Shanghai show doubles inaugural event
The Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM) held in mid-June in Shanghai exclusively for the luxury travel industry, showed a growth of 100 per cent in terms of exhibitors and buyers according to Jay Martens, event manager, ALTM.
Only in its second year, ALTM has already become a must for key players in Asia’s luxury travel industry.
“The feedback we have had from the first day is people are asking for bigger booths,” said Martens. “We had brands that are participating under umbrellas like Leading Hotels of the World, or under their country’s tourism board, are asking for their own stand. For example Abu Dhabi Tourism Board are asking for a larger stand and some of these participants are also asking for their own stand so that they have their own identity, which shows that there is a bigger confidence in the market that the delivery and the promise of ALTM from year one to year two has definitely moved up and grown,” he said.
“More and more meetings are matching the exact expectations of our clients. The buzz at the moment is that ALTM is here to stay and that we are looking forward to bigger growth and more confidence in the Asian Market from the rest of the world.”
The success of ALTM 2008 was due to a larger presence from some of last year’s exhibitors as well as a host of new names.
“We expected ALTM to grow quickly, just as its sister event ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) did when we started it seven years ago,” says ALTM and ILTM founder Serge Dive. “But the pace of growth of ALTM has surprised even us. It’s been even more rapid than that of ILTM, which shows how excited everyone is about the enormous growth potential from Asia.”
This year’s new exhibitors included the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, the UK’s Maybourne Hotel Group which comprises three of Europe’s finest hotels of Claridge’s, The Berkeley and The Connaught; Tourism Ireland, Lufthansa Private Jets, Regalia Hotel Group, Bombardier Skyjet International, Turismo Madrid, Dreamscape International and Luxury Australia which features Orion Expedition Cruises and Wilderness Australia.
New exhibitor Luca Fanucchi of The Coselli Collection, said, “Throughout the years, the Coselli Collection has been a leader in providing luxury Italian fine living in historic Tuscan villas to guests from throughout Europe and the USA. We are now keen to expand our profile and introduce our villa collection to the Asia Pacific market. We feel that the Asia Luxury Travel Market provides us with the perfect opportunity to launch into this market through its well established and concentrated network of dedicated luxury travel buyers.”
Due to the growth in the number of exhibitors that attended the 2008 show, the organisers Reed Travel Exhibitions increased the number of VIP buyers invited to match exhibitor demand.
ALTM is organised like a private club, in that attendance is by invitation only and the VIP travel buyers are flown in and fully hosted by the show’s organisers. This ensured that exhibitors were able to meet only the most important travel buyers from the region, who had been identified and pre-screened by the show’s team of industry experts.
New VIP buyers Jan Musgrave, CEO of Bill Peach Journeys explained why she attended the show. “With Asia being one of the fastest growing areas within our travel portfolio, we are excited to have the opportunity through ALTM to source luxury products. Our aim at this event was to meet with prestigious operators of this region to partner in expanding this lucrative segment of our market.”
Unlike any other trade show, ALTM works on a unique appointment system, where all appointments between buyers and sellers are organised prior to the event. This method ensures both buyers and sellers are able to select who they want to meet with without wasting valuable time.
The majority of VIP buyers who attended ALTM 2007 also attended 2008 event; among them were representatives from Virtuoso Australia/New Zealand, American Express Asia Pacific, Quintessentially, Ten Lifestyle Management, as well as many independent travel organisers catering for niche luxury travel.