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DAVID HAMMOND Exhibition Director International Luxury Travel Market – ILTM



Luxury is not necessarily about the ultimate comfort it can also encompass the unusual and the different. It can mean the ultimate pamper in the finest hotel with the finest cuisine, but it can also mean sharing a tent with 10 others whilst one explores the North Pole.





DAVID HAMMOND

Exhibition Director

International Luxury Travel Market – ILTM






Q: Why was Cannes selected as the International Luxury Travel Market venue, and not a more central and perhaps more economical European destination?



A: The intention has always been to create an event for the celebration of luxury travel, but at the same time create a truly business to business event. The most obvious model to follow I think is the probably the most famous event on the planet, The Cannes Film Festival . If one studies the film festival it is not only one of the most spectacular in the world, but one of the most efficient face to face trade events.



In addition Cannes , besides being one of the top 3 congress cities in the world, is the 100% synonymous with the market we are trying to embody. From the famous Croisette through numerous jet set film sets; where else would you choose to hold such an event.



Also interestingly enough Nice is the second largest airport in volume terms within France, and Cannes is the largest private jet airport in Europe. Therefore, I can confidently say that in terms of luxury travel we are holding the event in the most appropriate location in the world.





Q: As the first global travel trade exhibition that focuses on the luxury travel market, can you as a new fair organizer host the on-site exhibition services that these up-market sellers and buyers demand?



A: We may be a new company, but our experience I feel is second to none in the industry. I personally have been involved with 16 events within our industry sector, whilst my colleagues have a wide array of expertise. Also, let us not forget that we are in partnership with the largest exhibition organiser in the world, Reed Exhibitions Companies Ltd.



We have prepared to focus on the real issues of an exhibition; providing serious business opportunities and the highest level of customer service. I am not afraid to say that we will not regard the number of people entering the exhibition as a measure of success. It is the real quality of the visitor. We have the best buyers in the world at this event. We have the best shell scheme ever in an exhibition, we will give the highest level of service.



What other show in the world has paid fully for 450 buyers to be at an event to service the exhibitors. What other event has encompassed sophisticated software for appointment setting.





Q: Are there enough dedicated up-market buyers out there to warrant such a fair and are you confident that buyers throughout the world have a compelling reason to visit the new fair?



How can you be sure that companies exhibiting at the fair sell truly luxury products to your potential visitors? Is there some sort of inspection program, for example, to ensure exclusive products?



A: I can state that this is almost 100% guaranteed. The price is necessarily a high one as we guarantee a very specialised buyer audience which we have to pay for their attendance. Therefore, any exhibitor who is not appropriate would be wasting a lot of money. Secondly remember that within the computerised appointment system the buyer leads. If your product is not suitable no-one will agree to see you in spite of your requests.



However, finally remember that the definition of luxury is a tenuaous one. Luxury is not necessarily about the ultimate comfort it can also encompass the unusual and the different. It can mean the ultimate pamper in the finest hotel with the finest cuisine, but it can also mean sharing a tent with 10 others whilst one explores the North Pole.





Q: Will the fair include any conference and seminar programs that are aimed precisely at the luxury market for professionals that already know their market well, such as unknown possible upcoming international market trends and so on?



A: As the market is essentially one that has rapidly evolved within the last few years, there are many questions to be resolved and many opinions to be expressed. Therefore, we have a conference taking place on the afternoon before the exhibition on 10 December addressing the issues of the industry. Anyone wishing to attend should go to our web site (www.iltm.net) and register free of charge.



Q: Is this to be an annual event scheduled for each December, or is just a pilot-type project for the time being?



A: This will held every year in Cannes.



Q: Do you expect strong Greek participation at this year’s fair and do you have a Greek inspection team to ensure these participants do have luxury products and services?



A: We are honoured to have a large Greek presence this year. As regards its suitability, one has to remember we work with the leading experts in the industry to ensure that the products from areas are suitable.



Q: Do you foresee a marked increase in the number of specialty fairs throughout the world and do you believe these types of fairs will prove as successful as destination fairs have been in the past?



A: Apart from the established events such as ITB and World Travel Market, I feel that new events will all have to be highly focused and deliver what they promise. Gone are the days of standing at a stand and hoping something will happen. This is the 21st century and we need to provide a 21st century service.



Q: Do you believe that specialized Internet sites, such as a possible one with luxury global destinations and products, could take the place of exclusive fairs like this one in the near future since this would be time saving and cost effective?



A: Of course an internet serviced site should develop in tandem with all speciality events. To be honest we could not have launched this event without the world wide web and its attendant technology. Electronic media entirely compliments this type of event.



Q: Is the cost to participate at this fair, either as a visitor or exhibitor, that much more expensive than other fairs?



A: What is expensive? I think expensive is when one has to pay whatever price for a zero return on investment. In this scenario even US$1 is expensive. I hate to say this but our industry has attracted many bad products over the years with little or no understanding on how to make an exhibition successful.



We have a relatively high cost but we provide a real return on investment. Remember we are paying for the flights, transfers, and hotel accommodation of 450 buyers from around the world. I think in many ways people do have a choice; they can eat at a burger bar or take part in a a la carte feast. Within this context I can say that we provide the best return on investment in the industry.

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