The first ILTM Asia Pacific, held in Singapore from May 21-24, hosted 538 luxury travel planners from 16 countries across Asia-Pacific and saw 33,000 pre-scheduled business meetings, according to organiser Reed Exhibitions.
Feedback gathered at the show by TTG Asia Luxury pointed to a high satisfaction rate overall, with buyers and sellers in sum saying it was a good show with the potential to grow further, and that it was better than its predecessor, ILTM Asia – previously held annually in Shanghai in June – in the sense that products and decision-makers were better matched to Asia-Pacific needs rather than being too China-centric.
Reed said ILTM Asia Pacific was created following research among suppliers who said they were separating their marketing and business plans for the continent into two: Asia-Pacific and China. Its bet on Singapore as a better hub than Shanghai to pull in more Asia-Pacific buyers paid off: Of the 538 high-end Asia-Pacific travel agents, plus seven from Russia and CIS and 11 from other international countries, 260 were new buyers from 11 countries, with markedly stronger attendance from buyer markets such as Australia – “the most requested”, according to ILTM portfolio director, Alison Gilmore. As well, Singapore and India, which grew by 83 per cent, 115 per cent and 118 per cent respectively.
Andrew Phua, Singapore Tourism Board’s director of exhibitions and conferences, said Singapore “has the ability to bridge East and West”.
ILTM Asia Pacific also issued statements from satisfied participants. First-time ILTM buyer Rakus Cuuabria of Yes Travels, Mumbai, said: “The organisation is fantastic and I’ve (found) some great luxury products and experiences in this really effective system.”
Koichi Imabayashi of Japan’s Grace Inc said: “I’ve met with many different experiences from across the world at ILTM Asia Pacific this week and I’m looking forward to sharing these new and exciting opportunities with my clients.”
Exhibitor Maxine Howe of Niccolo Hotels said: “The calibre of buyers at ILTM Asia Pacific has been exactly what we were looking for. Travelling to wherever we need to and then identifying and meeting these important buyers is impossible, and we are delighted ILTM has made the job so easy for us here in Singapore.”
Mercedes Garcia of Barcelona Tourisme said: “By splitting the regions, this show has given us a real reach into Asia-Pacific buyers. I have seen (agents and planners) from Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, all of whom are sophisticated and know what their premium clients are looking for.”
ILTM Asia Pacific, which also absorbs ILTM Japan, will return to Singapore, May 27-30, 2019. A new ILTM China, meanwhile, will take place in Shanghai from October 31 to November 2, 2018. It is expected to draw around 220 buyers, predominantly Chinese buyers, with just a small percentage from Asia and international markets.