Singapore: ITB Asia, ‘Asia’s Leading Travel Trade Show’, opened its doors on October 17 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The three-day conference and exhibition was on till October 19. “ITB Asia continues to maintain its position as the leading travel trade show in Asia. It remains one of the top business platforms for connecting exhibitors and partners with key decision makers in the MICE, Corporate and Leisure travel industry. Working in close collaboration with our partners and exhibitors, we are delighted to unveil one of our most engaging and exciting programmes yet,” said Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia.
Under the theme ‘Travel Reimagined’, top industry leaders delivered insights on the key trends provoking disruption across the travel industry and how brands are innovating to stay competitive. The exhibitors and buyers were able to appreciate the exciting event and conference programme, featuring the strongest line-up of exhibitors and speakers yet.
As part of the keynote line-up, Microsoft and Google provided insights on what will disrupt and change the way we travel and do business, whilst Ctrip shed light on challenging the international travel market. Leading companies discussed the future of travel distribution, including Booking.com, Hotelbeds Group, Jacobs Media Group, KAYAK, Skyscanner and Triptease. On the final day of the show, Thomas Cook, Mileslife, Tujia, Fliggy & Dragon Trail Interactive discussed how Chinese travellers are changing the world and how brands can win them over.
The number of Corporate and MICE participants at ITB Asia has increased by 49 per cent compared to last year. To reflect this strong support and the increased focus in this area, ITB Asia will launch several new initiatives for the MICE and Corporate segments, including gathering industry leaders at the newly launched MICE & Corporate Hub. Confirmed partners and speakers include Airbnb for Work, CWT Meetings & Events, site and Troovo, to name a few. Other new initiatives include the dedicated MICE & Corporate Speed Networking sessions which were already sold out, and the MICE Tech Showcase which featured some of the most exciting innovations helping to solve today’s complex issues in the MICE industry.
The show saw a 20 per cent increase, compared to 2017, in new exhibitors signing up for this year’s show following the growth in demand from Asian and European participants. This year’s new registrations included National Tourism Organizations (NTO) and Regional Tourism Organizations (RTO). ITB Asia is pleased to welcome new NTO exhibitors from Abu Dhabi, Botswana, Croatia, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea as well as RTO exhibitors such as Fukuoka, Kansai, Rovaniemi and more.
Compared to last year, ITB Asia 2018 experienced more than 125 per cent growth in the number of hotel groups signing up as part of the Buyers Programme Partners. Exceptional support has been received from leading hotel groups such as Best Western International, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Melia Hotels International and Worldwide Hotels, Pan Pacific Hotel Group, Radisson Hotel Group, WorldHotels AG and Wyndham Hotel Group.
The launch of a dedicated Muslim Pavilion, housing the Muslim Travel Showcase sees Muslim travel as a key theme for ITB Asia this year. With the release of the Mastercard-Halal Trip Digital Muslim Travel Report (DMTR) 2018, the latest insights and in-depth analysis into the Muslim travel market and behaviours when it comes to trip planning, research and engagement in the digital space were revealed. CrescentRating presented its ‘Halal in Travel Asia Summit’ focusing on the key theme of ‘Innovation & Technology in the Muslim Travel Space’ as it continues its partnership for the third year running.
ITB Asia 2018 welcomed a number of leading media and creative agencies at the presentation hub this year, including high profile thought leaders from BBC Global News, ESL Gaming, Google, LaLiga, Ogilvy & Mather and Twitter who discussed innovation in destination marketing.
Destination Marketing is a new topic for this year, and these leaders provided key insights on how destinations can better market themselves to different groups of travellers. This includes touching on the latest technology available in the market to enhance the customer experience and leverage the multiple touch points with travellers.