5 Top Tips for Choosing the Right Influencer for Your Brand

5 Top Tips for Choosing the Right Influencer for Your Brand

The world of influencer marketing, in recent times, is becoming an increasingly recognised marketing strategy, and brands are setting more budget aside solely for content creation and publishing by so-called ‘influencers’.

Still, to some, influencer marketing may feel like murky territory with unknown results. To help, Whalar have compiled this list of tips on choosing influencers so you can get the best results for your brand. Follow these 5 steps and Whalar say you are sure to see high quality content and engaged audience awareness, which can lead to brand loyalty, high web traffic and those all important sales.

1. Understand why influencer marketing is relevant – don’t just choose influencers because it’s a buzzword:

Maybe one of the biggest mistakes brands make is jumping on the influencer bandwagon because they hear it’s trendy. This often results in lazy content and frustration at lack of results. You need to understand that influencer marketing is important for long term results and brand loyalty. Influencer marketing is all about organic growth – not having an advert shoved down your throat – when understood properly, influencer marketing is subtle, welcoming, creative and thought-provoking.

2. Look at the different categories of influencers, and choose a mix for fresh and varied content:

Nowadays, there are macro and micro influencers, and even ‘real world’ celebrities who can create content for you. And then, within these subsects, there are bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, and each and every one has their own specific niche; be it travel photography, or even something as specific as drone imagery; the world of influencer marketing is endless. The most effective content is created by choosing a relevant section of influencers to match your brief (for example, if you are a hotelier, you must choose the influencers who would be likely to stay in hotels), and then spread them across a relevant location (if your hotel is in ten countries, pick influencers from each). Plus, through sourcing a spectrum of talent, the material stays fresh and varied.

A key thing you have to remember when choosing talent is that influencers are consumers too, so you should pick someone who would be a consumer for your brand, and take into consideration that consumers only engage with strategically relevant content.

3. Choose an influencer with an aesthetic that suits your brand:

If you’re creating a full influencer campaign, you’re going to use multiple content creators. And whilst it’s important that they all put their own unique spin on the brief (you might, for example, have one pro at cinemagraphs, one at stopmotion, and one influencer known for their work with neon; the content will therefore differ), it’s equally important there is a similar aesthetic running through every piece of content to create a cohesive campaign. You might choose influencers with similar styles, colour schemes or tastes demonstrated on their social media feeds.

4. Go for quality of audience over ultra high follower numbers:

Yes, we know that numbers count, but the problem brands face when dipping their toe into influencer marketing is an obsession with numbers. Up until recently, it’s been all about how many followers someone has and how many likes they get. The relevancy, the context and the quality of the work has often taken a complete backseat. Worse still, often no consideration has been given to the relationship between the influencer, their audience and the brand. The quality of the content is so important, and something Whalar focuses on.

5. Set your objectives clearly:

The success or failure of any collaboration will often come down to the communication between the two parties. Each party must understand clearly what the objectives are, their role in the collaboration, and have confidence that they can achieve their goals in doing so.  Before choosing an influencer, you must identify the Why, What and Who of your campaign motives.

Why – Why are you doing this? What’s the core motivation? What is the desired outcome?

What – What content do you want? What type of creative? What aesthetics? What’s your message?

Who – Who are you trying to reach? Who is your consumer? Who’s perception are you trying to change?

If your influencer agrees with, and is on board, with all of the above, there should be no miscommunication, the process will run smoothly, and will result in a successful collaboration for both parties.

Whalar’s motto is ‘Liberating the Creative Voice’, arguably the most important part of any influencer marketing strategy. But for a collaboration to be successful, the main things you need to remember are to always choose influencers whose audience would be consumers of your product, focus on the quality of content, and to maintain communication throughout. Additionally, your brief can be prescriptive, but always let your influencers’ talent shine through, remember it’s why you chose them in the first place!

If discovering where the next generation of luxury travellers will find their travel inspiration is your thing, you might like to check out ILTM Bright Young Things Report 

Leaders with Substance: Valeriano Antonioli

Leaders with Substance: Valeriano Antonioli

For the past 35 years, while we all looked on in awe, our beautiful friend Valeriano Antonioli has been building a truly remarkable career in luxury.

