ILTM Asia (International Luxury Travel Market Asia) 2012, the ‘invitation only’ exclusive event for planners and designers of bespoke luxury travel experiences, has announced that over 21,000 business appointments had taken place during the three day event.
Dedicated to delivering a business environment where VIP hosted buyers meet luxury travel suppliers on an exclusive one-to-one basis, this year’s event saw 440 buyers - an increase of 20% on last year’s event - and suppliers attend the show from 20 countries across the Asia Pacific.
“Returning to ILTM Asia for the third consecutive year we recognise the benefit of attending this show. Everyone is aware of the changing face of business and as we target Chinese and Indian consumers for growth, ILTM Asia has ensured the quality and calibre of buyers reflects this,” said Kozue Murakami, Head of Far East Sales, Maybourne Hotel Group.vws
“Great calibre of buyers, inspirational panel discussions and extremely beneficial networking events; there is no question we will be returning next year. With all eyes set on doing business with China, no other event offers the same range and level of opportunity to build relationships with top tier buyers from the Asia Pacific region,” added Mark Beverlo, International Sales Manager of The Ritz London.
As well as the established classics of luxury travel, ILTM Asia celebrates the independent and innovative experiences for the benefit of the Asia Pacific region’s most discerning luxury travel buyers.
“This was our first experience of an ILTM event. The quality of buyers is incredible and has opened up a host of new markets for us in the Asia Pacific region. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the media from such a range of diverse countries and allow me the opportunity to introduce Zambezi Queen to this region,” said Tony Stern, CEO, Owner and Designer of Africa’s luxury river safari Zambezi Queen.
Brigitte Lammle of boutique cruises Antarctica XX1 commented, “This is our second ILTM Asia and we have been so busy we ran out of our material! We have seen repeat customers who are now active clients, and also met many new ones. The quality is good and the Asian market is booming. Thanks to ILTM Asia, 1/5th of our maximum capacity is now sold to the Chinese, despite people thinking that the Chinese market is taking time to access.”
With 231 buyers new to ILTM Asia Mr. Brent Wallace of Fairflights Australia, summed up the agent experience:
“ILTM Asia has been the source of my business success over the last five years. I never thought there would be more to thrill me in luxury travel, but there is and it’s all here at this year’s event,” he said.
Jenny Shabudin of TravCheq Travel, Malaysia added: “This is the best – I have met many new business opportunities – new ideas that have really excited and inspired me.”
Mr Oliver Yang, Xiao Chun of Yoo Elite Travel commented: “ILTM Asia just gets better and better and it’s not just the industry leaders like Aman Resorts, XO Private and Silversea, but the smaller experiences in which my clients are increasingly interested. In fact, my clients are often the first Chinese visitors to many of these destinations.”
And Frank Lin of Shanghai’s Affordable Luxury Network said: “ILTM Asia is the most productive conference in premier and luxury travel as it’s here that we are really seeing that the industry is increasingly tailoring their offers to Chinese consumers.”
One of the many highlights of this year’s event was the Opening Forum where figureheads from the luxury travel industry, including Ho Kwon Ping of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, shared their insights into Chinese consumer preferences.
“This year’s Opening Forum guest speaker was the most refreshing I can remember. In this industry, honesty is much appreciated. As a native from this market, I feel Ho Kwon Ping gave the qualified perspective we all needed,” said Mr. Vajravon Tasukon, Director of Marketing and Communications for Chiva-Som.
First time exhibitor Richard Schilling, General Manager of the Hotel Martinez in Cannes, France added: “ILTM Asia has allowed us to visit 20 countries in 3 days – better than an intensive 3 week dedicated roadshow. We have met key new buyers from Australia, Korea and Taiwan including one who wanted to book 20 rooms a week from August to October for VIP clients – we are delighted.”
ILTM Asia also confirmed the growth in demand for adventure, culture and authenticity for the leisure travel itineraries of high net worth individuals across the Asia Pacific.
Alison Gilmore, ILTM Asia Exhibition Director concluded “ILTM Asia 2012 has revealed a real demand for curated elite travel experiences from the emerging affluent youth in the Asia Pacific region. The results of this year’s show prove once more that ILTM Asia is the leading luxury travel forum to generate new business across this exciting region, as well as confirm long-standing relationships.”