A stellar line up of industry giants

ITB Asia keynote sessions to explore ways to keep pace with technological developments in the travel industry

ITB Asia is set to deliver a series of keynote presentations this year in line with the theme, “Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves”.

The keynote sessions will focus on sharing innovative ideas, where attendees can expect to gain knowledge on practical applications to keep pace with industry changes. Recognising the revolutionary impact of technology on the travel industry, speakers from leading online travel agencies (OTA), travel-related partners and technology companies will share their perspectives on how businesses can innovate and leverage on technology as they tackle the challenges of this era.

“By bringing together leading industry experts in the keynote sessions, ITB Asia will get to the heart of today’s complex travel issues. We will discuss major game-changing issues within the industry and strategies on innovating business models in order to remain competitive. As the industry continues to evolve, attendees want to gain more than just insights of what leading businesses do to remain at the top. Through our sessions, they will be equipped with actionable steps on how to drive their business forward,” said Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia.

The show will open with a keynote session on managing industry’s biggest pain points. The session on 16 October brings together experts from the biggest pillars in the travel industry – accommodation, distribution and technology: Booking.com and IBM. Addressing the industry’s common challenges, topics will include how businesses can ready themselves for the next wave of growth; rethinking and reinventing distribution strategies; and how the travel industry can capitalise on the digital revolution to succeed.

“Technology plays a critical role at every phase of a personalised traveller journey, helping to deliver a seamless, connected trip by enabling localisation and consumer insights,” said Angel Llull Mancas, Vice President and Managing Director for Asia-Pacific for Booking.com. “Constant innovation in how we optimise the customer experience will be key to continued growth and expansion in the highly competitive and diverse Asian Market.”

ITB Asia 2019’s keynote panel on 17 October, “The Future of Travel Distribution”, will identify business solutions for challenges faced by the sector during a time of uncertainty. The discussion will be led by senior executives from Agoda, Expedia Group, Google, TripAdvisor and Wego. They will answer the big “Where to next?” question, as they explore the rapidly changing travel industry, new technological advancements, and implement diverse distribution strategies to improve the consumer experience.

“People make up to 50 searches before deciding on a flight, and shopping around for value is the norm for many global leisure and business travellers. Making it simpler to compare fares, understand inclusions, recognise value adds while also delivering unique ways to save remains core to our technology development. As an industry, we’re working towards a more personalised experience for travellers, and a more integrated and seamless supply-distribution relationship ahead,” said Demi Kavaratzis, Partner Marketing Director, Commercial Strategy and Services, Expedia Group.

In addition to the discussions of the travel industry’s three pillars, ITB Asia 2019 will also feature a keynote panel on 18 October focused on the new Chinese traveller, of which their overseas consumption is predicted to grow as large as US$120bn as preferences evolve. Titled, “The New Chinese Travellers”, industry leaders will examine the growing significance of this market. Amongst notable industry experts are Booking. com, OYO China and Tujia, who will analyse the preference shift in the range of destinations, products and brands of interest, as well as maximising opportunities from this market.

Photo: Katrina Leung, Managing Director, Messe Berlin (Singapore)