Luxury Hotels


When top people take valuable time to attend industry events, their brands benefit – above, Six Senses’ Neil Jacobs, left, and Capella’s Cristiano Rinaldi, yesterday, at International Luxury Travel Market ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore. Their presence also cements importance of the event in question.

Yes, ILTM is back with a flourish. The hunger to return to travel is apparent everywhere. At the ILTM opening Forum on Monday, 5th September, 2022,  ILTM Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore shared trend assessments from Stockholm-based Luxury & Wealth giant Altiant.  Some of the salient points included:

Travel agents are becoming more important, with 92% of Asia Pacific’s HNWIs planning to use them in the next year.

Yes, people – or at least 62% of those surveyed – are planning far ahead rather than spur-of-the moment.

This is revenge travel, showing a readiness to mix again.

They are prepared to spend (48% plan to spend more on travel then pre-Covid, though

50% of the total would like less flying).

Expect longer stays, with 45% citing holidays of at least one week.

They like beach holidays (48%) and city breaks (43%) but, wherever and whatever,

61% say health-wellness is a big factor, with awareness of sustainability also a relevant factor, especially among females and all under-45s.

As is found everywhere in the world of global travel, the Asia Pacific voyager is seeking experiences. To cite one of the myriad experiences that are part of ILTM Asia Pacific here in Bangkok, at ANANTARA TENTED CAMP in Thailand’s Golden Triangle you can not only walk with the elephants but, now, reserve to sleep near them, in a transparent tent.

The Forum had its own experiences. Alison Gilmore was sandwiched between a double-bill prologue – of gong-whisperer Ash The Sound Healer and a video promising Japan Will Guide You, Step By Step – and, as closing epilogue, former musician Su-Yen Wong.  Wearing her current guise of business coach, this vivacious Singaporean preached having purpose and staying the course: she bravely showed images of her own exhausted self climbing 40 flights of stairs when physically preparing for Everest, Base Camp.

And then came the universally-anticipated networking. RITZ-CARLTON MILLENIA SINGAPORE, which had hosted the Forum, then threw an ultimate welcome party. Outside, around the Olympic-sized pool. There seemed to be almost as many highly-alert servers as the 400-or-so party-goers. Live music and no speech, which no-one would have, could have, heard anyway. Open-bar and non-stop flow of always-chilled Ritz Champagne from Barons Rothschild (apparently also poured at HOTEL RITZ PARIS, one of the 18 members of The Leading Hotels of the World taking part here at ILTM). Live cooking stations were so plentiful that there was never a wait for yet more mammoth-sized shrimp satays or breaded chicken one-bites. This is a htel that, like ILTM, does whatever in style, knowing that generosity reaps reward.

And tomorrow comes the business of all this, and we will see which brands stand out. As a personal prologue, Girlahead recommends investing a mere 15 minutes in listening to a disrupting sage: