A tryst with luxury at ILTM Cannes

Spread over 4 days, ILTM Cannes 2019 oversaw 70,000 meetings between 6,000 industry professionals,
including over 100 VIP media, 1,885 exhibitors, and 1,850 buyers

Senior executives network during ILTM Leaders Lunch

As ILTM heads towards its 20th anniversary in 2021 and the new decade, its latest edition has hit the spot for everyone who contributes to a high net worth travel industry worth billions of dollars.

More than 70,000 meetings took place over three days in December, and lots of additional networking events were held after hours in Cannes, contributing to even more business. As always, Cannes’ main drag, La Croisette became the venues for parties, entertainment, award ceremonies, The Travel and Leisure Women in Travel breakfast, The ILTM official party, and many more individual social gatherings for exhibitors and buyers alike. The hub of the show – Le Palais des Festivals et des Congrès hosted the event itself and its opening session, the Global Forum.

ILTM Cannes also hosted over 70 of the world’s most influential travel editors from publications that are the voice of luxury travel to their high-net-worth readers around the world and there were other VIP media who attended independently. Exhibitors are given the opportunity to brief them through speed networking and briefings plus one-to-one meetings organised over the course of the week.


Sustainability, conscious travel, culture and the environment take front of stage for most luxury travel brands and also the traveller


Winston Chesterfield of Barton Consulting presented at this year’s Leaders Lunch where some 50 industry CEOs met to hear how the ecosystem of travel is a new way of covering everything about travel that is not lodging and transport. The WealthX report highlighted how the total spend on activities, food, drink and entertainment is some $1.54 trillion a year and concluded that if luxury travel were a country, its value would mean it would be within the world’s top 15 economies.

The ecosystem of travel developed into the theme of this year’s event, with participants showing how sustainability, conscious travel, culture and the environment take front of stage for most luxury travel brands and also the traveller into the new decade.

Albert Herrera SVP global product partnerships at Virtuoso travel presented their trends to the media, showing that in general 48 per cent of their clients rate preserving natural and cultural heritage as important, 39 per cent want experiences that benefit local people and the economy and 41 per cent expect to adopt environmentally friendly practices. Top of “what matters to travellers” is culture, accommodation, food, new experiences and activities/atmosphere.

Carolyn Kremins, president of Skift supported the right mix of meetings with socialising that makes ILTM so special. “I love ILTM, this is one of my most favourite events to be at. It’s a great way to get business done over good meetings, great drinks and nightlife all combined in one. ILTM is special because it’s a mix of all of the great things coming together in one, good business and good fun – quite exhausting but in the best possible way.”

As part of the conscious travel theme, this year’s RETREAT on the show floor created a respite area for participants to experience to seek some down time which ranged from a Six Senses massage to a SHA Wellness brain analysis, Yoga Nidra offered instantaneous deep rest and relaxation and Canyon Ranch presented relaxing reiki and there was also an excellent sports physicist to help get people moving.

Alison Gilmore, portfolio director of the ILTM Portfolio, concluded: “The overwhelming support from the industry for ILTM demonstrates the real value of the show for luxury travel business. We are already looking forward to ILTM Cannes 2020 and a new decade of continuing to work with our partners and support their business opportunities, business growth and ultimately their business relationships.”

ILTM Cannes 2020 will take place between December 7 to 10.