There are so many different performances running consequetively in the theatre that is ILTM. Take the ‘buyers’, luxury travel advisors/consultants. This year there were 2,100 buyers from 83 countries will have had, in total, 82,000 pre-scheduled appointments with 2,100 exhibitors. It is the buyers who move, every ten or 20 minutes. There are three floors in the enormous space that is Palais de Festivals. It is tough work. On the first day, Monday, Yaroslav Gorovoy, Director of Almont Travel, smiled broadly. During the subsequent three days of ‘doing the tracks’ he was also in charge of overseeing eight Almont colleagues, all of whom were rookies. By Friday the smile was interlaced with exhaustion.
Exbibitors, meanwhile, stayed put, and they usually had somewhere to sit. They could also bring someone to help out. The big exhibitors go overboard in their attempt to stand out. Belmond, which literally brought a train carriage to the 2022 event, this year invested heavily in a garden. Very pretty but it did not have the same impact. Windstar brought one of its yachts, Star Legend (ex-Seabourn) which stood out beautifully anchored in the bay for all to see. Clever.
Six Senses has moved from running the show’s mini-spa to being main actor in ILTM Living, a vastly expanded wellness retreat that also starred Banyan Tree, Hyatt and Vilebrequin. American Express had its own lounge on the top, third floor. Virtuoso moved down to the ground floor.
The producer of all these shows is RX’s show director, Alison Gilmore. She is always thinking of something new – perhaps a private jet fly-past?