Sri Lanka made a prominent and impressive participation in the International Luxury Travel Market- (ILTM) France held at the Palais des Festivals, in the most famous venue of the world renowned Cannes Film Festival. The 17th edition of the ILTM 2018 was the biggest ILTM event ever held with 1880 exhibitors from 101 countries, an 8.5% increase year on year. In addition, over 200 accredited luxury and luxury travel editors and influencers also attended the show this year ensuring over 5,000 attendees at the show, out of whom 650 were first time
Sri Lanka Tourism participated at this prestigious travel show for the second consecutive year, featuring up-market luxury hotel properties, boutiques and luxury service providers in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka pavilion at the ILTM was ceremoniously declared open by lighting the traditional oil lamp with the patronage of guest of honour the Ambassador of France Mr. Buddhi K. Athauda, the travel fair organizer Europe & Asia, Mr. Harry Fowls and Mr. David Todd, Ms. Sarangi Thilakasena, Assistant Director SLTPB, Mr. Damitha Hewawikrama, Third secretary Consular of Embassy of France and by all travel trade representatives at the event. The Ambassador highly endorsed the event and highlighted that it is a timely move of Sri Lanka Tourism to take part at the ILTM travel Fair which will contribute immensely to enhance Sri Lanka’s image against the biggest names of luxury travel trade in the world.
Sri Lanka Pavillion at the fair was specifically designed to showcase promotional themes as well as to highlight the rich luxury experience Sri Lanka has to offer to the avid French travelers. Much prominence had been given to highlight the participants providing dedicated clusters for each and every company with individual back-lit panel featuring their properties. Each participant was provided with wifi facility with branded promotional material for their use at the business meetings. The video wall had been setup at the center of the stand with promotional videos running continuously to give a live feeling of Sri Lanka. Ceylon tea boutique served freshly brewed Ceylon Tea throughout the ILTM Fair for all visitors which was on high demand during the fair..
. The key trade participants of the show from Sri Lanka including Anantara Resorts, Jetwing Hotels, Antiquities, Abercrombie and Kent, Mosvold Villa, Theme Resorts & Spa, Wattura Resorts, Authenticities, NKAR Travels, Tour Blue, Whittall Boustead etc. were able to meet with many buyers matching their product and service portfolio during the show.
The unique show management process at ILTM gives each exhibitor and buyers their personal list of appointments that is a mix between their own requests and those of the exhibitors list which are confirmed prior to the show. After the pre-arranged, mutually-matched appointments, each exhibitor obtains a precise schedule of 15-minute appointments separated by an interval of 5 minutes to go from one to the other, an average of 3 appointments per hour. The buyers and exhibitors go through a strict system for selection and managing the schedules of visitors and exhibitors which, combined with the choice of visitors, ensures the success and quality of ILTM show.
At the ILTM travel fair, Sri Lanka Tourism was able to meet up with luxury travel community through the scheduled appointments on daily basis and in extension the luxury travel media including leading travel magazines, Journalists, online travel sites, luxury travel guide publishers and even high-tech mobile luxury travel application developers, bloggers etc. The successful discussions had with these publications and online publicity options has opened up a new publicity frontier in the luxury travel segment for Sri Lanka Tourism in the future to ensure high level of exposure in the target travel segments.
The Ambassador of France Mr. Buddhi K.Athauda conducted an exclusive full length interview with the top travel trade magazine La Quotidienne editor Frederic de Poligny on Sri Lanka’s current tourism landscape and future tourism prospects especially in the light of future potential for the destination in luxuary travel trade. The article had been published in the La Quotidienne magazine it is highly praised by the industry stakeholders for providing true image of Sri Lanka’s future in tourism trade.
Overall, 1816 buyers from 80 countries were hosted at ILTM 2018, a 12% increase from 2017 with 752 (41%) new comers at the ILTM Cannes. There had been an increase of 12% of appointment making buyers, each of whom met with the exhibitors in pre-arranged, mutually-matched appointments throughout the 4 day event.
Although versions of the ILTM have flourished here and there from the vast world (Cape Town, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Cancun and Shanghai) ILTM Cannes is the original, remains the most prestigious show worldwide tourism exclusively focused on luxury.
In the opinion of many participants, exhibitors and visitors, ILTM Cannes is by far the one to be in, the one show that in terms of professional results offers the best return on investment. ILTM Cannes is well worthy of its reputation as the world’s best luxury tourism show.
Sri Lanka Tourism hopes to amplify the promotions targeted for luxury travel segment by spring-boarding on the success of the ILTM travel fair which has created immense business potential for Sri Lankan up market product segments. The long-term vision of this strategic direction is to ensure high revenue generation segments are tapped by the country’s tourism stakeholders especially within the European Region. Over all, ILTM travel fair in Cannes, France has concluded with a high note, creating the platform for ensuring high potential for growth lying ahead for Sri Lanka’s luxury travel segment in the European region in particular.