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High-end travel sees a surge in popularity

By Fu Chao | China Daily | Updated: 2015-05-18 08:32

The Asian market is showing increasing interest in cruises, high-end adventure travel and luxury air experiences, according to leading exhibition organizer the International Luxury Travel Market.

"We are seeing a definite upward trend in Chinese tourists' increasing interest in cruises," said Alison Gilmore, senior exhibition director of ILTM.

In the 2014 Chinese Luxury Traveler White Paper, ILTM prepared in association with Hurun Research Institute, cruise travel was chosen by 26 percent of respondents to a survey as a dream travel experience.

The Caribbean topped the cruise trip wish list for survey respondents at 48 percent; followed by the Mediterranean at 43 percent; the Arctic at 32 percent and Antarctica at 29 percent. "In terms of the share of the entire China Luxury Travel Market, it is one of the fastest growing sectors," Gilmore said. The 2015 International Luxury Travel Market Asia, known as 2015 ILTM Asia, will present the latest luxury travel trends in the Asian market during a four-day show running from June 1 to 4. This years' ILTM Asia has attracted 550 exhibitors. Luxury travel brands from around the world will meet with selected luxury travel agents across Asia and present the most popular and exciting travel experiences.

According to Gilmore, the ILTM Asia this year will cover a range of global cruise brands, offering "a breadth of cruise choices, as well as the best of private jets and elite transportation experiences". In addition, Gilmore said, high-end adventure travel is seeing a huge surge in popularity among Chinese and Asian travelers.

She said the ILTM Asia this year will see record numbers of companies promoting Wildlife and Safari experiences, 13 exhibitors featuring some of the world's natural wonders, and five extreme adventure exhibitors that include cruises and expeditions to the North Pole, Antarctica and the High Arctic.

Marketing agent Iceland Luxury will join the show to promote the country, its natural sights, hotels and luxury operators. German company Awayfromitall is bringing one-of-a-kind travel experiences from hardcore adventure to biking, hiking and skiing.

Gilmore said the Asia market is also showing great interest in skiing and winter sports. With the next two Olympic Winter Games being held in Asian cities, interest in winter sports is expected to remain strong. The ILTM show this year will feature 21 skiing travel brands and agents. The renowned skiing destination in Austria, Lech Zurs, will join the show again and promote its destination as ideal for winter sports.

Gilmore said more than 500 buyers will attend the show this year and 40 percent are from China, a proof that the Chinese market is a rising star in the global luxury travel landscape.

"At this year's ILTM Asia, we are making it as easy as possible for all our Chinese buyers," she said. "For the first time, we will provide an extensive number of translators to be on hand to help the 200 buyers from across China, 45 percent of whom will be new to the event.

"Products or trips marketed as 'authentic', 'limited edition' or 'VIP' have always appealed to travelers from China. We are starting to see the tide turning for Chinese tourists seeking wildlife and safari experiences like Antarctica, Africa and the North Pole, and skiing and luxury marine and air experiences, rather than shopping for luxury brands and visiting landmarks," Gilmore said.

High-end travel sees a surge in popularity

 High-end travel sees a surge in popularity

2015 ILTM Asia ( will be held in Shanghai from June 1 to 4. Photos Provided to China Daily

 High-end travel sees a surge in popularity

ILTM Asia has seen a surge of interest in luxurious travel to destinations such as a resort in the Bahamas shown in the picture.

(China Daily 05/18/2015 page12)

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