Following in the footsteps of Ferragamo’s famous founder, Salvatore Ferragamo, the Lungarno Collection CEO returned to live and work in Florence following a stint in the US, where he was previously Managing Director of InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa‎, and General Manager of W Los Angeles-Westwood. He has put his multi-lingual skills to good use in managerial positions in Italy, Germany, Russia, and England with leading hotel groups including the Sheraton Diana Majestic and the Dorchester Collection’s Principe di Savoia in Milan, and Belmond’s Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg.

Created in 1995 by Leonardo Ferragamo, the son of Salvatore, Valeriano now presides over Italy’s prestigious Lungarno Collection, including; Hotel Lungarno, Gallery Hotel Art, and Continentale in Florence; Villa Le Rose in Tuscany; Portrait Roma in Rome; Resort Baia Scarlino Yacht Club & Residences and Nautor’s Swan Yacht in Tuscany; three restaurants in Florence – Borgo San Jacopo, Fusion Bar & Restaurant and Caffè dell’Oro; and the newest member of the Lungarno family, Portrait Firenze, which sits on the most romantic stretch of the River Arno in Florence and was launched at ILTM in Cannes in 2014.

Here’s what Valeriano had to say about the current preoccupations of a leader in luxury travel when we caught up with him this week…

“The best decision I ever made was to follow my dreams and became an hotelier. Travel unifies. Travel enables people to understand cultures a bit better, and I feel extremely fortunate to welcome wayfaring strangers to our city with open arms, creating an undeniably fantastic experience that they will hold with them forever.

As one of the world’s largest economic sectors, the Travel & Tourism industry drives exports, generates prosperity across the world, and creates 1 out of every 11 jobs, generating a much higher turnover than – for example – the automotive industry and other industries that are better represented and lobbied on a political level. Our industry is still very segmented and often players in the same city see each other as competitors instead of an allies. If they only think about their individual properties, it becomes difficult to collaborate and promote their common destination. In Florence, we think that dialogue between hotels is extremely important. That’s why we are part of “Firenze, yes Please”, an exclusive partnership between eleven 5-star hotels working together to promote the city to international travellers in a unique way.

It is important that the travel industry works to play a part in issues of sustainability and the environment, when their geographical location permits them to. Currently, all our properties are located in the historical centres of Rome and Florence where, unfortunately, the legislation understandably prefers to protect the historical and artistic values of the buildings rather than – for example – implement solar panels as the new way to produce energy at a low impact. Through our restaurants we can embrace local sustainability.  Local food support and responsible land development will only enhance our environment. By purchasing local, we enrich our social community – we create a more intimate relationship with our neighbourhood suppliers – and permit to always offer fresh and high quality ingredients to our guests.

Globally, the challenge is to keep up with the high level of technology which is reshaping the travel industry. The opportunity for us is the development of the Portrait Brand which represents a very high level of personalisation. We believe that future means “human”; human personalization, human connection, human authenticity.

I keep the world moving by sharing personal experiences on my social networks. I have a lot of fun doing it and, somehow, I feel closer to my friends on the other side of the ocean. We live in uncertain times but the only thing we know for sure is that we will all die one day, meanwhile we should enjoy our life to the fullest and take advantages of all possibilities to travel, experience and share the good moments with others. My tips for a successful ILTM are to maintain a positive attitude and genuinely be happy to meet old friends and make new ones along the way. Always travel with good and funny stories to share. This, I believe, will somehow extend our life.”


From delivering service to creating experiences – Q&A with Benoît-Etienne Domenget

From delivering service to creating experiences – Q&A with Benoît-Etienne Domenget

For nearly two centuries, five-star hotels have been providing exceptional service to distinguish themselves from competition. But in today’s age of experiences, hotels are under pressure to deliver next-level interactions that go beyond service to create unforgettable memories.

