Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore) talks about ITB Asia 2019.
ITB Asia 2019 has attracted unprecedented exhibition demand from a total of 58 National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) and Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs), representing a year-on-year growth of 23.8 per cent and 25 per cent respective in the securing of exhibition space as compared to 2018. This has also surpassed previous levels set for ITB Asia by this stage in the year. Building on the 2018 trade show’s record-breaking number of attendees of over 11,000, ITB Asia 2019 will see at least 19 new NTOs and RTOs, with strong participation coming from Indonesia, Russia and South Korea. Europe alone has seen a 37.8 per cent increase in the number of exhibitors due to an increase in interest from Southern and Eastern Europe.
What is the theme of ITB Asia 2019? Please elaborate?
This year’s conference theme is “Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves”. Under this theme, the conference will bring together thought leaders from across the MICE, Leisure, Corporate, and Travel Tech sectors for high-level discussions on the trends that are galvanising change in the travel industry.
How is the response from the India market?
There has been great support shown from the India market, where the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu (India) and many more will be joining us for ITB Asia 2019.
What new elements are you adding to ITB Asia 2019?
For the first time this year, ITB Asia will be organizing the inaugural MICE Show Asia 2019, which will focus on Asia Pacific’s burgeoning MICE sector. Highlight topics that will be discussed during MICE Show Asia include 2020 forecasts for the global meeting and events and the digital transformation of the meeting and events industries.
ITB Asia has also introduced a new Buyers Elite Partner Programme (BEPP) this year. Under this new initiative, every partner that recommends 15 successful buyers to attend the show will be able to receive complimentary hosting by ITB Asia.
How is the response from buyers?
Response from buyers have been very positive thus far. By building on the success of past year’s connections as well as the launch of the BEPP, ITB Asia 2019 has already seen a 35% increase in approved buyers. This includes a boost in MICE buyers, as well as an increase in buyers from high-growth markets such as Southeast Asia, China and India.
How would you like to explain the conference line up?
2019’s programme will kick-start with a series of keynote sessions that 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. Prominent keynoters include senior representatives from the likes of Bedbank, Hotelbeds Group, Booking.com, Expedia, IBM, KAYAK, OYO Hotels & Homes, TripAdvisor, Tujia and more.
Aside from the keynote sessions, ITB Asia 2019’s conference will also deliver a series of themed sessions, including Corporate Travel, Destination Marketing, Muslim Travel and Travel Technology where attendees will have the opportunity to experience over 200 sessions led by more than 260 speakers. Alongside this event, attendees will get to hear about forecasts for the global meeting and events industries in 2020, and how the industry is transforming at MICE Show Asia.
The MICE Show Asia’s conferences will feature a stellar line-up of speakers from top-tier brands including American Express Meetings & Events, Group GmbH and Cvent. Some of the topics that will be discussed at the travel trade show include 2020 forecasts for the global meeting and events industries, the digital transformation of the meeting and events industries, and the innovative use of technology to captivate event-attendees.
Going forward, how ITB China and ITB India will be contributing to ITB Asia?
ITB India, an annual 3-day business-to-business trade show and convention curated to connect one to the Indian Travel Market will be held in Mumbai, India from 15 - 17 April 2020. The trade show strives to bring together key travel industry leaders and international exhibitors from the fast-growing Indian and South Asian Markets to forge new partnerships and strengthen existing business relations with the most important players in India.
As for ITB China, it will be exclusively focused on the Chinese Travel Market, taking place at Shanghai on the 13-15 May 2020. ITB China strives to bring together more than 850 top and hand selected buyers from Greater China to connect with industry professional worldwide. Coinciding with ITB’s travel fair, the ITB China tourism conference will provide information on the latest Chinese travel market trends, enabling unprecedented knowledge transfer throughout the travel exhibition.
The four ITB brands complement each other by catering to the four biggest markets in the world, namely Europe, Asia, China and India. ITB Asia is the premier meeting place for the travel trade industry to forge new partnerships and strengthen existing business relationships with players in the region. ITB India and ITB China were thus launched to complement these efforts as well as to capture a focused market.