As ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) Asia Pacific draws nearer, LATTE recently spoke with ILTM Portfolio Director, Alison Gilmore, to find out the benefits of attending for hosted buyers. Here is what Alison had to say in our exclusive one-on-one interview.
What is the value of ILTM Asia Pacific for a travel agent/personal travel planner; why should they apply to be accepted as a hosted buyer?
ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore specifically focuses on international luxury travel brands’ demand to meet with regional agents and buyers. With over 500 luxury products, brands and experiences to meet with, the event’s Hosted Buyer programme is open to any individual who can demonstrate they have purchasing authority, a client base of high net worth individuals, regular and future outbound business.
Once qualified, it’s a four day event program including access to the educational seminars, all networking events and the show itself. Plus buyers are able to choose their ‘wish-list’ to create their own pre-scheduled appointment program that will form the core of their business at the show.
Each year Australian luxury travel buyers are represented at the show and consider it core to the events they attend each year.
David Goldman, Joint MD of Goldman Group said, “Our industry is built on solid relationships and to have the opportunity to network with old and new friends is very special. ILTM Asia Pacific is the only place to meet the best of the best – I already can’t wait for May 2020.”
Melissa Ferguson, International Consultant at Mary Rossi Travel agrees: “ILTM is now my favourite trade show globally – love it!”
What are the benefits for an exhibitor participating in ILTM Asia Pacific? Can you give me some examples of how the event adds value to their brand?
ILTM Asia Pacific is all about bringing the world to the region, the fastest growing economic region in the world. International exhibitors who want to market their products and services will find their pre-scheduled appointments are with the elite travel agents from the Hosted Buyer programme, representing some 20 countries in APAC. Countries who have their most discerning agents or buyers accredited include Australasia, South East Asia, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia and Korea as well as a small percentage (18%) from the rest of the world. At ILTM Asia Pacific 2019, over 34,000 appointments took place and many more happened during the many networking and social events.
Describing why ILTM works for them, Pascal Visintainer, Vice President Luxury Sales, Accor said, “ILTM Asia Pacific is vital – a one-stop opportunity to meet the region’s top decision-making agents. The range and quality of buyers is well distributed across Australasia as well as Asia Pacific and we have already confirmed bookings that have given us a great return on our investment.”
Does the exhibitor base change year on year so the buyers can research new information, products and services? What sort of exhibitors are attending this year?
A return on investment is obviously the number one reason to attend ILTM Asia Pacific, and as a platform from which to raise awareness of a brand, it’s often about repeat performances. With 61% of new buyers attending in 2019, exhibitors know they are going to be seeing new faces. And the target is similar for 2020. At the same time, with many new exhibitors every year the buyers also get to establish new contacts and find the products their UHNW clients are seeking. It is no longer good enough to just use a trade show as a means to network, so a solid business agenda is the priority. We have hundreds of exhibitors who return year on year because they consider the event a key component of their business plan.
What are the networking events this year and does everyone get invited?
Singapore tends to get crazy busy during ILTM, the convergence of the international luxury travel industry creates networking opportunities around the city. Meet ups at the event’s Opening Forum, over the coffee and lunch breaks, during education sessions, at hosted functions and at both the Welcome and Closing parties all bring everyone together.
What trends will ILTM Asia Pacific define this year? Will both exhibitors and buyers be looking to promote and buy from those promoting sustainable travel?
The newest hashtag circulating is #travelconscious and the ILTM portfolio of events has taken this theme since last year, with speakers at the Opening Forum of ILTM who defined how conscious travel is now shaping the leisure time of luxury travellers. We are seeing exhibitors also wanting to take ownership of how their products represent the future environmentally. Buyers are looking to help their clients travel consciously whether by seeking out exhibitors who can prove sustainability and ethical tourist activities, enhancing the lives of the citizens in their destinations as well.
Last year there was a new Wellness section to the event, what will this look like and how do buyers get involved this year?
Health and Wellness is a key element of every ILTM portfolio event and ILTM Asia Pacific created an area devoted to brands and their treatments/specialist areas of the sector. Spend in the sector globally is expected to reach US$919 billion by 2022 according to the Global Wellness Institute and the Asia Pacific region is set to make some 258m trips and spend over $136 billion on wellness tourism.
On the afternoon of Monday 18 May, ILTM will be hosting a wellness conference – an informative session open to all participants. In addition, The Retreat is an area of the show floor created as a sanctuary for luxury travel brands who have wellness itineraries that they want to promote to the hosted buyers. It has grown exponentially since it was first created at ILTM Cannes 2018, and in expanding to ILTM Asia Pacific last year, The Retreat proved to be a highlight of the show.
When and where are the other ILTM events in 2020 and who can take part in each?
Global Brands are able to take part in any ILTM event, apart from ILTM Africa. Buyers are able to apply to be accredited for the specific event within their region and also ILTM Cannes. ILTM 2020 events are as follows:
- ILTM Africa, Cape Town, 4 – 6 April
- ILTM Arabia, Dubai, 20 and 21 April
- ILTM Latin America, Sao Paulo, 5 – 8 May
- ILTM Asia Pacific, Singapore, 18 – 21 May
- ILTM North America, Riviera Maya, Mexico, 21 – 24 September
- ILTM China, Shanghai, 28 – 30 October
- ILTM, Cannes, 7 – 10 December