Benoît-Etienne Domenget is the new CEO of Sommet Education, the newly-formed group operating the prestigious Swiss hospitality management schools of Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education, which has campuses in Switzerland, Spain, UK, US, and China. A former Managing Director of Accor Switzerland, Benoit-Etienne was then called to the helm of Michel Reybier Hospitality Group, including luxury hotels such as La Réserve and Victoria-Jungfrau Collection. These days, he’s using that experience to develop the industry’s next wave of talent…

“The term “Experience Industry” was coined by authors Joseph Pine and James Gilmore in an article published in Harvard Business Review in 1998 defining experiences as next-level services, engaging the customer emotionally to create a memorable event while adding value to the interaction. Other industries are now looking towards the hospitality industry to create more customer-centric experiences.

The global luxury industry, accounting for yearly spendings in excess of USD 1 trillion has seen a shift of focus away from the luxury product towards experiencing luxury, as a whole as identified by Boston Consulting Group. This has led to some of the world’s most popular luxury brands foraging into hospitality, opening hotel properties and launching concept stores with F&B operations and event spaces to create experiences for a younger generation.  Due to this increasing demand, Glion Institute of Higher Education has established an undergraduate track combining hospitality and luxury brand management, preparing students to join this aspiring sector and create the personalised experiences of the future.

To be memorable, experiences must be relevant, meaningful and unexpected – only then will they remain in the customer’s mind and stand out from other impressions. When finally the experience is executed in a way that it delivers on a brand’s promise, it becomes invaluable – and its price secondary.

There is indeed a big skills gap in the global hospitality industry that currently supports over 290 million jobs and is expected to create 90 million more over the next ten years (World Travel & Tourism Council). It’s more important than ever for the marketplace to have a constant exchange with educators. Of course, not all of these jobs are in the luxury segment, where the mind-set and soft skills are essential. Today’s luxury travellers expect outstanding service throughout their journey, but it takes empathy and a certain open-mindedness to anticipate their needs and respond in a personalised way. While the right techniques can be acquired, a passion for hospitality, people and service is a prerequisite.

The best piece of advice I can give to someone who serves the hospitality industry is be sincere, genuine and authentic: a guest or a colleague will always recognize and appreciate sincerity and authenticity and it is the first step to create emotion. Stay humble: if you treat everybody around you respectfully, you will in turn gain their respect. Be adventurous: hospitality is an extremely dynamic industry that offers limitless opportunities for people seeking to explore and discover.”

These and other emerging trends on the luxury scene will be discussed at ILTM in Cannes, 4-7 December 2017. To find out how your business can get accreditation to attend ILTM, click here.


6 idiosyncrasies of the Chinese super-rich

6 idiosyncrasies of the Chinese super-rich

The wealthy elite in China have long since been a source of awe and fascination for many. Often viewed as a closed society, it remains broadly inaccessible to those operating outside its invisible boundaries.

The ‘super-rich,’ or ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) have net assets valued at least $30 million. According to World Ultra Wealth Report 2017, China has 16,040 UHNWIs (net worth of $1,950 billion). This overwhelming financial power, that also extends to their families and extended family networks, has given rise to a belief that the ultra-affluent belong to a singular global elite that transcends geographical, cultural and social boundaries.

In our book, Luxury Brands in China and India (Palgrave Macmillan), we argue that the ultra-affluent in Beijing or Shanghai share similar and even common traits with their counterparts in London or New York, but they also embody both a distinctive, evolving socio-cultural and psychographic imprint, which can be understood using 6 broad idiosyncrasies…

Old vs. New Money. The ultra-affluent in China belong predominantly to the first generation of wealth creation. The Forbes list of China’s Richest 100 people showcase entrepreneurs or so-called ‘technopreneurs’ who have for example benefited from the boom in new technologies. These self-made entrepreneurs are generally younger than their western counterparts and intertwined with a higher tolerance for risk. A broader perspective indeed profiles the new affluent in China as belonging to a younger demographic compared to other geographies. The average age of a Maserati or Ferrari buyer in China is typically in his or her 30s.

