Japan’s only bespoke luxury travel event for both inbound as well as Japanese outbound high net worth travellers, the fifth and largest ever edition of ILTM Japan took place last week at the Conrad Hotel Tokyo.
ILTM Japan 2017 saw the number of both Japanese exhibitors and hosted buyers increasing by 24%, notably from Australia, Canada, UAE, the UK and US. Other buyers attending representing high net worth clients from China, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan.
The event’s Opening Forum profiled the importance of the luxury travel curator in planning their discerning clients’ Japanese travel itineraries. Experts in Japanese gastronomy – Mr Takanori Nakamura, Chairperson of the world’s 50 best restaurants – and art – Mr Katsura Yamaguchi, Senior Vice-President and International Director of Japanese and Korean Art at Christie’s - highlighted both the importance of these experiences to Japanese travellers as well as those planning travel for high net worth clients across the world.
Turning to the business of ITM Japan, the number of one-to-one appointments increased to 3650, 16% up year on year. Buyers and exhibitors – both from Japan and the rest of the world – were enthused by their experiences:
Kathleen Callum of UK Japanese specialist Oku Japan, commented:
“I’ve been able to meet with so many people in well-timed appointments over such a short space of time. Different services, different suppliers – ILTM Japan has been a great opportunity to not only discover new accommodation, but make really fruitful business connections.”
Alexandra Navia of Forest Travel in the US added:
“It is clear that in the lead up to the Olympics, the Japanese are taking this really important opportunity to showcase Japan as a modern country, blending tradition and history with luxury. Its rich culture makes it a favourite destination for our well-travelled US clients and I have discovered so many more opportunities for them in these two days here at ILTM Japan.”
The event was similarly successful for Japanese exhibitors meeting with the international buyers. Daisuke Horii of Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings said: “This was Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings’ first experience at ILTM Japan. The significant interest in our brand from agents based across the world truly reinforced our confidence in expanding our business to meet this growing demand.”
Savino Leone, General Manager of the InterContinental Osaka added:
“It has been two exciting and busy days: ILTM Japan is a great professional networking event. We had about 46 appointments with potential inbound buyers interested in exploring and creating unique experiences for their clients and the event also gave us the opportunity to position the destination of Osaka.”
Ross Cooper, General Manager, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills also noted:
“Both the business meetings and social networking throughout ILTM Japan 2017 were really fruitful - filled with information and insights from experienced professionals and partners. As the host of the official ILTM Japan 2017 party, the opportunity to showcase Andaz Tokyo and the modern culture of Japan was also invaluable.”
And Sandra Cahill of Pandaw River Cruises added:
“ILTM Japan has been amazing. We’ve seen a real growth in interest in river cruising from Japan so this event has been great for branding and awareness. I have met agents I would never been able to have met independently and the international and local media too. Truly outstanding.”
Finally Japanese hosted buyer Akiyo Fukuchi of Aspire Lifestyles noted:
“ILTM Japan was a great opportunity to really understand many new international products, both through one-to-one business meetings as well as through networking events. To be able to gain first hand knowledge in this way was a unique and comprehensive experience – a great chance to expand both our business connections and also build business opportunities.”
Gareth Baguley, ILTM Japan Event Manager concluded:
“The ancient traditions and modern life of Japanese culture is extremely appealing to those in the West and as such, ILTM Japan is a significant step in helping international agents meet, build and reinforce important Japanese luxury travel connections. Simultaneously introducing wealthy and increasingly adventurous Japanese travellers to the rest of the world, we are delighted that ILTM Japan continues to go from strength to strength and look forward to returning to Tokyo in March 2018.”
The next edition of ILTM Japan takes place in Tokyo in March 2018. For further information, please contact Gareth Baguley at firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.iltm.com/japan.