The second annual edition of specialist event ILTM Japan closed on March 19, announcing that over 1000 business appointments took place over the last three days at the SODOH Higashiyama, Kyoto.
Japan is noted for being one of Asia’s largest outbound travel markets, according to the JTA, spending US$ 24 billion between April 2012 and March 2013, an increase of 5% year on year. The only event of its kind in the country and entirely dedicated to the high end Japanese luxury travel sector, ILTM Japan 2014 welcomed over 100 buyers and exhibitors in an agenda of one to one appointments.
International luxury travel buyers attended from Singapore, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, China, Malaysia, Canada, the US and UK - 34% had never visited an ILTM event before. In addition, elite Japanese buyers - 86% of whom were also first time visitors to the event - met with international exhibitors to build global business opportunities. Following ILTM’s successful formula, each buyer was accredited to ensure they met the criteria to attend and was then fully hosted at the event by ILTM.
The scene was set at ILTM Japan’s Opening Forum where industry leaders predicted inbound and outbound trends for Japan’s luxury travel industry. Economist Hitoshi Yoshimura, a former hotel owner and operator and Dean of the Japan Hotel Association summarised Japan’s continuing upward trajectory in its quest to welcome 20 million inbound visitors by 2020 when the Olympic Games will be hosted by Tokyo.
He said: “Japan boasts 8.4% of the world wealthiest individuals, second only to the USA. In addition, with its increasing GDP and rising Nikkei stock index, there is a clear optimism in Japan for the first time in decades. Equally, Japan welcomed 10 million inbound visitors in 2013, the largest number since 1964 when we last hosted the Olympic Games.”