1st vs. 2nd Generation. We are also observing the emergence of the second generation of the rich, known in China as ‘fu-er-dai’, who is expected to succeed first-generation entrepreneurs. The so-called ‘2Rich’ in China is renowned for a more visible and care-free attitude that is often associated with a lavish or bling spending lifestyle culture. Beyond the critical scrutiny of the media, the emergence of the second generation rich will not only represent a shift on lifestyle attitudes but also on wealth creation. Many have been educated in North America and have adopted a more aggressive approach to investing.

Family Cohesion and Division. The collective strength and protection of the family bond has been viewed as an important if not critical feature of Asian culture. This is of particular relevance given that family companies in Asia are more prevalent than in the US and Europe. Chinese families tend to follow the values and rituals of respecting family loyalties and the extended family hierarchy that is rarely exposed to the outside world. However, the often inseparable business and family interests can also be a potential source of conflict, particularly amongst family members belonging to different generations. The complexities of managing family ownership issues and competing interests of wealth preservation or creation are typical of family disputes.

Social Networks. Networks remains a distinctive facet of Asian society, particularly in East Asian cultures. The phenomenon of social networking is even more pronounced for the ultra-wealthy who seek sanction, support, solidarity, and protection amongst their closest peer group. Although there are signs that the social influence of guanxi, i.e. the formation and consolidating of relationships, is weakening due to the Chinese government efforts to curtail corruption, the ultra-affluent remain well-connected. As a result, the personal recommendations among these close-knit communities carry weighted importance. It also implies that group norms within these networks are firmly anchored as the notion of “saving face” is still very much apparent.

Cultural Identity: National vs. International. Despite Western influences, national pride is strongly ingrained amongst the super-rich in China. For example, philanthropy in China has strong local relevance and many wealthy Chinese collectors are inclined to acquire traditional art. Popular acquisitions are classical works with an emphasis on the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. Although the second generation rich are more exposed to the global milieu compared to their parents, they remain inclined to embrace local customs and rituals. The younger generation is undeniably seeking new and exotic experiences such as foreign travel, fine wines and fine dining, but they are also very much aware of their own national and cultural identity. An interesting observation within this context is the demand for watches that are related to zodiac signs. The Year of the Rooster has given rise to designs that are able to connect emotionally and culturally with affluent Chinese clients. For example, Juvenia, Jaquet Droz, Bovet 1822 and Vacheron Constantin launched limited editions.

The Super Rich – Markets of ‘One’Luxury companies need to identify and target the super-rich beyond simply the criterion of wealth. Luxury companies need to therefore see each extremely wealthy individual as a ‘market of one.’ Let us consider the example of Johnnie Walker House in Beijing. Here, patrons can work with the Johnnie Walker Master Blender to create a personalised blend and share in the act of creation. Moreover, a total of only 200 patrons have access to so-called relationship managers who know the preferences of each member in order to ensure the whisky experience is as personal as possible.

Understanding the personal needs of the ultra-wealthy in China will also address cultural issues that are central to consumer behaviour. For example, superyachts are seen less for recreational use as in Western markets, but as a second home for the Chinese ultra-wealthy. Marketing to the super-rich is a complex, multi-faceted process. However, the opportunities should not be underestimated given that a new billionaire is created almost every week in China.

If you want to reach China’s UHNWIs you’re going to need to build relationships with the travel advisors that represent them. To find out how you can get accreditation to attend ILTM China, click here.

The definition of happiness

The definition of happiness

Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.

One of the leading researchers in the field is Amy Blankson, an expert on positive psychology, Co-founder of GoodThink Inc., and the special guest who will be delivering the Opening Speech at ILTM Americas 2017. After travelling to more than 50 countries researching positive psychology, spending time with farmers who lost their lands in Zimbabwe, Swiss bankers in the middle of a banking crisis, owners of NBA teams and schoolchildren in South Africa, not to mention working with US Presidents, Google, NASA, Oprah and the US Army, Amy observes that, while the triggers of short-term happiness are different across the world, what sustains long-term happiness, is universal across all cultures.

