The show, which is being held this week at the Palais des Festivals et des Congres and now in its 16th year, is the largest ever, with 1,693 exhibitors and 1,660 buyers, of which 45% are first timers.
Portfolio director Alison Gilmore also highlighted how the ILTM events were growing worldwide with several changes planned for 2018.
Travel Week Sao Paolo will become ILTM Latin America, with buyers from across the continent invited to meet global product suppliers.
For its seventh edition in 2018 ILTM Americas will become ILTM North America (including Mexico) with product from all over the world coming to meet buyers from those regions.
The year will also see the launch of ILTM China as a standalone event, breaking away from ILTM Asia, which will become ILTM Asia Pacific and take place May 21-24 in Singapore.
ILTM Japan will now feature as part of that wider business forum instead of being a standalone event as it has been in the past.
Gilmore said: “The strategy behind this move is to bring Japan to the world rather than the world to Japan - the event will bring up to 600 buyers to Singapore including Japan specialists from around the world. The demand for Japanese product is stronger than ever and ILTM are committed to finding ways to grow this market even more.”
She also highlighted a completely new show, Proud Experiences, which will take place June 6-8 in London to service the LGBTQ sector and will sit under Gilmore’s umbrella. “It’s not an ILTM show as such, but it is a high-end event,” she said.
ILTM Cannes also saw the release of a comprehensive new report by ILTM in partnership with YouGuv on affluent consumer sentiment and approach to travel, in a week when President Donald Trump’s travel ban was given the go ahead.
Even before news of the move, the report highlights how the political environment in the US is seen “as a cause for stress both in the US and abroad”, with nearly 80% of US luxury travellers believing there is a significant probability of serious social unrest at home, and nearly two-thirds concerned with the impact Trump is having on the US reputation abroad.
Luxury travellers from regions other than the US are not as concerned as Americans, but a quarter of them do express concern.
But debating such uncertain global times and the era of digitisation, one of the speakers at the opening ILTM Forum, Christopher Kutarna, author of Age of Discovery sought to reassure delegates: “This is a second renaissance. That realisation should fill us with immense hope. The historic opportunity of our age is to usher in the next one and this will take courage.”