Luxury Hotels

ILTM has surveyed luxury travel advisors

The luxury travel world could be said to revolve around the annual ‘ILTM Cannes’, always the first week of December. One highlight, at the opening ceremony, is the closely-kept secret of who is this year’s winner of the Gostelow Award? At ILTM 2017, it was Virtuoso’s Matthew Upchurch, shown above.

Ahead of the 2020 International Luxury Travel Market – yes, the full name of ILTM – its Portfolio Director Alison Gilmore released, yesterday, a survey of future luxury travel trends.  Here are relevant parts of that release:

‘Timed to coincide with the ease of lockdown in many parts of the world, the objective was to understand the key drivers and the early trends of how, where and when wealthy consumers plan to start travelling again. As Alison Gilmore says: We wanted to gauge their views to establish how the world of luxury travel will work for the rest of 2020 – after all, their clients are the ones who hold the answers”.

‘From a sample of over 1,000 private planners, individuals and agencies worldwide, the following trends emerge:

  • Since the outbreak of COVID-19, two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed said they had taken travel bookings from their clients
  • Over 50% of these bookings are due to take place before December 2020
  • 72% of Concierge Companies received substantial bookings
  • Of the air travel already booked, 39% is domestic and 27% is long haul trips
  • Over 50% of all the planners and agents surveyed said they were confident the industry will rebound within a year
  • Of those yet to take a booking, 72% anticipate a climb in bookings within 3 months

‘Luxury Travellers are already setting new trends with 59% personal travel advisors saying clients are want information on luxury automobile travel as their preferred choice for their first holidays shows a trend for domestic luxury travel as a priority in the early stages of the return to leisure trips. Alison Gilmore adds: “These first trips will be closer to home as families start to come together again, and the research also showed a preference for private villas too.  Shorter trips were also preferred meaning there could be more of them as the opportunity to “catch up” occurs.  The use of private jets is also high up on preferences so that their trips can be taken at short notice and allows for group travel to be within their own family and friends.”

‘More key travel trends post Covid-19 revealed from ILTM’s survey include:

  • Of those considering other kinds of travel, 25% are considering cruises –  river, sea and international trips.
  • The need to avoid unnecessary health risks is key for high end travellers wanting to spend their first leisure time with family. More than half have already booked family travels, as some occasions for travelling include visiting relatives and family celebrations.
  •  57% want  private villas – another indication of family and small close groups connecting again
  • As destinations start opening up this early research showed a cross-section of choices for international travel with Greece, Italy, Maldives, Caribbean, and Europe as the most popular destinations.

‘When asked what their top choices would be for their next leisure trips, respondents chose Beach Escapes, Family Travel, Private Villas, Natural Wonders, Road Trips, Cruises, Cultural & Unique Excursions/experiences. At the same time over 20% showed preferences to focus on sustainability, and conscious travel with health and wellness related travel itineraries also featuring as a first choice.

‘The survey also outlined how agents believe the keys to encourage client bookings are: the availability of a vaccine, the lifting of travel bans and borders opening, health, security and safety standards (both in flight and at hotels) the relaxation of quarantine/self-isolating, and the flexibility of booking and cancellation terms.

Now more than ever the purpose of every ILTM event is to create that connection and I can now confidently say that, with the right set of circumstances ahead of us, we Cannes(!) and will deliver the event that the industry needs this December at ILTM,” says Alison Gilmore.’

ILTM is owned by Reed Exhibitions, the leading global events business that combines face-to-face with data and digital tools to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 500 events in almost 30 countries across 43 industry sectors, attracting more than 7 million participants. Reed Exhibitions, in turnm is part of RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. ILTM is scheduled for 7-10 December 2020, Cannes,, @ILTM_events and #ILTMCannes.

(Editor’s note: Condé Nast’s annual luxury conference, scheduled for 9-10 December 2020, Vienna, was cancelled on 3rd July, ostensibly because of the departure of its conceptor Suzy Menkes)