We asked Amy to explain how to use positive psychology to fuel success, and what it means for the future of happiness travel itineraries…

I am the co-founder of GoodThink, a positive psychology consulting firm that works with companies in over 50 countries to bring the science of positive psychology to life.  My co-founder, Shawn Achor, is also my brother, which always makes for a fun and lively work dynamic. Shawn and I came to positive psychology partially because our father was a Neuroscientist. We grew up with our dad running experiments on us and trying out the latest subliminal messages to get us to do our chores. That was just par for the course as children of a psychologist. Every day that school was out, we wound up hanging out in our dad’s office surrounded by psychology experiments and labs and professors–that seemed normal to us.

Another motivation for working in positive psychology was that both of our parents came out of very difficult childhoods, but were able to make the mental switch to rise above their circumstances and choose happiness. It became a way of life for them.  As Shawn and I have gotten older, we spent a lot of time trying to understand: how does someone come out of a history of intense negativity to become something different, to reach a higher plane of potential? We are continually inspired by individuals who are able to do that. Fast forward a few years and I remember Shawn telling me about the latest research that he’d been doing at Harvard on the science of happiness and this idea of positive psychology. He was really excited about it, and it really made me think a little bit about creating community change in a different way, about being able to offer the chance for people to understand optimism and happiness at a time when they actually really needed it.

Over the next few years, we began sharing the research of positive psychology with companies and organizations in over 50 countries, teaching them the principles of positive psychology and strategies for implementing change in a sustainable way. I believe that this movement took off because organizations realized that telling employees to put their heads down and work harder in periods of uncertainty and change was ineffective; the more that leaders could tap into employee’s innate creativity, kindness, and motivation, the more engaged and effective they became. That is the heart of positive psychology and I look forward to sharing more of the strategies that leads to organization change with you in person very soon!

Understanding this field can really have a significant effect on your business. The latest research from the field of positive psychology reveals that training our brains to be more positive is not only possible, it’s actually essential to striving after your full potential.  Why? Because when your brain is positive, it receives a boost of dopamine, which turns on the learning centres in the brain and makes you able to see more possibilities in your environment.  In fact, a positive brain has been linked to: 37% higher sales, 3x more creativity, 31% higher productivity, 40% increase in likelihood of receiving a promotion, 23% decrease in symptoms of fatigue, 10x increase in the level of engagement at work, a 39% increase in the likelihood of living to age 94, and a 50% decrease in the risk of heart disease.

A good network of social connections is the key to personal success in your chosen industry. Research shows that social support is crucial to personal success, in fact, it is the single greatest predictor of your long-term happiness, success, and longevity.  Recent research reveals that social support is as predictive of how long you will live as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking!

An understanding of positive psychology is absolutely key for travel brands that want to offer truly transformations experiences. Travel is about so much more than escape; it’s about opportunity for growth.  Research shows that most successful individuals tend to have a growth mindset (rather than a fixed mindset) about new experiences, meaning that they see their capacity for learning as infinite and boundless.  If we can facilitate opportunities for growth through travel, we can help our clients strive after their potential, which is the very definition of happiness.

Amy’s Opening Speech; Strategic Happiness: Creating Meaningful Connections & Sustaining Positive Change, takes place in the Riviera Ballroom, at the Fairmont Mayakoba at 17:00 on 25th September 2017.


Meet the world in Cannes

The global luxury travel community is preparing to gather in Cannes this December. Once again, ILTM will play host to some of the most exciting travel brands in the world, including the very best boutique hotels, exclusive resorts, luxury cruise liners and gastronomic experiences. ILTM have personally sourced an eclectic mix of luxury exhibitors, from the well-established global brands, to those up-and-coming gems. Here are some of the top exhibitors attending this year’s event.

Nobu Hotels

Nobu Hotels creates powerful stages for shared experiences of excitement and escapism. Featuring the best of everything with imaginative new restaurants, high-energy bars, relaxing rejuvenation, distinctive service, remarkable retail and an air of celebrity, Nobu Hotels will afford guests the most exclusive entry into unparalleled experiences.

View ILTM Exhibitor Profile


First-time ILTM exhibitors but longtime luxury travel purveyors, Seabourn will share the latest on its new ship, Seabourn Ovation, set to launch in May 2018. Meet with President Rick Meadows and SVP of Global Sales and Marketing, Chris Austin, to discuss the experience on the World’s Finest Ultra-Luxury Cruise Line.

