ILTM Asia Pacific took place in Singapore last week (5 – 8 September 2022) with some 800 attendees returning to participate in the APAC luxury travel event that has not taken place since the pandemic.
Business, networking, education and parties brought the community together over three days and the industry welcomed the return of the show.
Buyers united in their eagerness to do business, to learn what is new and to update themselves for their clients now that the region is back to travelling again.
Launching dedicated research about the region entitled: “Decoding the luxury travel consumer mindset,” Alison Gilmore Portfolio Director ILTM said, “The pandemic has had a fundamental impact on traveller behaviour with some trends accelerating, some slowing down and others stabilising.
“The research surveyed almost 500 validated wealthy APAC travellers from six countries, a reliable barometer of luxury sentiment and habits in 2022”.
The show floor saw many new hosted buyers from across the region as well as new exhibitors all eager to get back to business.
Brent Wallace of SmartFlyer Australia spoke of the energy at the event.
“It’s been amazing – this show has packed a punch. I have not stopped and have seen so many people I didn’t expect to. The energy is amazing and I have got so much out of it.”
Huiting Lim of Uniq Luxe Singapore agreed saying, “It’s been wonderful to reconnect with all our industry partners after so long. ILTM is the best place to meet luxury products that are suitable for our HNW clients.”
Hanny Sutra Yunita of Travelplus Indonesia was a first time buyer at this year’s event and said: “I was very excited about attending. This show is on another level to others. I met so many new products, from new destinations, Ponant Expeditions, Belmond’s luxury trains and the many different regions of Switzerland.”
Ming Tanaporn Owner, World Travel Designer (WTD) Thailand was pleased to be back.
“I first attended in 2019, and it’s nice to be back again. It’s great to have an update of all the new properties that have opened over the past two years and to learn about those opening in the future. I loved seeing the Safari products and Rwanda especially was very interesting. We are expanding our business for clients into safaris so I was able to learn a lot. Our high-net-worth clients are now booking for next year and Europe is also one of their choices.”
Exhibitors heard from the research presented during the ILTM Opening Forum that the future of this region has huge potential for luxury travel brands around the world.
“Many affluent individuals are looking to resume travelling in style with almost half planning to spend more on holidays than preCovid trips,” it quotes.
At the same time, wealthy APAC travellers are also looking to use the services of a travel agent with 92% of those surveyed saying they will be using them over the next year.
Exhibitors were keen to make the most of their appointments with buyers to get their brands recognised once again and to seek those wealthy APAC travellers through their onsite pre-scheduled appointments.
Victoria Sertic, VP Marketing and Communications for ACCOR in SE Asia, Japan and South Korea who were one of the exhibitors at ILTM APAC said: “We were delighted to witness the return of ILTM Singapore after a two-year hiatus. It was invaluable to meet with key partners across our incredible industry to talk luxury travel – a sector which is roaring back to life.
“Accor is proud to be rapidly expanding its luxury network under renowned brands such as Raffles, Sofitel, Fairmont and Emblems. We look forward to introducing many more flagship addresses across this incredible region.”
Asia Jovanvic-Desir Director APAC, Australia and India Seychelles Tourism Board talked about why the event is important for them.
“ILTM Asia Pacific is a prime opportunity for us and really cost effective. I’ve seen over 30 agents in the short time we are here and had some 60 meetings overall. I managed to update a lot of Australian buyers which helps my business, as I have saved the cost of travelling there right now.
“Meeting the media was also very important as we don’t know them individually, so for us to see journalists from Asia Pacific region and beyond with speed networking meetings, meant we could spread the word about the Seychelles. I can rate this whole experience as mission accomplished”.
David Miro of the Catalan Tourist Board Asia Pacific agreed: “This has been great. Getting back to face-to-face and learning from the buyers again has been wonderful. It’s great to hear that the buyers want and need this event – so important to us as a tourist board here in the region”.
Steve Odell, SVP Managing Director Oceania Cruises, summed up their participation this year.
“We’ve supported ILTM Asia Pacific since the start. There’s a lot of new travel advisors around now and it’s important for us to get our product and brand out there. So ILTM is the key trade show for us in Asia”.
In 2023, ILTM Asia Pacific will take place in Singapore 19 – 22 June.