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Monday, February 28, 2011

ILTM Asia: The world of luxury travel comes to Shanghai

With the World Tourism Organisation predicting that mainland Chinese travellers will take 100 million trips abroad by 2015.

Asia Pacific luxury travel planners will meet at the 5th edition of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Asia, Shanghai in June to view the world’s increasing offerings in new and adventurous luxury experiences and prestigious luxury travel products.

“There is a huge growth to come,” commented Frank Zheng of Luxe China Club and VIP buyer at ILTM Asia 2011. “Chinese consumers are finding it a lot more interesting to travel and are increasingly interested in luxury and variety at the top end of the scale. The yuan is expected to rise in value and visa restrictions are diminishing every day.”

Founded on a strict qualification process for both buyers and suppliers, ILTM Asia only brings together the very best from the global luxury travel community to this exclusive, ‘invitation-only’ annual event.

The demand for a greater choice in elite travel from across Asia has encouraged many exciting new exhibitors at ILTM Asia 2011. Orion Expedition Cruises, for example is the leading expedition cruise operator across the Asia Pacific, venturing into locations that larger ships cannot access such as the Russian Far East's Ring of Fire, the culturally rich Inland Sea of Japan, the charismatic Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, the diverse Borneo and the sub-Antarctic islands that so few can visit. With the introduction of Orion II in May 2011 Orion will double its capacity and give even more guests the opportunity to discover untouched places.

Six Senses Resorts & Spas will also reveal several new properties at ILTM Asia – Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives in April 2011 and Six Senses Meeraladuaa and Six Senses Before Galle – scheduled to open in 2012 – in Sri Lanka.

Another highlight will be Lodges of New Zealand – promising individual experiences in the country’s outstanding landscape be it either on a lake edge or river bank, perched on a cliff top or a mountainside, in glorious gardens or in the wilderness, set on a farm or a vineyard, on the beach or an idyllic island. First timer Tourism Fiji with its 333 islands – some inhabited, most not – has as much to offer: 5-star resorts with glimmering white beaches, snorkelling, diving, surfing or kayaking, trekking in the rainforests and experiencing sustainable living. Similarly, opening in November 2011, Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia comprises 25 luxury overwater, rainforest and beach villas built with sustainable materials.

Continuing to emphasise the fact that luxury is perhaps even more indefinable than ever, the event also welcomes XO Private, which represents countless luxury properties and high-end service companies around the world. Participating in ILTM Asia for the first time, XO Private will profile The Morocco Family in South Africa, Fregate Island – a tropical island paradise in the Seychelles, plus luxury lifestyle resorts Shanti Maurice and Sankhara Villas in the most untouched parts of Mauritius.

Orient-Express, which started in 1883 as one of the world’s most indulgent train journeys, today also embraces hotels, cruises and other luxury rail adventures in 24 countries across five continents. In addition, ILTM Asia will present The Maharajas’ Express – a perfect luxurious introduction to India for the single independent traveller from Asia and beyond, looking to explore India in style.

Within the region itself, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has recently announced another 31 hotels to open in Asia, complementing their 50 existing hotels and amounting to a total of 15,000 hotel rooms in China alone. Many other renowned hotel brands will again showcase their products at ILTM Asia: The Ritz-Carlton Company will unveil details of their future openings such as The Ritz-Carlton Macao, Studio City and The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore and the expansion of their luxury resort brand, Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos and the UAE .

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places