"Do Not Disturb" with Serge Dive & Ryan Wallace
An interview by Yvan Vermeesch

The XO Private Founder, Yvan Vermeesch, sits down for the exclusive interview series with, Serge Dive, Founder & CEO of This is Beyond. He first launched International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) in 2002 - later sold to a global exhibition company and in 2008 created PURE Life Experiences, a show often recognised by travel industry professionals as being the most selective. He is the founder of LE Miami the world's leading travel trade show for the contemporary travel market. More recently he launched other groundbreaking travel trade events like We Are Africa, Further East, and last but definitely not least Do Not Disturb. Participating in this interview Ryan Wallace, the Head of Do Not Disturb and the MD of We Are Africa. Both provide us with an inspiring peek behind the scenes of Do Not Disturb, the brand new show that is already making waves.

This is Beyond has launched a series of highly successful, specialist travel communities over the years with PURE Life Experiences, We Are Africa, LE Miami and Further East. The latest one to join the already most impressive portfolio is Do Not Disturb. How did this show come about?

Ryan Wallace: Over the past year we have spent a lot of time engaging with customers across all our shows and have a strong sense for how consumer demand is shifting and set to rebound. We're seeing Private Travel being accelerated by Covid-19 and its set to be a mindset (alongside experiential and contemporary travel offerings) that look set to grow, long after the pandemic is over.

There's not currently a dedicated global marketplace for totally private travel experiences and exclusive-use properties - that's where DND comes in!
Miavana by Time + Tide, DND Exhibitor
Serge Dive, Founder of DND
The Sun Secret Collection, DND Exhibitor
Serge it seems that your company has a healthy habit of turning a major, global crisis into an opportunity to launch an innovative, niche show concept, right?

Serge Dive
: Yes in some respects! I created my first luxury travel exhibition in 2002, right after 9/11 and the first edition of PURE took place a year after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

These mega-events always seem to crystallise people's values, shift how many want to live the rest of their lives, very much including how they travel. At the same time, a global crisis also prompts leading hospitality marketers to look for new, and more focused, opportunities to reach their desired customers. 

When being asked about Do Not Disturb's DNA, how would you describe it?

Serge Dive:
DND will serve the very highest end of the global travel market and we can sum up the DNA in 3 words...

SPACE: high-end properties and experiences that offer pure escapism – both physical and mental – from the real world.

SECLUSION: We seek masters of discretion and avoiding the crowds, the real specialists in privacy and deeply personal, sky’s-the-limit service.

SUSTAINABILITY: DND is committed to protecting people and the planet and our community shares this ethos.

Do not Disturb is first being launched in a digital format. Can you tell us more about when and why?

Ryan Wallace: The ultimate goal is to bring this ecosystem together in Mallorca in April 2022, however a lot of the players in this niche feel that there will be a lot of opportunity for business to land in Q3 and Q4 of 2021 as different markets and destinations open.

So rather than wait till next year, we are launching with a fully digital event that will unite up to 200 leaders in private travel in June 2021 so that they can be best positioned for any windows of opportunity that present themselves later this year. The great thing about a digital format is that it is guaranteed to happen and at a lower level of investment for all of us.  
Serge Dive, Founder of DND
The Sun Secret Collection, DND Exhibitor
The stunning island of Mallorca, Spain has been chosen to host the physical reunion in April 2022. Which aspects persuaded you to pick this specific destination?

Ryan Wallace:
Come on Yvan, you've been urging us to do a show in Mallorca for years! In all seriousness, there are so many things that make Mallorca the ideal DND Island. We looked for a place that was synonymous with the DNA of the event and where leaders in private travel would feel very much at home. Somewhere with incredible villas, residences, yacht marinas, and private travel experiences, yet still maintaining a strong sense of unpretentious, earthy sophistication.

Mallorca has all of this along with a first-class venue like Palma Congress Centre, wonderful host hotels, supportive authorities, and the airline connectivity needed to host a travel trade event. We can't wait to bring this ecosystem together digitally in 2021 and then head to DND Island in 2022!

In terms of exhibitors, who are you planning to bring together at Do Not Disturb?

Serge Dive: We're looking for real exclusivity and privacy, those experiences you can have all to yourself and your loved ones. The exhibitors will include Villa Rental and Residences, Private Aviation, Yacht Charter, Private Islands, Exclusive-Use properties, VIP Security, and DMC's that are capable of handling UHNW families and individuals.

There are some exhibitors from our existing events that fit the criteria, but we're also welcoming a lot of first-time exhibitors at a This Is Beyond event.

I can imagine that for the sourcing of the right buyers, you also had to expand your horizons, correct?

Ryan Wallace: Across the entire, This is Beyond ecosystem and show communities (which now also includes the year-round House of Beyond!), we are getting a really clear view of the buyers who are best positioned right now to book private travel experiences for their clients.

In addition to those private travel designers, we are also inviting some interesting intermediaries that operate in this tier of the market such as family offices and lifestyle management professionals. 
Ryan Wallace, Head of DND
Air Dynamic, DND Exhibitor
  My Private Villas, DND Exhibitor
Given the very high-end character of Do Not Disturb, the media will gladly get involved. What have you planned for them?

Serge Dive: The media that we work with have found digital appointments to be really useful in a world where they need to produce just as many stories but have been unable to travel. Therefore connecting digitally with really interesting suppliers to source content and have longer conversations has been of huge value both ways. For DND Digital we are going to have about 10 high-end media representatives participating in the appointments and content program.

Do Not Disturb is priced in a most attractive way and you have an enticing early bird offer. Can you share some more about this?

Ryan Wallace:
Yes! The price that exhibitors pay for the digital event in 2021 will be granted to them as a discount at the physical event planned for April 2022 in Mallorca, should they go on to exhibit there as well. Another way of seeing it is that you get a free digital show when committing to the 2022 event as well.

Last but definitely not least, where can interested exhibitors and buyers find more information about this exciting opportunity?

Ryan Wallace: Our website is and I'd welcome anyone from the XO Private network to contact me directly on or Whatsapp +27 61 105 7261 so that we can have a personal conversation.  

XO Private is proud to be the official partner year's Digital Edition as well as next year's first presential show on the beautiful island of Mallorca. Preferential rates will of course apply to XO Private members and we look forward to seeing you at the show.
Yvan Vermeesch
A Belgian by birth, Yvan Vermeesch grew up across Africa before heading to the Caribbean followed by the stunning city of Prague before calling the Mediterranean island of Mallorca home. Always looking to innovate across the board and with a clear penchant for everything experiential in travel, Yvan Vermeesch takes great pride in connecting the finest players in bespoke travel around the globe.