The show must go on!

ITB Asia 2020 Virtual – a unique platform for the travel trade

For the first time since its launch in 2008, Messe Berlin (Singapore) takes ITB Asia 2020 Virtual this year. We asked Dr Martin Buck, Senior Vice President Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin GmbH to tell us more. 

Together with MICE Show Asia and the inaugural Travel Tech Asia, ITB Asia 2020 Virtual will be hosted on ITB Community in Asia (ITB Community), a unique platform of its kind for the travel trade industry. ITB Asia’s global database of travel suppliers and buyers will make it possible to virtually continue their conversations and to contribute best practices and content for the travel trade to navigate the recovery of tourism.

In these tough times, how important is it for industry professionals to stay abreast of trends and ideas?
Our industry is experiencing the worst crisis in its history. Staying ahead of trends and ideas is more important than ever. There is a huge desire to exchange views. That is why, at the forward-looking events of ITB Asia 2020 Virtual, leading speakers will be discussing how Asia’s travel industry can harness intelligent strategies to make sure it remains future-proof even in a challenging environment. In the wake of the latest developments, discussions on how the industry can navigate through recovery will play a key role. The challenges facing our industry are global, so it is all the more important to interact with others across borders. 

Our newly developed platform, ITB Community in Asia, one of its kind in the travel trade industry

How will ITB Asia be different to other “virtual” events we are seeing these days?
Our newly developed platform, ITB Community in Asia, one of its kind in the travel trade industry, is an all-encompassing avenue for engagement between buyers, suppliers, and industry players. Attendees can look forward to hearing from a line-up of more than 160 expert speakers from across the travel industry in over 100 high quality conference sessions and will have access to exclusive videos. Delegates can benefit from business appointments via social chat and messaging functions with our Business Matching Tool. The platform also features a Community Activity Feed, an interactive social networking page to share latest insights, articles and participate in group discussions. Access the Digital Exhibition Booth for a comprehensive view of all suppliers, such as their company profiles, product resources and downloadable articles. The Knowledge Library is a useful resource library of trade articles, white papers on travel destinations, research reports and content by industry bellwethers and trade partners. 

What is the sentiment like in Southeast Asia and the broader region at the moment?
The coronavirus crisis has hit tourism in Asia hard. With borders sealed and many flights grounded, the travel industry in Southeast Asia had to focus on domestic travel. However, as countries and destinations in Southeast Asia have gradually moved out of different phases of their COVID-19 lockdown, plans are emerging to ease border restrictions by establishing safe “green lanes” for travel between countries and destinations.

ITB Asia 2020 Virtual will focus on ways to “Reinvent travel in the new normal”

What will the highlights of the show be?
ITB Asia 2020 Virtual will focus on ways to “Reinvent travel in the new normal”. Our Keynote sessions this year will highlight the emerging trends the travel industry should consider as they continue to navigate COVID-19 and prepare for the industry’s recovery. Speakers will also address industry’s best practices, business innovations, industry know-how and professional tips on how to adopt the mindset of industry leaders when navigating through challenges. Industry-leading keynote speakers this year include: Angel Llull Mancas, Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Booking.com; Hermione Joye, Sector Lead, Travel and Vertical Search APAC, Google;  Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip; Axel Hefer, Managing Director & CEO, trivago; and Ben Drew, President, Viator.

Also look forward to top-level sharing by the world’s leading organisations: Alexandre de Juniac, Director General & CEO at International Air Transport Association (IATA), Maribel Rodriguez, Senior Vice President, Membership & Commercial at World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Anita Mendiratta, Special Advisor to Secretary General at The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

In a broader sense, how is Messe Berlin, through the ITB shows, helping to move the industry in the right direction?
With the pandemic accelerating the digitalisation of the industry, technology provides us a way to demonstrate our agility and ability to innovate.

With ITB Berlin, the World’s Leading Travel Show, and its three successful international editions in Singapore, Shanghai and Mumbai, Messe Berlin contributes decisively to shaping the global travel industry. It is constantly examining the latest challenges and trends and ensures that the industry’s players are able to engage in a constructive dialogue. Sustainability, digitalisation and concepts for combating overtourism, as well as the current crisis due to COVID-19 are all among the topics discussed. As a global hub, ITB with its virtual and in-person events provides the widest-ranging platform possible for exchanging information, networking and inspiration on specialist subjects, and as such is a major influence on the tourism industry.

ITB Community in Asia, being one of the first of its kind to be implemented in Asia’s travel industry, has seen an overwhelming positive response and engagement on the platform and we hope to welcome more users as the show draws closer. We’re delighted to have more than 5,000 ITB Community Members using our exclusive platform. ITB Community in Asia is a new, virtual space where travel buyers, sellers, media, and trade professionals alike can come together to access all of the latest information about the travel industry.


ITB Asia 2020 Virtual Exhibition – a veritable business exchange

Industry professionals are able to meet and reconnect with partners to do business and network at ITB Asia 2020 Virtual. Designed to offer the exclusive opportunity for the travel community to connect virtually, ITB Asia 2020 Virtual gathers together tourism industry players interested in the Asian market for 3 days of business exchange. NTOs, DMCs, Hotel and Accommodation providers, airlines, tour operators and travel suppliers with an interest in reaching out to buyers (particularly from Asia), are all present in the virtual exhibition.


Tech matters 

Travel Tech Asia launches this year with 2 key conference tracks: Air Travel and Hotel Revenue & Distribution.

The Air Travel track welcomes leading associations and online travel agencies to present the latest global flight search data trends, insights into the latest traveller sentiment and key strategies to restore consumer confidence, while Hotel Revenue & Distribution will highlight the travel trends hoteliers need to consider and the key elements to recovery for the hotel industry. Visitors will hear from hotel leaders and professionals as they share top-level insights into helping business stay strong.