The ILTM 2018 marked the 17th edition of this annual event, and it was regarded as one of their largest to date with 1880 exhibitors from 101 countries, 1816 buyers representing 80 countries and over 200 accredited luxury and luxury travel editors and influencers in attendance. Recognised as one of the most prestigious travel market events in the world, ILTM has a reputation as a remarkable global event that handpicks the best luxury hotel brands, reputable tourism board organisations and unique luxury experience operators.
ILTM director Alison Gilmore asserted during the event that ILTM once again proved to be not only the essential business meeting venue for movers and shakers in luxury travel but also a true platform to highlight the trends facing the luxury travel market in 2019 and beyond. Every ILTM event that we partook in the past had the opening forum featuring a discussion on trending ideas. During the ILTM Cannes 2018, the focus was on wellness travel.
The wellness industry today is estimated to be worth $4.2 trillion, of which “wellness tourism” currently equates to be $639 billion with annual growth of 14 per cent! Three experts were invited during the opening forum to give us a fresh perspective on wellness tourism. Anna Bujrstam, the founding board member of the Global Wellness Summit and VP of Spas and Wellness for Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, is one of the world’s leading wellness pioneers she talked about wellness and its implementation in the luxury travel industry as well as on how to make it part of a company brand.
ILTM also presented the famous National Geographic presenter Dan Buettner who came out with an interesting topic about the Blue Zones – where people live the longest, healthiest lives. This award-winning journalist, producer and also explorer talked not only about the Blue Zones but also other interesting topics that relate to business including the likes of hotel rooms, restaurant menus and travel itineraries.
The last speaker during the opening forum was Julien Paccaud, the founder of Ecologie du Corps, who was also the French national Barefoot Water Ski Champion in 1992. This athlete cum osteopath started practicing osteopathy in 2000 and founded his company ten years ago, aiming at helping people to understand how they can efficiently stay in great shape – both body and mind.
The next three days at the ILTM Cannes, we were literally occupied with various short talks from hotels and tourism board organisations that shared their upcoming news. We were also invited to breakfast meetings and post-event cocktail gathering from different hotels every night as part of the networking opportunity. During those three days, we learnt about many interesting developments including the exciting news from Cheval Blanc hotel group. The group is going to have their first hotel in Paris in 2019 by taking over the historic La Samaritaine in Central Paris. It will feature 20,000 square-metre commercial space and 70,000 square metres dedicated to 71 hotel rooms under Cheval Blanc Palace Hotel, 96 social housing units, mixed-use office property and a children’s creche.
From the breakfast meeting event that was hosted by Marriott International Luxury Brands, we also learnt about the upcoming Ritz-Carlton cruise ships that are designed like yachts and with 149 suites – each with its own private terrace – accommodating up to 298 guests. A project that was started in 2017, the brand is preparing three cruise ships set to begin sailing in 2020. The new Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, designed by the firm Tillberg Design of Sweden, is meant to change the cruise stereotype with larger rooms, laid-back common spaces, and an on-board spa.
From the Asian shore, the opening of Kudadoo Maldives Private Island, which boasts outstanding design and eco-friendly technology by Yuji Yamazaki as the architect, was one of the most talked about new properties. Indonesia Design has been quite fortunate to be one of the first who has made our first report on this stunning resort in our 15th anniversary issue last December. At another breakfast meeting event with Hilton Luxury and Lifestyle Group, we also learnt about the establishment of a global partnership between Aston Martin and Waldorf Astoria. Through this four-year collaboration, these two prestigious luxury brands will combine the performance, style and hospitality to heighten the guest experiences. Make sure to check the Aston Martin Lagonda experiences when you are staying in Waldorf Astoria around the world.
The ILTM Cannes is simply a magnificent luxury travel events that connect us with the best players in the industry. We met many hotel owners, CEOs, general managers and tourism representatives from various great operators such as Four Seasons Hotel, Capella Hotel Group, The Doyle Collection, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, The Leading Hotels of The World, Relais & Chateaux, Como Hotels, Hyatt, Nobu Hotels, The Leng Collection, Rwanda Development Board, and many others. As this article is written, Indonesia Design is also proud to announce that we will be part of the annual ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore, to be held on 27-30 May 2019. Do look forward to our upcoming reportage from there.