ILTM Asia (International Luxury Travel Market Asia), the ‘by invitation only’ exclusive event for planners and designers of bespoke luxury travel experiences, closed today in Shanghai, with exhibitors and buyers conducting more than 19,000 business appointments during the show.
Now in its 5th year and acclaimed as the region’s most successful event of its kind, ILTM offered a platform for businesses to showcase their most sought after destinations, ultra-luxurious accommodation, elite transportation and unique travel experiences to the Asia Pacific region’s most discerning luxury travel buyers.
ILTM Asia is dedicated to delivering a business environment that provides a one-to-one ratio of VIP Hosted Buyers for every exhibitor – this year over 370 of each attended the show an increase of 12% and 10% respectively on last year’s event.
Exhibitors found ILTM Asia a rewarding experience: “We come back every year as with ILTM Cannes. Six Senses are targeting India and China specifically for growth. This year we have seen buyers who are offering customized services and these are the niche operators we want to work with to tailor-make individual programs,” said Six Senses Karan Kaul, Director Strategic Sales.
“We were extremely busy with full appointment diaries. We have had some great leads from China and Hong Kong and have seen a real shift this year in new business post the dip which is very exciting,” added Gillian Greenwood Director of InterContinental Hotel Group’s International Sales.
A highlight of ILTM Asia 2011 was the Ultratravel Forum with a panel of high-level industry figureheads from both suppliers and buyers of luxury travel in China and the Asia-Pacific region including representatives from Silversea, Virgin Atlantic and American Express takingpart.
“The Forum was well organised and so inspiring, it was great to listen to Adrian Zecha talking about his successful brand Amanresorts,” said Mr Vajravorn Tasukon, Director of Marketing and Communications for Chiva-Som.
Networking events took place all over Shanghai during the event. Helen Lee, Vice General Manager, Shanghai Didatour International Travel Company and a first time Hosted Buyer said, “I found high end products and properties which will really fit my customer’s needs. Outside of the event, the networking every night provided me with a great platform to not only meet exhibitors but also with other buyers to exchange more industry information and ideas.”
With 120 buyers new to ILTM Asia Ms Lin Wu, Vice General Manager Sun Pala summed up the experience. “My company has been to ILTM for 3 years but this is my first time. The show is great. I found many luxury big brands and also small boutique properties which I found of great interest. There were lots of networking opportunities and I particularly enjoyed the event at Fairmont Peace Hotel with the live jazz band that created a perfect atmosphere to socialize with other guests from the show. I would definitely love to come back next year!”
Experiential travel suppliers at ILTM confirmed a shift to clients wanting more adventure and culture from their leisure itineraries. Brigitte Lammle ofAntartica XX1 said “This is our second time and we have been so busy we ran out of our material! We have been seeing repeat customers who have now become active clients as well as met new ones. The quality is good and the Asian market is booming. It’s not true what people think about the Chinese market taking time to access – thanks to ILTM Asia we have had 1/5th of our maximum capacity now sold to the Chinese”.
Debbie Joslin, Event Director said “The results of this year’s ILTM Asia proves that business in the luxury sector in the region is expanding rapidly, driven by not only continued economic growth in China but by most other countries in the region as well.”
The focus will now turn to ILTM Cannes which will take place from 5-8 December 2011