Celebrating its 10th anniversary as Asia’s Leading Travel Trade Show, ITB Asia 2017 opened its doors yesterday at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands.
An expected of more than 11,000 delegates will be able to look forward to an exciting exhibition event and conference programme. The event will feature its strongest line-up of exhibitors and speakers, as well as many firsts for the travel trade show.
“We are immensely proud to be celebrating a decade of ITB Asia. While ITB Asia has grown and changed significantly over the past ten years, our key objectives have not changed – to bring together leading buyers and exhibitors from around the world, and to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of our customers and delegates. Already, ITB Asia 2017 is expected to top the success of ITB Asia 2016. We have 940 exhibitors in attendance and 951 buyers from the MICE, Corporate and Leisure sector, putting Singapore at the centre of all this activity,” said Katrina Leung, Executive Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia.
Ahead of the milestone event, the exhibition space at ITB Asia 2017 had completely sold out in August after it garnered the highest number of exhibitor bookings, attributed to a tremendous surge in booth bookings from the global market. Overall, BRICS economies exceeded exhibitor booking growth rates with South Africa, Russia and Brazil leading the trend. While African and Russian markets make a strong showing at this year’s show, North Asia features prominently with a strong showing by Japan and South Korea.
Running parallel with the exhibition, the conference programme will look to “The Future of Travel”. The three-day conference presents an extensive programme of presentations and discussions, and is the most comprehensive line-up to date with over 6,140 conference minutes compared to just half of that in 2013. A two day keynote line-up features IBM Asia Pacific and Google on the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence, Ctrip on its global strategy as well as a panel with leading online travel agents such as iJTB, Expedia, trivago, Tidesquare and Cleartrip.
A number of firsts at this year’s show:
• ITB Asia will host Brazil’s Rio Convention and Visitor Bureau, the Moscow City Government, Promote Iceland, as well as a larger African pavilion featuring newcomers Tunisia and Rwanda. Central Asia is being represented by Kazakhstan for the first time at ITB Asia.
• To reflect the strong support by MICE and corporate participants at ITB Asia, ITB Asia will launch an inaugural MICE & Corporate Hub, with a MICE Pavilion and a Corporate Day on 26 October with partners who will deliver presentations and workshops on the corporate sector. Following the success and launch in 2016, MICE Day will return for the second edition in 2017 on 25 October.
· ITB Asia will launch an innovation travel tech track hosted by Israeli startup InnoVel that will connect travel companies with cutting-edge startups. The cross-sharing is designed to address challenges in areas such as revenue management, customer engagement, online marketing and more.
• Exhibitors, buyers and delegates can now connect via the new Business Matching system and leverage on its key integration with ITB Asia’s mobile app. The enhanced appointment system will create a dynamic marketplace for all attendees through instant communication and appointment scheduling.