At the ILTM Asia 2017 Opening Forum in Shanghai, ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore announced changes in ILTM Asia that will take effect in 2018. As the luxury outbound market is growing so fast, the international luxury travel market tries to adapt to the changes.
ILTM Asia will become ILTM Asia Pacific and move to Singapore in 2018, taking place 21 – 24 May at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. A new event, ILTM China will remain in Shanghai in October 2018, to be re-focused for buyers and planners of outbound luxury travel from China.
Gilmore commented: “Research amongst our clients shows that the luxury outbound market is growing so fast that many companies are now separating their current and future business plans and marketing strategies to focus on China and Asia as two independent opportunities. ILTM has listened and is responding with two dynamic events dedicated to their own audiences.”
ILTM Asia Pacific will be re-positioned to represent the whole of Asia, bringing more international buyers, similar in context to ILTM in Cannes. “We will create the show to be as international as Cannes, with the same ambiance, story and stature but set in the dynamic heart of Asia – Singapore - considered to be both the region’s gateway and its hub,” continued Ms Gilmore.
Asia Pacific surpassed North America for the first time in 2016 to become the region with the largest amount of high net worth wealth (World Wealth Report 2016). By 2025, the report states that Asia-Pacific’s high net worth population would more than double to 11.7 million individuals. Luxury travel is outpacing ordinary travel in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines and ILTM Asia Pacific will now focus on this growth, collectively bringing together international and regional luxury travel suppliers to boost and build their businesses from this dynamic region.
Regarding ILTM China specifically, Ms Gilmore commented: “ILTM China will remain in Shanghai and be repositioned specifically to bring Chinese luxury travel planners and buyers to meet with international exhibitors of luxury products and services. Every year we see a big increase in the number of Chinese luxury travel planners wanting to attend ILTM and with this new style of event we can focus on this market solely.”
The latest Cap Gemini World Wealth Report (2016) shows that high net-worth population leapt by 16.2% in China, the largest gain of any country. Each year the number of new Chinese buyers increases at ILTM Asia and the new ILTM China will be a dedicated platform to reach the region’s high-end luxury travelers.
Steve Odell, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd agreed saying: “Like many other corporations in Asia, we already have separate businesses for our mainland China business, headquartered in Shanghai and the rest of Asia based in Hong Kong. The business model, demographics and consumer profiles are quite different, so we can better serve each by focusing in a dedicated way. We really welcome ILTM mirroring our own strategy by creating dedicated shows for the very different markets in the Asia region.”
Philippe Garnier, VP Distribution and Partnerships, Conrad Hilton added, “Our growth in China is so impressive that we have created a new position of President for China to coincide with our 100th hotel opening in China, recognising the extent of our future intentions in Greater China and Mongolia.”
ILTM China will be a bespoke event with one-to-one meetings supporting pre-scheduled appointments, similar to other ILTM events in Japan, Africa and Dubai. International exhibitors will meet luxury planners and agencies from China only.
“Everything about ILTM China will be dedicated to supporting the growth of this outbound luxury travel industry providing the biggest opportunity for brands from around the world to connect with the hundreds of personally sourced VIP Chinese buyers and planners,” Ms Gilmore concluded.
To complete the ILTM offering in Asia, ILTM Japan will continue to invest in the region, developing long term business relationships and exploring inbound opportunities for luxury Japanese brands from 26 - 28 February 2018 in Tokyo.