ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) – the invitation-only event where the finest of luxury travel experiences are created and launched – facilitated over 51,000 individual meetings between the industry’s elite when it took place over the last 4 days in Cannes.
The 2012 event welcomed the rising stars of the future in several focused events created to provide insights based on the first-hand experience of this new generation of travellers and their knowledge of the travel marketplace.
Emily Prentiss, Leisure Travel Consultant at Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc and one of the Travel + Leisure Rising-Star Agents programme, which was launched at this year’s ILTM commented: “I have stepped into a world of passion, creativity and enthusiasm at ILTM, where luxury travel is unparalleled. ILTM has given me the ability to learn about the new and the exciting, at the same time as familiarising myself with existing product to meet my clients’ desires.”
Barkley Hickox of the US’ Indagare Travel, a guest at the annual ‘Bright Young Things’ (BYT) debates said; “Bright young things was fascinating – we are the fresh minds of the future of luxury travel and I think we collaborated to bring a very different, interesting and ultimately useful perspective on our industry”.
With an Education Programme covering subjects as diverse as ‘The role of children in the family travel planning process’ and ‘Gastronomy driving travel decision making’, ILTM also hosted 1350 VIP buyers who met with 1350 high-end travel suppliers throughout the event – an over 10% increase on 2011.
Tony Gonchar, VP Representative Travel Network, American Express commented: “ILTM is the most serious and significant event in the luxury travel industry where buyers and sellers come together to create value for all their customers."
Brent Wallace, Riche Hotels & Resorts, Australia said: "I am loving it ILTM 2012 – it just gets better every year. The quality of the exhibitors is excellent and this week has been all encompassing for me, tying all relationships together. It’s great to get inspiration from other buyers and I’ve found some fantastic new ideas."
Jorge Vasques Rodrigues, Board Director at Portugal’s Sattotour added: “I am attending ILTM for the first time and have met decision makers for products that are absolutely right for my clients – people who really understand all the specific services required to meet their needs.”
Exhibitors too were full of praise for ILTM:
Filip Boyen, Chief Operating Officer, Orient-Express said: “ILTM is so well established – first timers cannot fully comprehend that everyone who is anyone in luxury travel really is here.”
Rupert Stephenson of UK’s Kestrel Travel: “This is the 11th year I have taken part in ILTM and I have had more appointments than ever before. I am already looking forward to 2013!”
Rob Cheng, Vice President of Marketing, Peninsula Hotels added: “ILTM is the only trade show that we do and we are proud to be involved. It’s great to meet so many fantastic buyers, incredible media and fellow distinguished high-end suppliers.”
Carolina Ortiz, Marketing Director for Columbia’s Hotel Charleston said: “It’s our second year here at ILTM and it continues to get better. This is the perfect moment, the perfect show and the ideal opportunity to show the high quality VIP buyers we have met what we do, how we do it and the detail of our properties. ILTM gives us great exposure and a unique opportunity to build a close relationship with our customers.”
And Ignacio Zuloaga of Hotel Faena in Buenos Aires added: “ILTM is certainly the place to market luxury for the world to see. Everyone here is serious about selling their product and it’s incredibly productive. Just in a day and half, I’ve been able to justify the trip with the business I’ve secured so far.”
“The real proof of a successful show for Reed Travel Exhibitions is the feedback from its participants and this year, the mix of quality buyers – with so many new from countries previously unrepresented - has added to that success,” concluded Alison Gilmore, ILTM’s Exhibition Director.
ILTM 2013 takes place in Cannes, 2 – 5 December 2013.