ILTM Cannes Showcases Luxurious Offerings for TravelManagers

ILTM Cannes Showcases Luxurious Offerings for TravelManagers

Featured photo: Catching up with key members of Signature Travel Network including Alex Sharpe (President and CEO, left) and Jordin Greene (VP Hotel Partnerships, right) was a highlight of ILTM Cannes for TravelManagers’ Carli Hester and Claire Crosby (centre L-R).

Personal travel managers (PTMs) Carli Hester and Claire Crosby were invited to represent TravelManagers Australia at the final International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) event on the 2023 calendar, which was held in a location synonymous with glamour and luxury: Cannes in the south of France. The experience provided the pair with an invaluable opportunity to forge connections with luxury-oriented suppliers and travel advisors from across the globe amidst an elegant whirlwind of caviar and champagne, cocktail parties and one-on-one meetings.

For Crosby and Hester, who are based in Parkdale, VIC, and Armstrong Creek, VIC, respectively, it was their first time experiencing the incredible buzz of ILTM, Cannes-style.

Crosby explains, “I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was absolutely blown away by the scale and standard of the event. The whole town was buzzing with ILTM attendees, and all roads led to the magnificent Palais des Festivals et des Congrès venue, which is better known as home to the Cannes Film Festival.”

PTMs Claire Cosby (left) and Carli Hester enjoying French hospitality at ILTM Cannes in December 2023.

Arriving in Nice two nights prior to the conference, Crosby and Hester say they hit the ground running, touring Monaco, Monte Carlo and Antibes before launching into a packed ILTM schedule of trade shows, networking lunches and hosted dinners.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to attend personal appointments with individual luxury suppliers,” Hester notes. “Consumer demand for luxury travel is higher than ever, and it was great to see how much respect there is, at an international level, for our side of the business.”

Crosby says she loved being able to meet with such a large number of key luxury suppliers at a single event while networking with other travel agents and business owners from around the world.

PTMs Carli Hester (centre) and Claire Crosby (right) catching up with Heidi Podjavorsek, VP Sales & Marketing, Land & Specialty Suppliers at Signature Travel Network at ILTM Cannes 2023

“We also really enjoyed meeting representatives from Signature Travel Network and learning more about their products and offerings – it was great to see that the network is held in very high regard in the international luxury travel space.”

At the conclusion of the conference, Crosby and Hester took up an invitation to join Windstar Cruises on their inaugural Winter in the Med itinerary from Cannes to Rome, which Hester describes as “an amazing conclusion to an event that perfectly showcased the best in luxury travel around the world.”

“The entire experience absolutely exceeded my expectations,” Hester reports. “It filled me with irreplaceable product knowledge, I made some incredible contacts and gained even more confidence in promoting the luxury travel side of my business.”