On December 7, 1999, the first Luxury Travel Expo was launched in Las Vegas. We saw a niche and growing trend in the market and were confident that the luxury travel segment would only continue to evolve. Our goal was to provide you with a forum and the contacts to grow your luxury business. The first Luxury Travel Expo attracted 1,150 travel agents and 130 exhibitors. The 2007 show drew a remarkable 3,275 travel agents and more than 600 exhibitors. The numbers alone speak for themselves, proving that we made the right decision nearly 10 years ago.
Pat Gray (left) and Donna Flora (right) of American Express, a 10-year Luxury Travel Expo sponsor, pose with show director Alicia Evanko at the 2007 Luxury Travel Expo.
Within the first Luxury Travel Expo show directory, I came across a reference to ASTA’s 1999 ad campaign, “Without a travel agent, you’re on your own.” The ad featured a consumer who did not use a travel agent. He was in a small rowboat with no oars in a big body of water. Ten years later, this campaign still remains true. Over the past nine years, the economy has seen its up and downs, but the consumer has continued to travel and the value of a travel agent still remains. It’s a testament to you, the travel professional, and this industry as whole.
In the first Luxury Travel Expo marketing campaign, we made a statement: “We believe in you, the travel agent, and the value you bring to consumers.” That statement is stronger than ever and our commitment is proven through the continued growth of the show and its sister publications, Travel Agent magazine, Luxury Travel Advisor and Premier Hotels & Resorts. We will continue to reiterate that message in the magazines and at this year’s show.
This Year’s Show
Luxury Travel Expo 2008 will take place December 2-4 in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay. This will not merely be the 10th annual Expo, but a celebration of the accomplishments that you, the travel professional, have made over time. This year’s show will bring more than 5,000 travel professionals and industry suppliers to Las Vegas.
We have some exciting things planned for the 2008 Luxury Travel Expo. The renowned conference program will provide you with the industry knowledge and trends you need to continue thriving in this market. A new shop & dine package will be available for all travel professionals. It will include $500 of value to Vegas’ hottest restaurants and shops. Suppliers will continue to show their dedication to you in Mandalay Bay’s robust exhibit hall. Sponsors who have been with us for nine years, such as American Express, Brendan Worldwide Vacations and the LVCVA, will be there once again to show their support. The Travel Institute will be back for a second year to host its annual conference, which will take place December 2. The Luxury After Dark party will allow you to dance the night away and enjoy the nightlife in Las Vegas.
Please continue to read our sister publications and look for e-mails for updates on what’s new and exciting for our 10-year anniversary.
Registration will open in mid-May. The early-bird registration fee of $45 is valid until July 15. Please visit www.luxurytravelexpo.com to register.