ITB Asia 2014 will take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, from October 29-31 this year.
Organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd and supported by the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau, the event will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. TTN spoke to Nino Gruettke, executive director, ITB Asia, hot on the heels of a partnership announcement with Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The GBTA will hold a Business Travel Day at ITB Asia this year presenting educational sessions on business travel management. One of the highlights will be the latest Business Travel Index Report with new key insights into corporate travel trends for Brazil, Russia, India and China.
ITB Asia is slated to be bigger and better this year.
So what’s new at ITB Asia this year?
ITB Asia has a new home this year at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The venue offers us a unique value proposition under one roof, including accommodation for attendees as official hotel partner along with world-class conferencing facilities.
This year, we also see a record number of high-quality exhibitors, driven by strong demand from both returning and new pavilions. We have confirmed new exhibitors from countries such as Norway, Albania and Spain who will add to the diversity of this year’s event.
ITB Asia 2014 is expected to be the biggest, most exciting edition yet. We have lined up new content at the show by harnessing collective insights from top industry leaders to uncover more business opportunities and provide an even more effective knowledge sharing platform for travel professionals.
In addition to ITB Asia’s already established high-powered, tailored conference sessions, one new session that visitors can also look forward to gaining valuable insights is the inaugural Business Travel Day. Held in partnership with Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the day session will offer attendees engaging and useful content on the latest economic forecasts of business travel spend in the region, as well as offer new insights to support professionals looking to expand in the Asian travel market.
Through our other partnership with leading conference management company, K.I.T. Group, this year’s conference programme will also see two back-to-back educational sessions on the growth and outlook of international association events in Asia.
We are currently working to finalise the numbers for this year’s show. Our new venue partner Marina Bay Sands will be inviting 100 of their top worldwide buyers from across the corporate, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) and leisure industry sectors. We are also working closely with GBTA, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as well as over 30 industry partners to bring in corporate and Mice buyers. To date, around 65 per cent of our hosted buyers are from Asia Pacific.
What kind of presence will we see from Middle East companies?
We have always received strong support from Middle East companies, particularly from our long-term supporters Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Qatar Tourism Authority, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and the Government of Dubai. This year, we also have new Middle East organisations joining us for the first time including Yemen Tourism Board, ATG-YATA-ABU Taleb Group, Universal Touring Company, Eternal Yemen, Sheba Tourism, Dubai Tours, Yemeni Dreams, Bazara Travel & Tourism and Yemen Hotel Union.
Who are the speakers for this year’s educational programme?
We have managed to forge many new partnerships with content curators including associations, media organizations and industry experts on business associations, corporate travel, luxury travel and travel technology.
In addition to the inaugural Business Travel Day by GBTA and K.I.T. Group’s sessions on the growth and outlook of international association events in Asia, delegates at this year’s conference can expect informative and tailored sessions across a wide range of topics on identifying opportunities amid uncertainties, distinguishing upcoming trends, managing the growth of travel events in Asia and dealing with the challenges of an increasingly digital world.
Robb Report Singapore will be hosting its inaugural session giving delegates access to even more in-depth analysis on the latest luxury travel trends. Interactive forum sessions on hot topics such as responsible tourism will be held by ITB Asia’s corporate social responsibility partner, Wild Asia. A talk by Andrew Demaria, Executive Producer for CNN Digital Asia and CNN Travel will explore how travel companies are using big data analytics tools to connect with the digital traveller. The powerful line up of events continues with the highly-anticipated TTG Asia Conference focusing on travel operators’ usage of the 5Cs – cloud, content, channels, customer marketing and c-level strategy – to stay ahead.
What were the most important findings from the last ITB Asia?
Almost 9,100 visitors attended ITB Asia 2013 from 100 countries around the world, making it one of the region’s most international travel trade events.
The 2013 programme delivered over 3,850 minutes of high-powered content over 20 sessions by conference partners including Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Medical Tourism Association, Travel Link Daily, Mix!, American Express and micenetASIA.
Last year, we had industry research authority, PhoCusWright on board as our knowledge partner. According to their research, Asia Pacific has become the world’s largest travel market and was expected to reach $351.9 billion by end 2013. Backed by the emergence of economic powerhouses, especially China, India and Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific confirmed itself as one of the driving forces in world travel to set another all-time high record. The Indonesian market, in particular, is also poised for rapid development in the next three years and double-digit growth is forecast for several Asia Pacific markets through 2015.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
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