The 13th edition of the world’s leading luxury travel event – International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) is officially opened in Cannes, France.
Speaking at the ILTM Global Forum, Global Economist Nenad Pacek revealed that 13 million people in the world today have over $1 million dollars to invest and more and more of this money is being spent on luxury travel. In the face of increasing competition, big players from the world of luxury travel are becoming more aggressive in their tactics to reach target audiences and increasingly, independent local products are playing a much more important role.
Consumer expert Lauren Capelin explored ‘The Collaborative Economy’ - the new consumer shift now reinventing traditional market behaviors, such as renting, borrowing, trading, exchanging and swapping - and what this means to the luxury travel industry.
Lauren concluded: “1 in 5 of luxury travel businesses will be affected by the collaborative economy – it is an opportunity to grow rather than an issue that’s removing opportunity for luxury travel.”
South African political commentator and newspaper columnist Justice Malala - who set the tone for much debate at ILTM Africa earlier this year – explored ‘The Democracy Dividend in Africa and Its Impact on Wealth Creation”. In a world where more than 100,000 Africans have more than $1million to invest, Malala observed that “Ebola has disrupted the positive narrative of this emerging continent.” He took the audience on a journey of examination of the opportunities of today’s Africa for the luxury travel industry: “Given that Africa now has the fastest growing middle class in the world, the key issue is how to support this growth?”
Leading futurist consultant Edie Weiner concluded with ‘A View From The Future’ which identified where luxury is going next and what the industry should be aware of in terms of technology, global economies, the political scene, demography and society. She highlighted ‘The second largest currency behind the US dollar is reward points closely followed by the Tweet!”
The Global Forum was preceded by two topical seminars that focused on two key growth areas with the potential of increasing revenue within luxury travel – health and wellness and gastronomy.
‘Health is the New Wealth’ moderated by UK spa specialist journalist Suzanne Duckett featured Frances Geoghegan of Healing Holidays, Elena Black of Six Senses Spas, Anne Biging of Healing Hotels, and John Bevan of Spafinder Wellness 365 who debated spa and wellbeing as one of the fastest growing businesses worldwide – it is predicted that 90% of all luxury tourism will include an aspect of health and wellbeing by the year 2040. The panel shared the importance of keeping pace with the changes in health and wellbeing and gave attendees the tools needed to consider their own offering, communicate effectively about health and wellbeing, and ensure they’re on track to stay relevant in the future.
‘Modern Gastronomy and the Search for Identity’ featured Jeremy Wayne, Restaurant Editor of Tatler UK, David Loewi of D&D London, which owns and operates over 30 leading restaurants in London, Leeds, Paris, New York and Tokyo, restauranter Michael Greenwold and Michelin starred chefs Norbert Niederkofler and Gilles Epie. It has never been more important to understand food culture and its contribution to the story of a journey or place and the session explored varied routes to enhancing gastronomic experiences and the panel’s visions for the future of modern cuisine.