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Luxury Travel Industry Gathers, Renews And Rebuilds At ILTM 2021

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This was the week (6 – 9 December) that ILTM, the world’s leading luxury travel event portfolio celebrated the 20th edition of ILTM Cannes.

The global flagship event for the ILTM Portfolio brought together luxury travel professionals from 73 countries with over 1300 luxury travel suppliers from across the world for a week of dedicated one-to-one meetings – over 50,000 in total – as well as an extensive programme of networking events. With high level safety precautions in place, the event was a successful live reunion for industry professionals from around the world, as well as catalyst for new business connections in luxury travel.

ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore commented the success of the week’s events:
“We are so proud of the role ILTM 2021 has played in giving the global luxury travel industry the live event so desperately needed. The love of travel is still as real as it ever was – so many reunions, so many introductions and so many real human connections with so much emotion.”

Over 1300 luxury travel brands, experiences, destinations, and suppliers enjoyed a week of building and renewing connections with international travel planners, curators and agencies once again, taking full benefit of the pre-scheduled, one-to-one appointments. ILTM brings together the full breadth of luxury travel experiences from hidden gems to industry’s most celebrated and established brands – a catalyst for professionals and brands to form and renew rewarding relationships and discover new business opportunities.

Jack Ezon, Founder of Embark Beyond led the praises: “This has been THE most impactful ILTM since its creation – a true impetus for our whole industry to forge forward and move together towards continued success.”

Haisley Smith of InterNova Travel Group also commented: “This week at ILTM has allowed us to reconnect with the world – each appointment, working lunch and dinner has been defined by a feeling of pure joy so huge kudos to ILTM for the planning and logistics to ensure that everyone felt safe and secure throughout.”

Silvio Rebmann, CEO and Founder, Germany’s Cube Travel GmbH said: “ILTM Cannes always has been the most important date in my trade show calendar and was desperately missed in 2020. I’ve had real ‘zoom fatigue’ so it’s been great to connect in real life!”

And Yuriy Horovyy, of Almont Travel in the UK added:

“It’s great to be back and reconnect with hospitality experts and friends, relationships are so important to our trusted luxury travel advisors. It has been good to learn what suppliers have managed to do during the pandemic from renovations to new openings.”

Brent Wallace, Director, Smartflyer Australia said: “It’s been incredible to reconnect with our partners and friends from around the world here at ILTM. To see personally how everything is moving forward into the new normal – naturally with precautions, tests and masks – but the French way of life still has that allure. The energy and positivity was amazing. It was very inspiring to be at ILTM… our forward bookings are great and so happy the world is with us in looking forward to an exciting 2022 and beyond.”

The brands and experiences taking part were also thrilled. Phil Dickinson, from Qatar – taking part for the first time – commented: “This is the first time Qatar has exhibited at ILTM and it certainly won’t be our last, it has been the face-to-face networking our business needs. ILTM is an excellent platform to engage with high end tour operators from around the world.”

Explora Journeys chose to launch their luxury ocean experience at ILTM. Michael Ungerer, the brand’s CEO commented: “This week has proved that nothing beats face to face after building our entire brand virtually – thanks to ILTM for bringing it to life! The entire event has been pulled off thoughtfully and carefully, we have felt completely safe and assured throughout.”

Stephane Laguette, The Ozen Collection was also delighted to be present: “Throughout the week at ILTM, we have met with fantastic, high-quality buyers, more than we’d even arranged to meet as well as some international media. Our strategy is long-term and with this in mind, ILTM has never been more important. This year, more than ever, we were looking to ILTM to help us bounce back and we have not been disappointed!”

And Yvan Vermeesch, Owner & Managing Director at XO Private added “There is still no other show that offers a better springboard into the next season!”

Loic Fresard from Lily of the Valley, a wellness retreat in the hills of St. Tropez in France said:

“ILTM this year has been defined by positivity – both buyers and suppliers have been so excited to meet again. Our industry is thriving and the future is bright – ILTM has already brought us at least one buyout booking for next year. 90% of the buyers we’ve met have had wellness at the top of their agenda and were a perfectly matched fit for us.”

Billy Gammon of Sports Travel Group who organise and give access to exclusive sporting experiences commented: “Having meetings face to face once again is vital in helping us develop new relationships and see our existing clients once again. Our meetings have been excellent, as have the impromptu chats at our stand with outstanding quality buyers interested in high end sporting and leisure activities.”

Ampora Palacín Colldecarrera of Casa Fuster – a boutique hotel in the centre of Barcelona – also said: “After two long years, this is my first international trip to see our suppliers, colleagues and friends from around the world again. We have noticed our client’s needs changing and everyone is super enthusiastic to get back on track. I’m delighted to get to know the people of our industry once again, luxury travel is and always will be about the people and their hearts.”

Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir, Managing Director, Iceland Luxury concluded: “We are delighted with the enthusiasm we’ve received for our destination from the buyers. We’re looking forward to the business that we’re sure is going to come from this event, it’s a very positive sign for the future of our industry.”

ILTM now looks forward to its next editions: ILTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, 3 – 6 May 2022 and ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore, 22 – 23 June 2022.

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