View ILTM Exhibitor Profile

The Trafalgar St. James

Trafalgar Square is the axis on which London tilts, and the Trafalgar St. James is located at its epicentre – a hotel which houses three unique food and drink destinations. The Trafalgar St. James brings together the greatest elements of modern London and celebrates them through their approach to design, food, drink and service.

View ILTM Exhibitor Profile

Sydell Group

The creator and manager of unique hotels rooted in their location and architecture. Sydell’s core expertise is an ability to collaborate with original talent within the world of design, food & beverage, and retail. The diverse portfolio of award-winning properties includes The NoMad New York, the soon to open NoMad Los Angeles and The Ned London, a partnership with Soho House.

View ILTM Exhibitor Profile


Joali is a breathing art museum in the elegance of nature. Every second offers a unique harmony. Beautiful sights, feels, experiences and memories.
It’s like getting lost in a beautiful fairy tale. A great story awaits you. Take all the inspiration from Joali, and start writing your own journal.

View ILTM Exhibitor Profile

5 cities that should be shaping your LatAm strategy

5 cities that should be shaping your LatAm strategy

Wondering where to focus your time, energy and budget in Latin America? No doubt, these 5 star cities – Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, São Paulo – are the key to your LATAM strategy. Over the next few years, the residents of these 5 cities will lead Latin American outbound travel and spend more on luxury travel than the rest of LATAM combined!

Here is where smart hotels and travel brands are spending…

Bogota is following the rising moment of the country Colombia. After years and years of a weak economy due to the severe drug problem, the country is developing impressively. The overall population is shining, happy and motivated. Colombians became the number one consumer for prestigious and luxury brands in Panamá in recent years and the majority of people come from Bogota. They are ready to go beyond in their consumption of travel.

Buenos Aires used to be the most sophisticated city in Latin America. Anything related to luxury, Argentinians would be the first in line. They have a very European style, with a very high level of education. Argentinians from Buenos Aires have always been the ones associated to cultural aspects of living; arts, luxury brands, hotels and so on. For years they have been the most important travellers in Brazil. The last few years have been very difficult but the situation is changing fast and the enthusiasm is back.

Lima is the new rising star in Latin America! Impressive and exquisite gastronomy is changing the country and Peruvians are more and more confident of their opportunities. Lima is the epicenter of this change. It is the fashion destination in the region right now and the Peruvians are responding to it with a lot of self-esteem. Economy is growing, Peruvians are becoming richer, and as a result, Panamá was also surprised by the buying power of Peruvians coming from Lima. Now is the time to discover more and invest.

Mexico City is one of the strongest and richest cities in Latin America. For years, Mexicans were the only ones to have the American Express Centurion Card, and Mexicans from Mexico City were the world leaders for this AMEX category. Traditionally, Mexicans have always had the USA as the number one destination for their travels. The current situation with the US is driving Mexicans to experience the world through other travel destinations so now is the perfect time to enchant Mexicans and work very closely to promote opportunities in Mexico City – the capital and the city with the highest concentration of wealth in the region. Mexicans will discover the world!

São Paulo is the financial capital of Latin America; the number one in population and the leading city within the Latin American region for financial wealth and the number of millionaires and billionaires. On top of this, Brazilians have proved to the world that they can definitely surprise. In recent years, Brazilians were among the most important luxury buyers in the world and the main travellers. Brazilians are all about free spirit, fun, pleasure, happiness and travelling. The people of São Paulo are all aligned with these characteristics with one very important additional thing: wealth! São Paulo is rich! In the last two years, the economy has forced Brazilians to hold on to their money and Brazilians cannot wait for a long time. The world should be ready; Brazilians are back and São Paulo will lead the movement.

It’s time to get ready!

Carlos Ferreirinha is a Latin American luxury expert and regular guest at ILTM Latin America (formerly Travelweek Sao Paulo), which takes place each year in São Paulo, Brazil. For more information, please email us at: iltmlatam@reedexpo.com.br.

