It’s time to take Central and Eastern Europe seriously, says Prague-based Gabriela Markova. That is why she is organising the first ever luxury trade show for that area. It will be at Mandarin Oriental, Prague, 13-16 September 2020 (see the view, above, from the hotel’s Presidential Suite). This is the opportunity for the world’s savviest luxury suppliers to go after high-spending travellers from Central and Eastern Europe.
Gabriela Markova cites Deloitte figures: the ultra-wealthy segment of Central and Eastern Europe has grown at a rate of 7.6%, matching the combined growth of the same segment in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. From Poland, January-August 2019, outbound trips upped 6%; from the Czech Republic the figure for the same period was 5% (and from Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland it was merely 2%). At least until 2030, the EU Ministry of Foreign Affairs expects Eastern European outbound tourism to grow 5-6% a year compared with all-Europe’s outbound forecast of 2-3%. Eastern European travellers love exotic destinations. Their visitor numbers to Vietnam rose 17.2% from 2018 to 2018, versus 7% for the whole of Europe. Thanks partly to better airlift, Kenya saw Polish visitors rise 28% in those 12 months. Central and Eastern Europe as a block upped visitation to Greece by 24% in 2019, Japan saw a rise of 12.7%, the Maldives recorded 11% up, and Thailand 10.8%.
This is why Luxury Bloc is hosting 50 top travel advisors for one-to-one meetings with such top properties as Fregate Island Private, Terre Blanche and Rosa Alpina, plus a list the most exclusive brands (think Chedi, Mandarin Oriental and Raffles). You will see such names as ILTM, Traveller Made and XO Private.
Luxury Bloc kicks off on Sunday 13th September with a cocktail talk by New York-based futurist Daniel Levine, Executive Director of the Avant-Guide Institute trends consultancy. This will be followed by a welcome dinner cooked by teenage graduates from a Prague charity foster home. Monday and Tuesday will be serious business, with 15-minute pre-arranged tabletop meetings for exhibitors to get to know the luxury buyers.
Gabriela Markova is a highly-respected luxury distribution professional who has variously been indispensable to Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and later to Velaa Private Island in the Maldives. For Luxury Bloc, she has selected Mandarin Oriental, Prague, as host hotel for business and social events – and she alternatively recommends staying at suggests the city’s Aria Hotel, Prague, five minutes’ walk away. www.luxurybloc.com