Participants at this week’s International Travel Market (ILTM) in Cannes attended the event’s Opening Forum to listen to industry leaders share their inspirations and predict trends for tomorrow’s global luxury travel industry.
ILTM Exhibition Director Alison Gilmore, welcomed the audience of over 1500 high end luxury travel providers and buyers from more than 85 countries to the Opening Forum, commenting:
“It is crucial to recognise change, seize new opportunities and continually explore the question of the high end consumer’s engagement and loyalty.”
Consultant editor at The Economist John Andrews set the scene on ‘The World in 2013’ outlining the Economist’s global economic predictions for the next 12 months and the impact on the luxury consumer. He foresees growth in Africa, Latin America and Australia, a recovery in North America and predicts foreign investment heading to the new emerging economies of the Philippines and Indonesia, including an increased influx of high net worth travellers from across the world. It was also noted that South America is now being ‘taken seriously’ for not only inbound but also outbound luxury tourism.
In a series of exclusive, conversational, one-to-one interviews, delegates heard views on what is luxury and also what isn’t for the discerning traveller of today. Mr Silvio Ursini, Executive Vice President, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, spoke of their holistic approach to design within each of their growing portfolio of hotels. He talked about how they “transferred a 100 year old brand famous for its jewellery into a gem of bespoke hotels, each of them crafted like a precious stone” rather than a developing a brand philosophy. He also spoke of the importance of individuality in location and “a creative design that is culturally sensitive to the hotel’s location”.
His views on individuality were echoed by Kit Kemp, Design Director of Ferndale Hotels who outlined a similar design philosophy of “one project at a time”, with each hotel created as a bespoke experience.
Presentations also talked about newly affluent tourists seeking new destinations, citing some 50 million Chinese tourists soon looking to travel overseas. More and more, “time well spent” is the definitive experience sought by a luxury traveller, wherever they are from.ILTM continues until Thursday 6 December, facilitating over 51,000 pre-arranged business appointments throughout this ‘invitation only’ event for the luxury travel industry.