury travellers – many of them high net-worth businessmen – are estimated at between three and five per cent of the 40 million outbound travellers, all of whom, he says, have serious money to spend.
Martens says the event aims to bring in 300 buyers in its first year. “We are working on the ratio of 1:1, so for every exhibitor, we will have a buyer. The largest group of buyers will be from Japan, followed by China and India and Australia and goes down to every region divided by the percentage of high net worth and by the quality of buyers.”
What you can expect at this show, then, he says, is the same quality and level of product offered by the ILTM in Cannes. “The major difference is that buyers at ILTM come 100 per cent only from the Asia-Pacific region, so it is very targeted. This is a segment that is very small at ILTM – only 45 from 1160 last year – because December, when the event is held, is high season in Asia Pacific.”
Leading the charge for the Middle East, as always is Dubai, which will exhibit at ALTM.
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