The sun sparkled on the Sydney foreshore this week. But good weather was just one reason to be basking in the glorious harbour. Our sunny city also played host to the annual Luxury Travel Event, Luxperience, at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour. I was attending on behalf of Culture Scouts, taking part in discussions with travel professionals from all over to world with the aim of promoting our city as a cultural tourism destination.
The conference began with chandeliers and champagne in the Ivy ballroom. A keynote speech from computer engineer and ABC television personality Dr Jordan Nguyen, had us considering the role technology plays in the growth and innovation of the travel industry. Wines and canapes continued at the official launch party at Merivale’s Ivy, complete with live music and a dumpling chef.
Those who had a little too many wines at the opening party sought solace at the ONA coffee station, Canberra’s largest specialty roaster and coffee supplier and possibly the most popular booth in the entire venue. The sound of ringing bells on the intercom kicked off day one, where countless agents met with travel product exhibitors in 15 minute intervals. Imagine hundreds of tables scattered across the expansive exhibition centre - if you didn’t know you were at a luxury tourism conference you’d think it was corporate speed dating.
Day two was another stunner in the harbour, the smell of sea water and slight haze of salty air is a sight unique to the Sydney CBD. It’s no wonder this Sydney hosts some of the most important events in Tourism every year. After a morning of appointments, I made my way to the Business Seminar “Luxury Market Insights Panel Discussion” hosted by Mumbrella. A panel of industry experts gave interesting insights into trends into the luxury market in light of changes in social media engagement. There was just enough time to change into cocktail attire for the Tuesday night social at the MCA.
The final day was a flurry of meetings and presentations, with just enough time for a cheeky neck massage in the pamper lounge with Sasy n Savy. As the final bell rang and we put down our business cards and picked up the champagne for one final celebration together during the wrap party.
What an incredible week! It was fantastic meeting such interesting professionals from all over the world. Culture Scouts enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive reception, we’re so excited to be putting Sydney on the map for cultural experiences globally. See you again next year at Luxperience.