Australian luxury travel business exchange, Luxperience, last night (Monday) celebrated the start of its 2019 program with an incredible opening night celebration at the Australian National Maritime Museum. International and domestic delegates including buyers, exhibitors and media gathered under the Sydney skyline at Darling Harbour for the first night of inspiring, meaningful connections.
The opening event, hosted by media personality and food writer Kate Gibbs, began with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Donna Ingram to welcome guests to the area of land in which they stood, and to pay respect to Elders past and present.
Guests were then treated to three keynote speakers as part of Luxperience’s Thought Leaders Forum. Carolyn Childs, futurist, strategist and founder of mytravelresearch.com, shared her insights into the latest trends in the luxury travel industry. Social justice campaigner, Ralph Kelly, then shared his journey to bring more attention to the power of kindness and how this can be implemented into everyday life. Finally, Helen Pitt, author of ‘The House’, gave a fascinating insight into Australia’s most iconic building, the Sydney Opera House.
Following the speakers, Luxperience announced the winners of its annual awards that recognise the industry’s best-in-class showcasing leaders, change-makers and trendsetters. Award categories include Inspiring, recognising excellence in planning and development of products or services; Meaningful, recognising excellence in the pursuit of preservation; Connections, recognising marketing strategy and campaigns; and Destination, acknowledging the activities of regional state and national tourism offices in the luxury travel space.
The winners for 2019 are:
Inspiring Award – Pearls of Australia
Pearls of Australia is an authentic pearling experiences. Visitors can immerse themselves in a working pearl farm and purchase certified premium pearls from the farm. This transparent, immersive experience is not only entertaining and educational but aids consumers to drive change and demand for providence and purity guarantees in a way never seen before.
Meaningful Award – Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is incredibly proud to celebrate its tenth year as a world-leading carbon neutral resort. It integrates best practice environmental initiatives with an ultra-luxury tourism offering and continually demonstrates that, with commitment, passion and diligence, it is possible for pristine World Heritage-listed nature areas and tourism infrastructure to co-exist harmoniously and provide significant economic benefit to the local community. Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley aims to inspire and educate guests about the very practical and simple things that they can do in their personal lives to help our planet and the creatures we share it with.
Connections Award – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Through understanding the destination trends over the last five years, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island created a successful 360-integrated marketing plan to reach the objective of repositioning the resort to a higher level of premium and market leader in the Maldives and Indian Ocean. Leveraging the newsworthiness of THE MURAKA, the world’s first undersea residence, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island seamlessly evolved and re-emerged as a leading property in the Maldives.
Destination Award – Visit Rwanda (Rwanda Development Board)
Through innovative marketing and partnerships, Rwanda aims to become a leading wildlife and ecotourism destination and a regional conference hub with a high quality, diversified tourism experience that makes a growing contribution to the economic growth of the country. In 2018, the Visit Rwanda campaign became Arsenal Football Club’s first Official Sleeve Sponsor and Tourism Partner. The partnership brought in a brand that could provide a global platform and deep engagement with a wide range of audiences.
Guests were then led outside for a sacred smoking ceremony to welcome them again and cleanse every individual, a sign of respect for people past and present and the passing over of elders – to rest the spirit.
Guests then mixed and mingled over drinks and canapés by the water’s edge, before being treated to an outstanding performance of Nessun dorma by Opera Australia’s Simon Kim on the bow of HMAS Vampire.
Luxperience continues at Sydney’s International Convention Centre until Thursday 10 October.
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