If you can’t buy a palace, at least you can stay in one of
them. That’s an encapsulation of one of the topics of discussion (the
collaborative economy) that took place during keynote presentations on the
first day of the International Luxury Travel Market’s (ILTM) annual flagship
event earlier this month.
The conference, which was held in Cannes, France, from Dec.
1 to 4, revealed the push-pull nature of the global luxury travel market, in
which suppliers continue to try to raise the bar on exclusivity while more
people than ever are now able to access a luxury travel experience.
In his presentation at ILTM’s Global Forum on Dec. 1,
consultant and economist Nenad Pacek, president of Austria-based Global Success
Advisors, spoke of a global economy in which the wealthy continue to get
Pacek estimated that about 13 million people worldwide have
$1 million in liquid assets at their disposal, with a larger-than-ever chunk of
that earmarked for luxury travel.
Meanwhile, the collaborative economy, largely believed to be
having its greatest impact on more moderate levels of travel, is edging its way
into the luxury sector, said ILTM Global Forum speaker and
collaborative-consumption expert Lauren Capelin, who discussed the concept of
“idealizing access over ownership.”
Capelin presented goods and services such as an ad from
Airbnb to “rent the country of Liechtenstein” for $70,000 a night, an offer
from GetMyBoat to rent yachts for $7,000 a day, and an ad showing vintage
Chanel purses that can be rented for $500 a month.
With the broadening of such services, Capelin added that
about one in five luxury travel businesses are feeling an impact from the
collaborative economy as more consumers look for unique, more personalized
The 13th annual edition of the conference attracted almost
1,500 buyers, planners and designers, and first-time visitors accounted for
more than a third of that group. Buyers were met by almost 1,500 exhibitors
representing businesses from 95 countries.
In all, one-on-one business appointments between buyers and
exhibitors rose 3.6% from last year, to about 58,000, ILTM organizers
Other seminars during the event’s opening day covered topics
such as the growing importance of both gastronomy and wellness in the luxury
Additionally, the event hosted press briefings from luxury
hoteliers such as Four Seasons, Starwood Hotels, Jumeirah Hotels and the
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group as well as collectives such as Relais &
Chateaux and Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
The organization’s next event will be ILTM Japan in Kyoto in
March, followed by ILTM Africa in Cape Town in April.