Oh the meetings, 26,000 of them in all, the business side of ILTM NORTH AMERICA, 18-21 September 2023 at beautiful Baha Mar in Nassau. The complex’s Conference Center is fortunately vast, and some exhibitors, like The Leading Hotels of the World, had their own small rooms. Other ‘groups’ had areas within big rooms. The Swiss contingent came over powerfully, partly because of Roger Federer, who has a three-year contract with Switzerland Tourism. See above. The exhibitors from Switzerland, who of course included BADRUTT’S PALACE in St Moritz, therefore had the big advantage of working while he looked down on them. His presence also made it easier for the buying travel agents to see where their next appointment was.
It was all incredibly well organised. outside every meeting room there were plentiful supplies of water and coffee, and milk, almond, half-and-half or real? The commendable sustaining offerings also included paper sack grab-and-go lunches for media. The programme for the 40-ish (number, not age) communication hacks included ‘press round table lunches. Every nine minutes, energetic writers moved, bags and laptops and half-devoured superb flank steak submarines, from one table to another. That was still enough time to exchange business cards and suss out Ecuador, Saudi Arabia’s AlUla and, from the Galapagos, a boutique hotel and, separately, a 20-person luxury catamaran called Hermès. Honestly, superb value for time.
Media needed a bit, if not more, tender loving care. There was morning yoga and, yesterday, a memorable 90-minute sunset cruise. This followed on to dinner on high, at GRAND HYATT’s Marcus. Baha Mar President Graeme Davis is a sustainability spokesman. Lion fish was deliberately on the menu as it is a preditor, and therefore all the better for itself being eaten. With rum-glazed plantain and passionfruit piri piri it was jolly good. You could say this about the whole event, jolly worthwhile.