A “Meet the Client” panel at the Opening Forum of ILTM Americas on September 30 in Riviera Maya, Mexico, will be the platform for the global luxury travel industry to hear firsthand and for the first time, the dreams, desires, and despairs of high-net-worth clients from both North and Latin America - in live conversations with their travel advisors.
This innovative feature will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on “Developing Latin America” and featuring high profile brands developing luxury travel across Latin America. In addition, some of the world’s most influential luxury travel editors will set the scene for inspiration and innovation at ILTM’s first ‘Meet the Editors’ seminar session.
This second edition of ILTM Americas – the leading luxury travel business hub for the region – will follow the established ILTM format, profiling global luxury travel experiences to meet with hosted luxury travel agents from across North, South and Central America, matching mutual requests from buyers and exhibitors alike to meet on a strict one-to-one ratio. ILTM Americas takes place from September 30-October 3, also at the Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya.
The ILTM Americas Opening Forum 2013 is a live debate created to inspire the industry, facilitated by Javier Arredondo, Founding Partner of Mexico’s luxury lifestyle magazine, Travesias. Gabriel Duque, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Colombia will open with an economic and political overview of Latin America, exploring its evolution, current state and predictions for the region’s economies in the short and longer term.
With relationships between agent and client – as well as the landscape for luxury travel - shifting significantly in recent years, ILTM Americas Opening Forum guests will see and hear at first hand from leading luxury travel advisors and their clients. During the dedicated “Meet the Client” feature, Stacy Small of Elite Travel International in the US and her client Nick Heyman; and Tania Lebrija Swasbrook of Travelworld of Coronado and her Mexican based client Sergio Diaz, will be interviewed by Mr. Arredondo. Ms. Small commented:
“Having attended ILTM events for a number of years, I am convinced that the advice and expertise shared by the fellow high-level travel advisors whom I meet at any ILTM is one of the most valuable take-aways from each event. I am delighted that my client and I can be part of this innovative ‘client/advisor relationship’ feature and look forward to learning still more from those also sharing the platform.”
The focus will then turn to address the interests of the hoteliers and other suppliers present, with a focus on “Developing Latin America” and featured panelists including Jack Horne, Senior Vice President, Hyatt Hotels&Resorts and Paul James, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis, W Hotels and The Luxury Collection. They will discuss their views on the strategic development of the region’s inbound luxury tourism markets, but also capitalizing on the opportunities presented by its emerging outbound markets.
“Today, Latin America is illustrative of the trends that we are seeing around the world, including rising wealth and greater global connectivity, which have fueled new demand for travel and a new type of Latin American traveler who demands a more luxurious experience,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis, W Hotels and The Luxury Collection. “As a result, we are seeing an ever greater affinity for Starwood’s luxury brands amongst this group as well as a strong demand for new hotel development across our portfolio. With 80 percent of Starwood’s global growth coming from emerging markets, we consider Latin America to be one of the most dynamic tourism markets in the world and a strategic priority for the entire company.”
The scene will be set for the Opening Forum with a “Meet the Editors” session, also at the Fairmont Hotel and featuring Maria Shollenbarger, Travel Editor of the FT’s How to Spend It in the UK, Nilou Motamed, Features Editor at Travel + Leisure in the US and Maria Pellicer, Editor of Mexico’s Travesias magazine.
The business of ILTM Americas will take place over the following 3 days, hosting up to 69 pre-scheduled appointments between each buyer and supplier, with a detailed program of social networking activities throughout.