The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) recently announced that Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman, is the first person to be named to ICTP’s “Industry Visionaries” roll. ICTP has long been a supporter of IMEX America, and, equally important, has been a friend and admirer of Ray Bloom and what he has done for the meeting industry.
When Bloom was about to launch EIBTM more than 20 years ago, he visited with ICTP President Geoffrey Lipman in Geneva and laid out his plans to create the biggest MICE event ever. He had no backers—just an embryonic plan and a vision. Lipman remembers listening to Ray, smiling and thinking, “He’s charming, but he’s crazy!”
Over the years, Bloom proved Lipman wrong on the second point, and he even asked Lipman to keynote his first exhibition. Over the years, Lipman has had that honor several times—each to a bigger, more committed audience.
Today, Bloom is on the verge of fulfilling his great vision for the third time and in the process is playing an important role in advancing the travel industry on the world stage. He still remains the warm, personal, family-oriented man who has time for every exhibitor no matter whether they are big, small or simply a start-up.
Bloom's exhibitions are very important to ICPT, because they embody ICTP’s driving principles—the search for quality and recognition of the importance of the green agenda. The IMEX exhibitions also demonstrate the key contribution of the business travel sector to the broader visitor economy—a fact that is often lost in the word “tourism” and is frequently unrecognized by the policymakers who so strongly influence the collective destinies related to tourism.
“We are proud to make Ray Bloom the first name on ICTP’s 'Industry Visionaries' roll," Lipman said. "We salute him as a visionary, a creator and, above all, as someone who has remained a fundamentally decent person despite his great success.”