Asia-Pacific's growing High Net Worth population and their strong travel intentions are attracting an even bigger and more diverse community of luxury travel suppliers and trade buyers to ILTM Asia Pacific, reveals Alison Gilmore, director, ILTM Portfolio of Events.
ILTM Asia Pacific will take place online again this year. How will this work?
We are very much looking forward to it. While we would prefer to be in Singapore with a live event, it’s still not the right time to do this, especially with such a big international audience in attendance. So, for the event happening from July 20 to 22, we have created a framework consistent with the virtual editions delivered by ILTM during 2020, providing a platform from which luxury travel brands can access the top luxury travel agents representing the highest net worth of clients across the Asia-Pacific region.
Designed to provide international and regional suppliers with new business opportunities and enhance industry and media relationships, ILTM Asia Pacific will deliver one-to-one online meetings, plus direct messaging between buyer or media and suppliers, in addition to opportunities to learn from content and industry insights throughout the three-day event.
ILTM is an opportunity to expand business and knowledge not just internationally, but also regionally.
Are there opportunities for luxury travel buyers and sellers to continue interacting after ILTM Asia Pacific 2021 concludes? How will the ILTM team facilitate that?
All of the pre-scheduled appointments will mean both buyers and sellers meeting together. As with every ILTM event, that establishes the connection and we would expect that both parties will continue with their relationship should business require it.
For all those participating in the virtual event, all content will be available online post-show for a period of a month.
What else is new for this virtual event?
We will also have Asia-Pacific’s most influential travel editors who speak to the High Net Worth (HNW) luxury consumer through their printed magazines, and digital online publications. (These editors) will also participate in the meetings, and can choose the exhibitors they wish to interact with.
ILTM undertook research with Barton in late-2020 to understand the current state of luxury travel among the region’s HNW consumers. Can you give us some highlights of your findings?
Despite the effects of Covid-19 persisting globally, many of the 55 countries that make up the Asia-Pacific region have been considered excellent examples of resilience during a period that has upended the travel industry like never before.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing wealth region in the world, which was what identified it as a key location for the travel industry to expand into long before Covid-19 was known. The wealth growth trend seen in Asia-Pacific prior to the pandemic has only paused (during the pandemic), and in some cases, it has even increased. That means, the region still has the fastest growing HNW population anywhere across the globe.
Given the very strong link between wealth and luxury travel spend from the region, this means very strong growth in Asia-Pacific’s contribution to the total spend on the Global Luxury Travel Universe.
The full report will be made available to all participants of ILTM Asia Pacific.
How is participation shaping up for the virtual event this year?
The Asia-Pacific region is key to international and regional luxury travel brands because it is such a huge market and one that has remained stable as the Barton research shows. So, it’s no surprise that we expect some 200 suppliers to be participating in meetings with a similar number of hand-picked agents and advisors who will come from across Asia, Australia and the Oceania.
A taste of the suppliers that will be joining include bespoke experiences, luxury yachts, iconic brands, boutique hotels, private islands, and cruises – a diverse mix with representation from brands including Accor, Belmond, Conrad, Hyatt, Kerzner International, Mandarin Oriental, Seabourn, Shangri-La and Wharf Hotels as well as destinations ranging from Aspen, Catalonia, Madrid and the Seychelles through to individual properties and experiences such as Capella Hanoi, Patina Maldives, Aurora Experiences, Quark Expeditions, Rocky Mountaineer and The Broadwick Hotel in London.
Are there certain segments of luxury travel suppliers that you are surprised to see, or see more of, at the 2021 edition? Why do you think they have responded especially well to the second edition of ILTM Asia Pacific 2021?
ILTM is a key business driver to the luxury travel industry and the virtual event has been supported by the industry as a much needed (business platform). We have people returning to join us after attending the ILTM World Tour conducted in the later part of 2020 – and that is great to see.
As there are limited live events currently taking place, ILTM Asia Pacific 2021 gives people the chance to re-engage and catch up with the luxury buyers of this fascinating and developing region.
We have a good mix of international and regional luxury travel brands (that were with us) at our previous shows, but also many new ones such as Aurora Expeditions and the Broadwick Hotel in London to name just two.
Another outstanding element is that we have a good percentage of buyers – 15 per cent – that did not join the last virtual event. We will also be bringing in approximately 35 premier Chinese buyers.
What would you say is the biggest motivation for luxury travel players to join the event this year?
Asia-Pacific is still the fastest-growing wealth region in the world and it is home to some of the world’s most prolific travellers – over US$363 billion is spent on the Global Luxury Travel Universe annually. With the financial resource, design and inherent ability to pivot during incredible disruption, Asia-Pacific travellers should be seen as pioneers of the new luxury travel landscape, providing the much needed economic injection the industry needs and has been waiting for. So, it makes sense to be part of this turnaround for our business community.
Will we finally see an in-person ILTM Asia Pacific materialise in 2022? Will it still be in Singapore?
We are absolutely planning for ILTM Asia Pacific to be a face-to-face event in 2022 and yes, our home will be Singapore.
TTG Asia is the only official trade media partner for ILTM Asia-Pacific 2021. Watch out for the ILTM Asia-Pacific 2021 special in the luxury travel bumper issue of TTG Asia this July. For more information on the event, email email@example.com.