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Published on : Thursday, December 5, 2013
International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) 2013 Opening Forum introduced over 1,000 of the luxury travel industry’s most influential suppliers and buyers to the insights and predictions from four dynamic speakers, followed by a real-time research session. This real-time research identified that 79% of ILTM Participants voted Facebook as the best form of social media for client engagement, discounting & online discount sites present the biggest challenge for 2014 and 43% of participants are seeing the most growth from the 35-44 age group.
ILTM Senior Exhibition Director, Alison Gilmore opened the Forum with a tour of each event in the growing ILTM family, and welcomed its newest aquisition – Travelweek São Paulo – the high-end travel exhibition that introduces select international travel suppliers to premium buyers from across Brazil and other Latin American countries.
Ms Gilmore commented, “This year, the ILTM Opening Forum once again highlighted the luxury travel industry’s successes, challenges and opportunities ahead, introducing a line-up of iconic influencers to not only inspire the luxury travel guest list present, but help them drive customer loyalty, and ultimately retain their clients.”
Customer service and hospitality expert, Holly Stiel kicked off with ‘The Philosophy of Service’, explaining that, “Delivering world-class service is simple, but not easy. Service is like a turtle – you stick your neck out, wear a hard shell and respond with care and kindness.”
Facebook’s Global Head of Travel, Lee McCabe informed the audience that “the average Facebook reach for a narrowly targeted campaign is 89% – a huge opportunity for travel businesses, considering Facebook’s infinite memory, instant communication and processing power.”
Iconic arbiter of style and Founder of LuxuryCulture.com, Yaffa Assouline presented; ‘Luxury – the New Religion’ addressing that, “luxury is looking for a meaning: the path to sense saturation is a salvation for the luxury industry” and advised participants to “live luxury for oneself rather than anyone else, like a designer creates a one-off brand.”
Business guru and author of ‘Funky Business’, Dr. Kjell Nordström took the stage for the final presentation of the evening, which explored the current socio-economic landscape and gave precious glimpses into the future, including, “The planet is getting richer but 20% of us are getting richer quicker, even though poverty will be gradually eradicated.”