The eighth edition of ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) Asia opened yesterday, with an Opening Forum in Shanghai.
Martin Jacques, author of ”When China Rules the World”, - took to the stage and observed that by the year 2030, the Chinese economy will be over twice the size of the European Union, plus the Indian and US economies combined. Tourism was also cited as the leading leisure pursuit for China’s wealthy.
“China is also going to change the world politically, culturally and socially, producing more than a third of the world’s GDP and 20% of the global population by 2030.”
As the first feature event for ILTM Asia 2014 – the leading luxury travel industry event for the Asia Pacific region - the Opening Forum also introduced author and journalist Nury Vittachi, who urged the luxury travel brands present to “Find your story: add characters, add emotion, add details, add narrative…add power”. Jason Ge, Vice-President of China’s leading social networking platform, Weibo also addressed the audience of hosted luxury travel buyers and exhibitors in the packed auditorium, commenting that “Social media has become the number one decisive factor for Chinese tourists’ buying decisions today.”
The popular ‘Meet the Editors’ session was moderated by Peter Greenberg of CBS News and featured the editors of Conde Nast Travelers India and China, Travel + Leisures US and SE Asia and Australia’s Luxury Travel Bible.
The editors highlighted what inspires them: “real stories behind the facts and figures” (Hilary Doling, Luxury Travel Bible, Australia), “stories that are bold and ‘push the envelope’” (Divia Thani, Conde Nast Traveller India) and “customisation and very visual stories,” (Sarah Spagnolo, Travel + Leisure US). Yan Xiao, editor of Conde Nast Traveller China added that she seeks the “different and the unknown to both inspire her readers and offer them practical advice” and Chris Kucway, Travel + Leisure SE Asia added that ‘personalisation of the pitch is key to being noticed.”