KYOTO, Japan – Taking place with the support of the City of Kyoto and the Japan Tourism Agency, the launch edition of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Japan – the first country specific event in the ILTM global portfolio – facilitated over 2,500 business meetings when it took place over the last three days in Kyoto.
ILTM Japan 2013 welcomed over 100 buyers and exhibitors in an agenda of one-to-one appointments – pre‐selected by both exhibitor and buyer to maximize business – during this dedicated Japan event. Following the traditional ILTM format, both buyers and exhibitors were required to follow a strict accreditation process in order to participate.
Alison Gilmore, Exhibition Director, ILTM Portfolio commented: “ILTM Japan is the first of our market specific events and was launched with two clear objectives: to introduce the international luxury travel agent to the modern Japan of today – still considered an untapped luxury tourism destination – and to nurture an understanding of the culture of Japanese high-end travelers.”
According to a recent study by the Development Bank of Japan, the number of tourists visiting Japan from other Asian countries by 2017 is forecast to be 41 percent higher than last year’s total. The Japanese government is targeting an annual total of 25 millions foreign visitors by 2020.
“ILTM Japan has given us a wonderful opportunity to grow our network: we have met with a significant number of decision makers representing our target audience – high-end VIP visitors to Japan,” commented Hideharu Ohta, President of the Daishichi Sake Brewery in Japan.
Head of New Product Development of the China International Travel Service at American Express, Benny Wang commented: “Being in Japan is an incredible experience and being here with ILTM is an extra bonus. I hadn’t realized the passion Japanese suppliers have for their product – it’s a great opportunity to be here.”
Roger Kershaw of Custom Travel Design, Canada added: “No matter how much I thought I knew the country, it’s only at this first edition of ILTM Japan that I have truly understood how to sell Japan to my clients. I have learnt about the culture, the finesse, and the nuance of the culture, and I will keep coming to the event in future years as each person I meet has something different to share.”
Veronica Rodriguez, Director of Marketing at Turisme Barcelona, observed: “Japan is a steady and important market in Barcelona’s luxury sector. ILTM is a very committed and loyal partner in promoting Barcelona as a luxury destination and we were very keen for the exclusive opportunity to be part of the first edition of ILTM Japan. We have had a great event, full of quality meetings with active and engaging buyers.”
And Japanese buyer Tatsuya Masubuchi of Roots & Partners concluded: “ILTM Japan is fantastic for both buyers and exhibitors as it matches us according to our needs – it fits my business and our high-end clients who are traveling globally. It is great to have an ILTM event exclusively focused on Japan.”