Forget millennials, resonating across generations is key

Forget millennials, resonating across generations is key

Avoiding the word millennial is a seemingly impossible task for today’s luxury travel marketers.

Often putting millennials and baby boomers on opposite ends of a spectrum, the reality is not so simple. During a recent Virtuoso conference, expert on ageing Ken Dychtwald and his millennial son Zak presented; The New Language of Leisure: A Boomer Millennial Smackdown, arguing that there is an unfounded and “overwhelming amount of attention on millennials.”

Ken Dychtwald urges luxury marketers to re-set their focus back to the 50-plus set, citing statistics to back up his argument:

“People who are 50-plus have 70 percent of the country’s disposable income and own 76 percent of the total net worth.” The combination of this concentration of wealth, plus a surfeit of time affluence makes boomers “the ideal candidates for luxury travel.”

Read the article here  

We asked ILTM movers and shakers how marketing to millennials is impacting the way we sell luxury.

News Views

Travel Brand View

"Do I think luxury marketers have favoured the millennials in their strategies recently? Painting in broad strokes, in general, no, I do not. The luxury sector recognizes the value of targeting multiple audiences, rather than favouring one over the other. 

Generally speaking, marketing to any one specific audience will ultimately alienate all other audiences. At Crystal, we find that millennials and baby boomers, as well as the multi-generational families that bring the two together, value travel and exploration and global discoveries equally. And we respect them enough to speak to them equally."

Media View

"To be honest, I feel like luxury brands have been speaking a lot about millennials lately, doing everything to reach them (and forgetting about other segments) but very few have been successful. Believing you can “understand” a generation in the making is their mistake, I think. Millennials are far too young right now. Also, a fundamental trait of the millennial is this feeling of living in a world far worse off than previous decades. The industry has therefore been focusing on a 20-something kid, with little money and poor mental wellbeing. So yes, I think it has been a mistake to think so much about millennials, I think we should start to think about specific interests instead of generations, and especially when it comes to luxury industries, where money is not a problem.

Thinking in segments and generations is useful when you’re trying to explain major trends, but when it comes to luxury things are far too exclusive, far too unique. Labelling people doesn’t work when it comes to luxury because you are not working with the masses; you are working with the niche. So, instead of thinking of millennials, and baby boomers, or generation x, I would think about how individual people want to travel and the different interests they have."


"Most of us in travel sales and marketing have experienced what I call 'millennial fatigue'. I actually banned the term from our events before reluctantly letting it back in when it couldn't be avoided! It’s not that millennials aren't a valid segment – on the contrary – 72% of Chinese millennials will use a travel advisor to plan their trips next year compared to 58%, generally - what tends to annoy me is when I see a brand’s overt focus on the segment because of what they think an association with young people or ‘experiential’ travel will do for their brand positioning.

Luxury travel experiences, be they experiential, transformational, adventurous, or educational, are enjoyed equally by people of all generations. What’s more, I don’t believe millennials want to stay with brands that have a very narrow cross section or demographic of guest. All my best travel experiences involve meeting people of different ages, faiths, and nationalities; that's the essence of luxury travel."

A Q&A with ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore

A Q&A with ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore

As any travel professional will tell you, life is richer when you meet new people and see the world through their eyes. ILTM have been bringing the world’s top travel brands to China, each year, for over 10 years. Giving travel pros a platform to build relationships in the region and strengthening the connection between Asia Pacific’s huge and diverse markets of HNW travellers and the industry that serves them.

But travel pros have never been the type to just sit and watch. So, as the world changes around us, so do ILTM’s collection of events.

This summer, ILTM announced the launch of a new show, ILTM China, dedicated to the Chinese market, plus the relocation of ILTM Asia Pacific to Singapore. We caught up with the force behind ILTM’s growth, our trusty captain, counsellor and shepherd-in-chief, Alison Gilmore, to find out more…

Alison, what was behind the decision to split ILTM Asia?

