ITB Asia, ‘Asia’s leading travel trade show’ opened its doors today at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Over the next three days from 16 - 18 October 2019, the show will see organisations from across the travel industry gathering to establish high-quality contacts and conduct business.
The opening ceremony today was graced by four guests-of-honour: Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, Republic of Singapore, who was attending for the second year running; Mr Michael Müller, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, who is attending ITB Asia for the first time; Dr Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Messe Berlin GmbH and Mr Keith Tan, Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board.
Commenting on this year’s show, Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), ITB Asia’s organiser, said, “ITB Asia continues to maintain its position as the leading travel trade show in the region. Working in close collaboration with international exhibitors, travel companies and international buyers from across the MICE, leisure and corporate travel markets, we look forward to unveiling this year’s engaging and exciting programmes that will benefit all. With the expansion of the show and the launch of MICE Show Asia, we’re delighted to welcome our visitors to this 2019’s edition!”
Show expanded to meet sustained growth and demand
Now in its twelfth year, ITB Asia has continued to enjoy support from destinations and businesses from across the world, with over 1,300 exhibitors and more than 1,250 buyers welcomed at this year’s show. To accommodate its growth, ITB Asia 2019 has expanded its space and will now occupy two floors of the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
Emphasising the global reach of ITB Asia, this year’s show has attracted ever widening international interest and participation. Over 110 National Tourism Organisations (NTO) and Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO) are exhibiting this year, including first-time appearances for NTOs from Armenia, Czech Republic, Malta, Russia and the Balkan States – Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, and RTOs from Busan, Frankfurt, Los Angeles and more.
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.