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ILTM Asia 2015 highlights how Asian travellers are sharing the future of world travel experiences

Now in its ninth yearin Shanghai, ILTM Asia is where the future of luxury travel experiences are created and launched for the benefit of Asian travellers.

With over 500 luxury travel buyers from 26 countries across the Asia Pacific, over 500 global exhibitors and 150 industry media, ILTM (Internal Luxury Travel Market) Asia has once again established itself as the region’s annual home to the luxury travel industry.
Now in its ninth yearin Shanghai, ILTM Asia is where the future of luxury travel experiences are created and launched for the benefit of Asian travellers. ILTM Asia delivers one-on-one appointments with selected luxury travel buyers for the world’s finest hotels, travel experience companies and destinations. The four-day show has become one of the highlights of the global luxury travel calendar.
Exhibitors were enthusiastic once again in their praise for the show. Wayne Hu, Deputy General Manager, Asia, Baha Mar Ltd. said: “We loved the fact that the buyers were all targeted, looking for a new island destination. It really opened up opportunities for collaboration for of us, buyers were far more receptive than we anticipated, especially of a new destination such as the Bahamas. I thought the show was very well run, and the individual buyers spot on. It was our first year and we will be looking at a bigger presence next year.
Ninna Haflidadottir, Director of Marketing, Iceland Luxury said: “It was our first visit to ILTM Asia and we were very pleased with our meetings and the level of interest. Our schedule was fully booked and gave us a great view of the Asian market which we found to be well informed and interested in Iceland. We’ve seen an increase in Chinese / Asian visitors over the past 3 to 4 years so it is important for us to come here to find out more about what their needs are.
Malcolm Fourie, Director, African Fairway & Safari said: “This has been a nice eye opener in identifying what is most definitely a market for us to penetrate. A lot of interest from Asian, Indian and Australian buyers, and Africa is clearly on their radar.

Jace Tyrell, Deputy Chief Executive of Bond Street, London said: “It’s the first time for us to be a part of ILTM and we have found that buyers from across China and Asia are really engaged with personalised travel experiences. It’s a unique concept and we will definitely be back – and even bigger next year!
Laurence Barreau, Director of Business Development, AccorHotels said: “We have not been back for the last four years, but with 46 percent of all our properties being in Asia-Pacific it is crucial for us.  Since four years ago the quality of buyers is totally different – very professional, more concierge, more VIP services and they understand the true meaning of luxury. As a luxury brand we now have to be here as it is very good visibility.
Alison Gilmore, Director of the ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) Portfolio, said: “We are thrilled with this year’s ILTM Asia. We have welcomed more than 200 Chinese buyers to the show and you can clearly see the increasing demands from Chinese travellers for experiential journeys to new destinations. We have exhibitors showcasing everything from polar expeditions to African safaris, and from the world’s finest luxury hotel brands to tea plantation retreats.
The personal and the ‘out of the ordinary’ top the wish-list of today’s Chinese luxury traveller
Earlier in the week, Alison Gilmore, Senior Exhibition Director of the ILTM Portfolio highlighted at the opening forum that half of the top ten ‘super-rich’ cities in the world are now in Asia and advised the 500 global travel suppliers present that “it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.
Also speaking at ILTM Asia’s Opening Forum at The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Sean Rein, Founder of China Market Research Group and author of The end of Copycat China, revealed that today’s Chinese traveller is looking for “more than just a regular holiday” – hotels and travel companies need to curate services specifically for individuals in the Asia market. He observed that current Chinese trends are leaving luxury products behind to focus on luxury experiences. In essence, he summarised:
It’s about doing something different. Chinese and Asian guests now want great, individual experiences that are tailored to them. The new luxury is not buying a branded bag, it’s swimming with dolphins, hiking mountains, visiting far flung amazing places – and then sharing the images on your phone. WeChat and WeChat Moments are now as important a part of the travel experience as anything else.
Professor Dr. Phil Klaus MBA, MRes continued the discussion about the importance of the personalised customer experience in 2015, urging the audience to “compete for their customers, not against their competitors.” He offered insights into ensuring that companies re-focus on customer experience as the key component to their business.
80% of the time and money invested from hotel groups goes into the moment up until the purchase, but the experience for customers really comes after the purchase. Post purchase is big business these days. It generates 24% of revenue, but actually over 45% of profits.
ILTM Asia returns to Shanghai from 30 May – 2 June 2016. Further ILTM events in 2015/2016 are:
ILTM Americas: Riviera Maya, 28 September – 1 October 2015
ILTM: Cannes, 30 November – 3 December 2015
ILTM Japan: Tokyo, 29 February – 2 March 2016
ILTM Africa: Cape Town, 4 – 6 April 2016
Travelweek Sao Paulo by ILTM: 3 – 6 May 2016
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.