From 16-18 October 2019 the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore welcomed over 1,300 exhibitors and more than 1,250 buyers from the global travel industry from over 120 countries who gathered for the 12th ITB Asia trade exhibition. This is the region’s annual leading B2B travel show and convention, the purpose of which is to establish good networking opportunities, promote travel products and establish tangible business appointments within the travel sector. ITB Asia, with its huge global reach, is considered one of the leading forums for Asia-Pacific travel companies to meet and engage with top international buyers from the MICE, leisure and corporate travel markets including travel agents, hotel managers, airline operators and travel technology experts.
ITB Asia 2019 kicked off with an opening ceremony attended by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade & Industry and Ministry of Education for Singapore; Mr Michael Müller, the Governing Mayor of Berlin; Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH (the event organizers) and Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board. During the three days contributors and delegates had an opportunity to hear about forecasts for the global meeting and events industries in 2020, as well as how digital transformation is impacting the industry.
This year is the first time Elegance Hospitality Group (EHG) attended ITB Asia, which the organizers consider to be one of the most successful conventions to date. For EHG it was particularly rewarding and valuable to have taken part. While the whole of our group was promoted (including the Hanoi hotels, bars and restaurants) the focus was on La Siesta Resort Hoi An. The event provided an effective and highly worthwhile platform to expand our resort’s network with potential partners and introduce our exceptional service and facilities to a much wider audience.
Over the three days, the EHG and La Siesta team had 150 pre-arranged business meetings with travel and hospitality agents as well as technology-focused booking platform operators. Business contacts were made with representatives from around Asia Pacific including around Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand as well as the Ukraine, US and the UK. These agents were carefully selected in advance based on their business profile and client expectations relating specifically to Hoi An and Quang Nam Province.
In addition, with the fast-growing demands of the MICE and corporate travel sectors, ITB Asia has this year launched the inaugural MICE Show Asia, a MICE-dedicated show to which all ITB Asia attendees have full access. Launched by Messe Berlin (Singapore), the team behind ITB Asia, it will strengthen the MICE component of the show. Attendees will hear about forecasts for the global meeting and events industries in 2020, as well as how digital transformation is impacting the industry.
Conference keynoters and partners to push boundaries of the travel industry
Under the overarching theme of “Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves,” key industry leaders will share innovative ideas and knowledge on practical applications to keep pace with industry changes.
As part of today’s (16 October) keynote line up, Booking.com and IBM will address the industry’s common challenges such as readying businesses for their next wave of growth; rethinking and reinventing distribution strategies; and how the travel industry can capitalise on the digital revolution to succeed. Tomorrow (17 October), attendees can look forward to hearing from Agoda, Expedia, Google, TripAdvisor and Wego, who will discuss actions to adapt to the ever-evolving market. On Friday (18 October), the final day of the show, Booking.com, OYO China, and Tujia will lead the conversation on maximising opportunities to meet the needs of a new generation of Chinese travellers.
Other noteworthy sessions during the show include those led by ITB Asia’s partners in the Destination Marketing and Muslim Travel conference tracks.
The Destination Marketing track will feature a series of tours and activities led by iVenture Card, Rezgo, TourRadar and Trip Ninja. They will discuss topics ranging from multi-city travel, what experiences can learn from hotel distribution and how to get the most for brands via online travel agencies (OTAs).
In the Muslim Travel track, CrescentRating, in its fourth year of partnership with ITB Asia, presents “Halal In Travel Asia Summit”. Attendees of ITB Asia 2019 will gain key insights from the official release of Mastercard and CrescentRating’s Muslim Women in Travel Report, and CrescentRating’s report on Gen Z Muslim Travelers.
New initiatives in response to the travel industry’s ever-growing demands
In addition to the launch of MICE Show Asia, ITB Asia 2019 has also introduced the Buyers Elite Partner Programme. 41 partners are part of the programme that provides a forum to develop stronger trade ties with recommended buyers and to maximise business opportunities together.
Finally, ITB Asia has announced that it will launch Travel Tech Asia in 2020. A complement to the existing ITB Asia and MICE Show Asia, it will be part of Asia Pacific’s largest travel trade show dedicated to travel technology. New buyers in charge of purchasing travel technology will be introduced to the latest innovations, emerging trends, leading industry brands and innovative startups that are gathered at one place to create new possibilities of travel.
For more information on ITB Asia 2019, visit https://www.itb-asia.com/
For more information on MICE Show Asia 2019, visit https://www.miceshowasia.com/
For more information on Travel Tech Asia 2020, visit https://www.traveltechasia.com/
For more information on the conference, visit https://www.itb-asia.com/conference-programme