With the luxury accommodation sector projected to reach $95 billion globally by 2025 (Boston Consulting Group), driven largely by increased spending on experiences, 360 of the world’s most high-end travel suppliers and experiences from 60 countries gathered in Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico last week at the eigth edition of ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) North America. Here they met with 360 agents who curate personal travel itineraries for their private clients – North America’s highest net worth travellers.
With 55% of consumer luxury spending today spent on luxury experiences (also Boston Consulting Group), the business of luxury travel was evident in over 19,000 one-to-one curated meetings throughout the week. To reflect the growing global concern for the world’s oceans and ecosystems, the event theme of #journeydeeper was activated in events that were designed to calm the flow of the mind for guests, through to practical action with 60 new coral reefs to be planted in Mayakoba by ILTM on 1 October. Additionally, four hotels on the resort (Andaz, Banyan Tree, Fairmont and Rosewood) pledged to get rid of single-use plastic by mid 2021.
“With luxury travellers spending three times more than others on sustainability focussed, high end products, ILTM North America this year reflected a true homage to our coastal home in recognition of the changes we are seeing in luxury travel itineraries demand for experiences that are both sustainable and conscious,” said Simon Mayle Event Director, ILTM North America.
Exhibitors at this year’s event confirmed ILTM North America to be in tune with their private clients’ expectations from their luxury travel experiences.
Patricia Ortiz of CoolRooms Hotels in Spain – where they restore historic buildings into luxury hotels – said:
“This is our first time at ILTM North America and it has been incredible, including finding several of the buyers from Mexico, the US and Canada we have been seeking to meet for some time. 15-minute conversations are perfect to share details and connect properly in what we hope will be productive and long-standing relationships. We will surely be back next year.”
Chris Allison of Tourism Australia added: “This is my first ILTM and it has been a fantastic experience. I´m blown away with the quality of buyers here – everyone I’ve talked to has a real genuine interest on what we have to offer and has a real opportunity for business. It’s been an excellent investment and will have a very positive outcome for Australia.”
Jeorge Zepeda of Nobu Hotel Miami Beach remarked: “ILTM North America is incredible. Each time, ILTM exceeds the expectations of why we invest in the show. This year we are seeing Independent Consultants as well as new faces from new target markets, who – importantly – are within companies that were already part of our portfolio. This gives ILTM true strength and leadership in the luxury market and we will certainly return.”
Judy Reeves of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts said: “It has been wonderful to be here at ILTM North America sharing our news and building relationships with not only an incredible group of high-end buyers, but also many lifestyle and luxury media who are also attending the show.”
Fabio Datteroni of La Perla, Corvara in Badia in Italy added: “This is my first ILTM North America and I will be definitely back. I have been in the market for many years but here I have met with not only new buyers but buyers with an incredible reach. This show confirms everything I have ever heard – and more, very special indeed.”
Hosted buyers were also delighted with their experience. Tania Swasbrook of Travelworld International Group in the US said: “ILTM North America has truly come into its own – it’s the only show that is a true representation of the luxury market because it’s so diverse – such a positive vibe and with so many new people wanting to learn, it’s a true inspiration!”
Amy Furie of New Act Travel in the US added: “ILTM shows are constantly evolving which is incredible since they have set the bar so high already – they continually amaze me with all the new experiences they introduce. I love being at ILTM North America – proof in its entirely that the ‘face to face’ connection is still the best for business relationships and is so important now more than ever.”
And Jimmy Sorensen of Tzell Travel Group commented: “I cannot be more excited to be here for my 2nd time at ILTM North America, which is a perfect meeting place for luxury experiences with meaningful conversations and such a magnetic energy that presents amazing and lifelong connections like no other.”
In addition, Lety Jasqui of Viajes Polanco in Mexico City commented: “I’ve been in the business for 30 years, but this was my first chance to attend ILTM North America – what an incredible opportunity to build new connections with new suppliers from Iceland and Thailand to Portugal and many other fascinating destinations. I thought I knew everyone in the business relevant to my clients’ specific needs, but here at ILTM North America I have met so so many more! This week has truly given me a new lease of life.”