2019 Luxury Travel Trends According to ILTM Events Director Alison Gilmore

Happening from May 27 to 30 in Singapore, ILTM Asia Pacific will offer insights into how wellness is changing the face of luxury travel, through exciting destinations, experiences, and luxurious accommodations. ILTM Events Director Alison Gilmore shares more.

ILTM Events Director Alison Gilmore.

How would you define luxury travel in this day and age?

One traveler’s luxury could be another’s ordinary–there are many different perspectives on definitive luxury which is one of the things that makes our job at ILTM so interesting!  We see changing trends, less about the need to perfect the thread count in the bed linen and more about access to people, places, cultures, wellness, sport, and experiences that can be pushed to the limits. It’s now really all about authenticity; this is what everyone at an ILTM event comes to buy and sell.

What are some noteworthy trends in luxury travel for 2019?

Watch out for travel trends regarding health and wellness, which help to support our emotional needs as well as our physical. Nowadays, we find that our exhibitors are offering bespoke and personalized programs for travelers. Trends also show the need for intellectual stimulation, as such, culture, history, and privileged access to unique places of interest. Well-heeled travelers also appreciate the finer things in life, where there are opportunities to explore alternative foods of a destination, as well as shop local products, rather than just global brands.

Paddling to a lakeside hut at Sri Lanka’s Ulpotha, a wellness retreat.

Considering health and wellness will be an overarching theme of this year’s ILTM; could you elaborate on how this theme plays out in the luxury travel landscape?

It comes as no surprise to the luxury travel industry that affluent and high net worth consumers have adopted new lifestyle habits in recent years. The quest for enduring physical, mental, and spiritual well-being is now guiding some of the key purchasing decisions of the wealthy. Health used to be the new wealth and it is now encompassed into a wider wellness mindset.

According to the Global Wellness Institute’s 2017 Global Wellness Economy Monitor, the wellness tourism segment of the global wellness industry is a US$639 billion industry and is expected to reach US$919 billion by 2022.  ILTM made wellness their central theme during the 2018 global event in Cannes, reinforcing the idea that businesses and organizations have an immense interest in embracing the healthy living trend to appeal to the high-end audience.  We expect that our luxury travel exhibitors will be reinforcing their brand messages and that the meetings they have with the buyers will focus on what they can offer a client under this overarching theme.

The participant program at ILTM Asia Pacific this year will support the theme of health and wellness with morning ILTM bay runs and morning yoga in the host hotels. Look out for The Retreat, a designated area of the show floor featuring brands with the latest products and services in health and wellness. All ILTM guests will also be given the opportunity to take a well-earned break from their busy appointment schedule to experience The Retreat.

What’s one thing traveling has taught you?

To cherish time alone that we spend traveling. It’s worth it to me for sleep or to catch up on reading, then, of course, there is always the temptation to also watch all my downloaded movies from Netflix! This is the opportunity that travel gives and keeps giving. There is much to learn about from other cultures, so wonderful to meet people who live extraordinary lives outside of your own, and so much culture to soak in when I get some downtime in a destination.  Even a meeting in a different country can teach us so much. It’s an unbelievable luxury to travel and I will never take it for granted.

More information here.

Brought to you in partnership with ILTM.

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