The first ILTM Africa (www.iltm.net/africa) closed today having established the scene for the continent’s luxury travel industry, in a niche event that focused on 2 days of business.
“The value of ILTM Africa has been incredible,” said Mark Lakin of Epic Road - a US Hosted Buyer who joined 71 international planners from 31 countries who are pre-qualified to produce luxury travel itineraries for high net worth individuals from across the world.
ILTM Africa opened with a Forum that brought speakers from the continent to discuss such diverse issues as the economic and political overview of South Africa and what faces the African luxury travel industry of the future, including their needs and the expectations of the international consumer.
This was followed by intense one-to-one meetings between 71 suppliers of elite African product and the global buyers – some 2,591 appointments over the 2 days. Veronique Rossouw, Sales and Marketing Manager for The Collection by Liz McGrath summed up her experience “It is probably the best event I have attended in Africa. To be able to interact with buyers has been amazing. I have met more new ones here at ILTM Africa, than I can recall meeting anywhere and I have been in this job for 13 years. If you are not here, you really aren’t here”.
Custodio Jr of Kangaroo Tours Brazil was a first-time buyer to an ILTM event. “The product matches with the criteria of what the show is all about. It was a great event for my knowledge and finding real individual high-end products for my clients. I am very satisfied indeed and I will be back next year”.
Simon Mandy, Marketing & Operations Manager for The Royal Portfolio was delighted with the quality of the buyers and also found so many he had never met before, “We are so appreciative of what ILTM is doing. We have traditionally travelled to all corners of the world to find these buyers, but to have them here is remarkable. It’s a great opportunity to sell to those we haven’t met before and has given us a great platform.“
Mr. Simone Scarapicchia, Partner and Sales & Marketing Director of Hideaway of Nungwi Resort & Spa Zanzibar concluded, “It’s been very interesting and so far the buyers have been really good quality. I will generate lots of business and I have met people from South America, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. It’s a great event and I will definitely be back next year”.
Alison Gilmore, Exhibition Director, ILTM Portfolio said, “Strategically this first event has delivered what we wanted to create for our buyers and suppliers. However, there is more to come and we are now planning for 2014 on the back of so many satisfied exhibitors. We will no doubt be able to produce more product as well to ensure our international buyers find exactly what they want from Africa for their clients”.