For three years, Shanghai has been home to the Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM) organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions. This year’s ALTM took place from June 15 to 18 at the Russian classical-style Shanghai Exhibition Centre. The four-day event showcased the best of Asian luxury travel, which included familiar names in the luxury tier such as COMO Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons, Six Senses Resorts & Spas and Silversea Cruises.
Participants appeared to be in high spirits, despite the prevailing economic crisis.
“As we participate in ALTM for the third year in a row, we have extended our booth space because our affiliate hotels are finding the Asia-Pacific markets and ALTM more relevant in the current economic climate. It is more important than ever to be highly visible,” says Singapore-based Roland Jegge, vice-president Asia-Pacific, WORLDHOTELS.
“I met exceptional contacts in just a few minutes at ALTM that normally would have taken months to establish contact and trust with,” adds Eli Fava, sales and marketing director, Miskawaan Luxury Beachfront Villas, Koh Samui, Thailand.
Shanghai hosted ALTM’s 300 Asian luxury travel buyers from 19 countries, nearly 280 exhibitors from 36 countries and over 100 journalists from 11 countries. Among the event highlights were a panel discussion on “Luxury Travel in the New Times” and a pre-scheduled appointment session for buyers and exhibitors, including first-time participants such as Oman Ministry of Tourism & Industry and Switzerland Tourism.
“This is my first year at ALTM and the quality of exhibitors has been excellent. Everyone I have met has been extremely professional and really understands the needs of the luxury travel buyer,” notes Shekhar Niyogi, executive director, Travelcorp, a Kolkata-based tour operator.
As with other events of a similar scale, bringing together delegates from around the world is no mean feat. Thanks to air accessibility and competitive service levels, Shanghai was a winning choice for ALTM according to Borce Josifovski, director of ALTM show partner Be In Beyond, a French professional congress organiser and destination management company.
“(This year’s) ALTM was our first experience in China. Shanghai is well positioned as a meetings and exhibitions hub: good location in Asia and a lot of connecting flights, good level of hotels and services, nice venues, no problem with the extra services like limousine services or restaurants. We will definitely recommend the destination to our clients or partners,” says Josifovski.
Comfortable hotel stays and easy transfers to the show venue also rank topmost on any delegate’s agenda. The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai and Le Royal Méridien Shanghai hosted over 175 and 150 ALTM buyers respectively. Both hotels offer a central address and boast on high levels of service, from food and beverage to room check to having an events planning team.
“To host such a large group of luxury travel experts from different countries, the biggest challenge for the hotel lies in the location, room number and category, F&B variety and service,” reveals Keith Hardie, general manager, Le Royal Méridien Shanghai, ALTM’s partner for the second year running.
“We were quite familiar with the expectations of such a group,” says Iris Yu, director of communications, The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai. “And, since this was the third year that we hosted ALTM, we have become quite experienced with the processes required for a successful stay. The events took place in both the hotel as well as the Shanghai Exhibition Centre across the street, which was very convenient for the guests. We also provided food and beverage at the venue by creating an on-site restaurant as well as a café while also catering for individual booths at the event.”
For information on ALTM 2010, visit www.altm.com.cn
LET THE PARTY BEGIN
The ALTM Official Party, which brought together buyers, exhibitors and the media on the second day of the event, was held at M1NT, the playground of Shanghai’s elite.
The location: it occupies the top 24th floor of Cross Tower in the Bund area.
The works: it boasts a pan-Asian restaurant – helmed by Chef Dan Segall, who was most recently with Hong Kong’s Zuma (of the same Japanese restaurant chain from London) – which can seat 100 guests; the Dom Pérignon Lounge for 80 people; the M1NT Lounge for 100; and a rooftop terrace for 200.
The know-how: since its opening in October last year, M1NT has played host to launches, fashion shows and art exhibitions with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Shanghainese designer Lukun and Botero.
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