Our client research highlighted that the Asian luxury outbound market is growing so fast that many companies are now separating their current and future business plans and marketing strategies to focus on China and Asia as two independent opportunities. As a result we will now deliver two dynamic events dedicated to their own audiences: ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore, 21 – 24 May and ILTM China in Shanghai, 31 October – 2 November 2018.

You mention that the new event, ILTM Asia Pacific (taking place 21 – 24 May, 2018 at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel), will be more like the Cannes event – how so?

ILTM Asia Pacific will be re-positioned to represent the whole of Asia, bringing more international buyers, similar in context to ILTM in Cannes. We will create the show to be as international as Cannes with over 35% of luxury travel suppliers representing Asia Pacific and 65% the rest of the world. 85% of buyers will be from Asia Pacific and 15% from outside the region. No luxury buyer will be attending any other ILTM event in 2018. Last year, Asia Pacific surpassed North America for the first time as the region with the largest amount of high net worth wealth, according to the World Wealth Report. ILTM Asia Pacific will focus on this growth, collectively bringing together international and regional luxury travel suppliers to boost and build their businesses from this dynamic region.

At the same time, Singapore is a beautiful green city, modern and efficient with a multicultural diversity that lends itself to some great venues for networking events, so we expect to deliver a similar ambiance as ILTM Cannes in Singapore reflecting the very best of mixing business with pleasure!

What were the other cities in the running to host the event?

We have had RFP’s from several Asian countries, all of which were keen to collaborate with ILTM, however Singapore delivered not only the best proposal but its significance as the gateway city with one of the world’s award winning airports, that serves more than 100 airlines flying to some 380 cities in about 90 countries worldwide, was a really important part of our decision.

ILTM China will still take place in Shanghai (31 October – 2 November) but will be a more bespoke event with one-to-one pre-scheduled appointments, similar to other ILTM events in Japan, Africa and Arabia.

ILTM China will indeed remain in Shanghai and be re-positioned specifically to bring Chinese luxury travel planners and buyers to meet with international exhibitors of luxury products and services. Every year we see a big increase in the number of Chinese luxury travel planners wanting to attend ILTM and with this new style of event we can focus on this market solely. There will be no overlap of Chinese buyers with any other ILTM event so every exhibitor can rely on 100% assurance that their participation will deliver on their business objectives and return on investment.

The appointment system of mutual matching between exhibitor and buyer will remain the same ensuring that every appointment in their diary has been selected as relevant between both parties – a great way to deliver real tangible business opportunities.

Given the incredible growth in the country, is there a chance we may see more than one China event?

For now Shanghai is the venue, but the buyer community will come from every part of China; we have a team dedicated to sourcing those who are relevant and who have clients of the highest net worth. Never say never, China is indeed a huge outbound market, and ILTM China will grow to reflect this.

It’s not the only change to the Asia portfolio – ILTM Japan (Tokyo, 26 – 28 February 2018) will now become an inbound event – can you explain why?

The key reason is that Japan’s inbound market has hit a record high, with a 21% growth in the first quarter of this year alone from neighbouring Asian nations. A combination of the relaxation in visa restrictions, the impending Rugby World Cup, the Olympics in 2020 and the Winter Olympics has led the Japanese government to planning upgrades to airports and seaports, as well as improving access to national parks and cultural attractions – the inbound experience is only going to get better. The perceived simplicity of Japanese culture continues to be extremely appealing to those in the West, particularly as the Japanese experience combines both the modern and the traditional concepts of luxury.

For further information see www.iltm.com/asiapacific or email Alison at alison.gilmore@reedexpo.co.uk

Video: People of ILTM – João Annibale

Video: People of ILTM – João Annibale

50% of The Leading Hotels of the World’s Latin American business comes from one country – Brazil. 

At Travelweek Sao Paulo by ILTM 2017, we asked our community why Brazil is such an important player for their business.

João Annibale, CEO of The Leading Hotels of the World in Brazil, shares his love for the Latin American market as well as his excitement for the new ILTM Latin America format.

If you’re looking for some great advice on how to understand and get the most out of this market, start with Annibale!

For more advice on how to make it in the Latin American travel world, please email us at: travel@reedexpo.com.br