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December 6, 2011updated Feb 08, 2013

Private Jets Center Stage At ILTM

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Cannes, France – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Private Jet travel will surge in 2012 and be the bright spot of the travel industry predicted a leading editor from The Economist. Speaking at the 10th Annual International Luxury Travel Mart here, John Andrews said U.S. economic doldrums, the Arab Spring has turned in to summer and Eurozone woes will impact affluent travel at large. However, he specifically pointed to private jet travelers as a growing segment so well off they are immune to the vagaries of the daily economy impacting the Mass Affluent.

The Japanese government in a press conference unveiled a new initiative offering “greater convenience for visiting Japan by business jets.” New and enhanced private jet facilities at both Narita and Kansai are designed to make Japan more attractive to wealth travelers who fly by private jet, said Gota Otaka, Director of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Otaka said improvements will means private jets can now arrive at Kansai International Airport 365 days a year, 24 hours a day providing convenient access to Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Kobe.

Speaking at ILTM’s Opening Sessions luxury futurist James Walton of LS:N said travel see an “hourglass economy” of the very high and low doing well, with the middle being squeezed.

Backing up the strength of the ultra-high end market, Franka Holtman, General Manager of The Dorchester Collection’s Le Meurice in Paris told Elite Traveler in an exclusive conversation, despite the influx of new luxury hotels in the capital, her biggest challenge is not having enough signature suites to meet the demand of global traveling luxury consumers (TLCs) who fly by private jet and take top suites. Six Senses, the Asian based spa resort group which features villas and bungalows ranging up to 15,000 square feet and often selling for over $10,000 per night re-affirmed that the strength of the luxury market is at the top end.

Walton said the Mass Affluent who he described as earning between $100,000 and $250,000 are being squeezed in a tight economy and “have enough stuff” and are simply struggling to survive.

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