Right time and place for luxury travel to focus

Amy Stewart

ILTM Latin America 2022 took place this week (3 – 6 May) in Sao Paulo and proved to be an incredible live reunion – as well as a catalyst for new business connections – for global luxury and lifestyle travel brands and properties to meet with the region’s most productive travel agencies, curators and planners.

Over double the size of last year’s event, ILTM Latin America brought together 290 buyers from 28 cities across 9 countries – 20% Latin and 80% Brazilian, with 275 exhibiting companies from 40 countries, 30% of whom were new to the event.  Over 25,000 one-to-one meetings took place throughout the week in addition to an extensive programme of networking events. 

Philippe Trapp, COO Lifestyle Brands at ACCOR South America commented: “Hotels, restaurants, spa, lifestyle – people are back, business is back, possibly stronger than ever before. Today’s climate continues to challenge and ILTM Latin America is perfectly timed to support our global properties. It has definitely been the right place and the right time to strengthen our business.”

Diana Plaza, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Marriott International added: “Brazilians and Latin Americans travel further and stay longer.  The region is an important market for us and our hotel teams from Europe, US and are delighted to be able to take this time at ILTM Latin America to personally highlight our many new offerings – 40 alone this year – as well as the breadth of our brand.”

The show welcomed new openings from across the world including the Hotel La Palma Capri and Thompson Madrid plus Brazilian luxury in the form of the new Ba’ra Hotel in Joao Pessoa, Caiman Pantanal Eco-Lodge and Rosewood Sao Paulo, properties in exotic destinations including the Maldives and on the other side of the world, the islands of Anguilla and St Barts.  

“By 10am on the first day, we knew we’d made the best decision to attend ILTM Latin America. All the luxury agents that matter are here, the influencers and networkers who will clearly spread the word about our new property and destination to their wealthy clients. We are riding the crest of a wave of Brazilians exploring their own country and ILTM is integral to our business plans,” commented Gefferson Alves, Managing Director, Ba’ra hotel.

“ILTM is key because luxury is key to Anguilla and the luxury and extra luxury segment in Brazil has returned with a vengeance. These travellers are trend-setters and we absolutely meet their agents here at ILTM Latin America,” said Danielle Clouzet Roman, Anguilla Tourism.

Oetker Collection’s Ernesto Draque added: “We are here to reconnect with our very important Latin American audiences and introduce La Palma Capri, Oetker Collection’s first Italian property.  There was no question that ILTM Latin America would be the perfect event to set the scene for the significant demand we expect from Brazil and beyond.  Our expectations have been exceeded.”

The connection between France and Brazil was also evident with a strong French presence including the Dorchester Collection, Peninsula Paris, L’Apogee Courchevel and also new properties from Maybourne on the Riviera plus Bulgari and Cheval Blanc in Paris.

“Bulgari Hotel Paris just opened in December 2021, so ILTM Latin America has been an incredible opportunity to spread the word to not just the most important Latam agents, but also the influential media from across this key market for our brand,” commented Paul Moreau at the Hotel Bulgari Paris.

ILTM Latin America Exhibition Director Simon Mayle commented on the success of the week’s events: “Wealthy Latin Americans and Brazilians especially are embracing the return to travel like no other nation.  With the role of the travel agent never more important than in today’s world of luxury travel, ILTM Latin America has been an important catalyst for professionals and brands to build and renew rewarding relationships.  So many new openings, so many developments, so much to catch up on from all four corners of the world.”

The agents invited to attend ILTM Latin America embraced their one-to-one appointments. 

Fabio Franco of Brazil’s Plantel Turismo said “Because it is in Brazil, ILTM Latin America is the most important show for us – we bring our key staff to discuss our clients’ wishes and connect with the global industry. ILTM Cannes is important for networking but ILTM Latin America is important for business – we will sign several key contracts whilst we are here.”

Vera Salem, L’Espace Tours, from Brazil, added “Tourism is bouncing back spectacularly. Our clients are wanting to travel and our contact with providers is vital. ILTM is glorious this year, the design of the event makes it easy to meet the best, premium products and also exchange ideas.”

Maurice Padovani, Primetour Viagens e Experiências from Brazil, added “It has been a great experience to meet people in person and see the luxury market return with a renewed energy. Brazilian business is all about relationships and our clients are looking for personalization and exception. Here at ILTM we meet everybody who is important and who will resonate with our clients’ demands.”

Ligia Pereira Lopes, Primetour Viagens e Experiências from Brazil, commented: “These last two years have changed a lot. We have new hotels, redecorated ships, new openings and here at ILTM Latin America, we can find it all in one place.”

Rodrigo de Andrés del Villar Loyola, Ferrara Viajes from Mexico concluded: “The layout of ILTM Latin America is super intuitive and easy to understand. This show is important because we see everything that is new here from across the world and we are able to build the relationships we need at the same time.”

ILTM now looks forward to its next editions: ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore, 5 – 8 September and ILTM North America in Mayakoba, Mexico, 19 – 22 September 2022.

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ILTM Latin America: Right time and place for luxury travel to focus

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