Asian and European exhibitors on rise and exceptional support from international hotel groups
This year, ITB Asia will welcome over 1,000 exhibitors and over 1,000 quality buyers, at the show over the next three days – this exceeds the record-breaking numbers achieved at the show last year. We asked Katrina Leung, Managing Director, Messe Berlin Singapore, organiser of the show, what the key growth areas are in the exhibition this year.
The show has seen a substantial growth and demand from Asia and European participants. Asian exhibitors remain to dominate the show floor this year. There is a 20% increase in new exhibitors signing up for this year’s show fuelled by new registrations from National Tourism Organizations (NTO), Regional Tourism Organizations (RTO). The show welcomes new NTO exhibitors from Abu Dhabi, Botswana, Croatia, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea as well as RTO exhibitors such as Fukuoka, Kansai, Rovaniemi and more.
Europe has the largest growth in participation with new key countries participating for the first time such as the Ministry of Transport & Construction of the Slovak Republic, Polish Tourism Organization, Visit Ukraine, Tourism Association of Canton Sarajevo and more.
Exceptional support has been received from international hotel groups this year, such as InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Wyndham Hotel Group, Best Western International, Radisson Hotel Group, Worldhotels AG, Pan Pacific Hotel Group, Melia Hotels International and Worldwide Hotels as well. We see more than 125% growth on hotel groups signing up as part of the Buyers Programme Partners.
What will be the highlights of the ITB Asia Conference this year?
This year, we highlight on the 6 stages at ITB Asia, delivering the best minutes in our conference. Kickstarting our conference is the Opening Keynote session. Concentrating on disruption and innovation in the travel and tourism industry, the theme for this year’s conference is “Travel Reimagined”. ITB Asia 2018 features a strong lineup of speakers with the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Ctrip who will be kicking off the keynote speeches, providing the latest insights into major technology trends in the travel industry.
THE THEME FOR THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE IS “TRAVEL REIMAGINED”
MICE & CORPORATE HUB
Riding on its success in 2017, MICE Day returns for the 3rd edition on 17 October 2018. Join key partners and speakers from CWT Meetings & Events (CWT M&E), Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), Slush Singapore, Huone Singapore, iVvy, MeetingBookers. com, MeetingPackage.com, and more, for a dedicated discussion about the MICE industry.
Coming back for the 2nd edition, the Corporate Day on 18 October will see key partners and speakers coming from Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (site), United Networks of International Corporate Events Organisers (UNICEO), Cvent, BIC Event Group, Troovo, Tripeur, Catalyst Asia, Rio Tinto, Blacklane, MetroResidences, Airbnb for Work and more.
Hear from the C-Suite! This brand-new initiative is a series of interviews and fireside discussions with C-level executives featured at the Knowledge Theatre, where we get to the heart of today’s complex travel issues with the expertise and vision that only industry leaders can provide. Expect speakers who are CEOs, Managing Directors and Presidents, coming from Thomas Cook, SITA, Meituan Travel, Egencia, Six Flags, Y&R, 500px, IRONMAN Asia and more.
Day Two will see a keynote panel discussion on the future of distribution with senior executives coming from Booking. com, KAYAK, Hotelbeds Group, Skyscanner and Triptease.
Addressing the rise of Chinese travellers, we will have a keynote panel discussion on China’s travel market on Day Three featuring Thomas Cook, Mileslife, Tujia and Fliggy.
A stel lar line-up featuring leading media agencies and research companies will be sharing inspiration and practical application in marketing – including BBC Global News, Google, Twitter, Ogilvy & Mather, Frost & Sullivan and more.
Look forward to a series of talks including topics such as addressing the rise of eSport tourism delivered by ESL Gaming, perception change in travel by The Culture Trip, and the rise of wellness tourism by WTS International, Shangri-La Hotel, Fitcorp Global Group, Spa Connectors, WHITE, and more. Exciting sessions gather bookings-based businesses including Aviasales.ru, Anywhr, RedDoorz and LoyalGuest. Listen to them as they share how they are competing hard against giant players like Expedia and Airbnb.
TRAVEL & TECH HUB
Our Travel & Tech Hub will gather leaders in the travel space to share some of the most exciting innovations and answer one key question: “If the benefits of digitising the travel business are clear, what are the holdbacks and execution strategies?”
Also featured at the hub is the Future of Tech Panel with speakers bringing experience in machine learning (Wego), virtual reality (Hiverlab and Rizort), biometrics (Touché) and Artificial Intelligence (Winimy.Ai).
Don’t miss out on a series of exciting tech talks as well featuring Tencent, Travelkoin, Klook, Hotelchamp, dcs plus, Inksky Solutions, Hilton, GTRIIP, wbe.travel, Innovel Travel Tech, and more.
MUSLIM TRAVEL PAVILION
Muslim Travel has been a hot topic in recent years. We have gathered tourism companies, marketing leaders and analysts from leading travel-related partners, such as CrescentRating, Halal in Travel and Have Halal, Will Travel to share insights and best practice in marketing destinations to Muslim travellers.
IGNITE ROOMS @ BEGONIA (LEVEL 3)
Don’t miss out on key sessions conducted by our esteemed partners:
• 17 October: Sessions hosted by Travel Daily China and Airbnb for Work
• 18 October: Sessions hosted by Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and CrescentRating
ACTE EDUCATION FORUM
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has a 30-year reputation for leading the way corporate travel is conducted. As a global association, comprised of executive-level members in more than 100 countries, ACTE pioneers educational and technological advances that make business travel productive, costeffective and straightforward. The programme this year will dive into the latest trends and cuttingedge technology shaping our industry, including: • NDC and the Evolution of Air Distribution: 5 Considerations for Your Travel Programme • The Way Forward to Future Proof Your Travel Programme
HALAL IN TRAVEL – ASIA SUMMIT 2018 BY CRESCENTRATING
The third Halal in Travel Asia Summit will focus on “Innovation & Technology in the Muslim Travel Space”. This year’s conference sees the release of the Mastercard- CrescentRating Digital Muslim Travel Report (DMTR) 2018. Expect insights and in-depth analysis into the Muslim travel behavior when it comes to trip planning research and engagement in the digital space. In line with this year’s theme, experts on the subject will touch on their industry experience and how innovation will continue to affect their interaction with Muslim travelers.
19 October: Future Leaders 2018 featuring a series of talks on how young talents can meet the next change in the hospitality industry. The conference will be attended by students and graduates majored in hospitality who are looking to join reputable brands for career development.
What new “zones” or segments can we find at this year’s show?
In our efforts to cater to the increasing demand in the MICE & corporate segments, ITB Asia 2018 has expanded the MICE & Corporate Hub. In addition, delegates can look forward to a new MICE & Corporate Speed Networking session, which was sold out 2 months before the show, and the opportunity to hear from leading MICE tech solution providers at the MICE Tech Showcase.
ITB Asia has also strengthened its focus on the Muslim travel segment. This year sees the inaugural launch of a newly dedicated Muslim Travel Pavilion. The Pavilion will provide insights into best practice in destination marketing for Muslim travellers and host several panel discussions including ‘Innovation & Technology in the Muslim Space’.
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m most looking forward to welcoming our exhibitors and buyers, as they make fruitful business appointments at the show floor this year. As ITB Asia remains to be one of the top business platforms for connecting exhibitors and partners with key decision makers in the MICE, Corporate and Leisure travel industry in Asia, we are definitely looking forward to the business activities that our buyers and exhibitors can engage in!
Photo: Katrina Leung, Managing Director, Messe Berlin (Singapore)