In the French Riviera with more than 3,000 luxury travel experts


What do you get when you mix more than 3,000 of the world's top luxury travel companies and travel sellers at Cannes' famed Palais des Festival des Congres?

The annual International Luxury Travel Market, of course, which essentially takes over the town for three days of intense meetings combined with just as intense (but always fun) breakfasts, lunches, dinners and parties that showcase some of the very best products the world of luxury travel has to offer.

This week's gathering marked the 16th anniversary of the invitation-only event, which continues to grow even as ILTM's expands its portfolio of regional events held throughout the year.

ILTM is considered one of the luxury travel industry's leading events, and organizers said they hit record attendance again, with 1,742 exhibitors and 1,650 buyers from 75 countries. Exhibitors vary from the biggest global hotel brands to small family-owned inns, yacht and private jet charters, even purveyors of some of the latest technology apps.

The agents, most of whom are fully or partially hosted, spend their days in speed-dating-style meetings.

Companies also use the event to provide updates and announcement to hosted media. Most of this year's briefings focused on updates to projects already in the luxury hotel sector's healthy pipeline. But details of a few projects also eeked out.

Six Senses, for instance, said it is close to signing a deal to take over two existing hotels in Singapore: The Duxton and the Maxwell. Accor Luxury announced a beach resort on Palm Dubai.

Jumeirah Group indicated it is nearing announcement of a long-anticipated lifestyle brand. And Francesco Galli Zugaro, founder and CEO of adventure-focused river-cruise company Aqua Expeditions that operates ultra-luxury ships in Peru, Vietnam and Cambodia, said he hopes to announce a deal for new river and ocean vessels in the first quarter of next year.

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