This year, ITB Asia, one of Asia’s largest travel trade events marked its 10th anniversary with a deep focus on business travel, corporate travel and MICE.
Taking place at one of the largest MICE venues in Asia, Sands Expo and Convention Centre of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, ITB Asia 2017 covered majorly the Asia Pacific markets of the tourism industry through the exhibition and parallel conference sessions.
“While ITB Asia has grown and changed significantly over the past ten years, our key objectives have not changed – to bring together leading buyers and exhibitors from around the world, and to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of our customers and delegates,” said Katrina Leung, Executive Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia.
ITB Asia 2017 recorded around 940 exhibitors in attendance and over 950 buyers from the MICE, corporate and leisure sector, putting Singapore at the centre of all these activities. Overall, BRICS economies exceeded exhibitor booking growth rates with South Africa, Russia and Brazil leading the trend. Tunisia, Rwanda. Kazakhstan, Iceland, Rio Convention and Visitor Bureau from Brazil, the Moscow City Government were seen at the show for the first time. Incredible India had its presence through the Singapore office of India Tourism along with individual state participation from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Goa.
The conference programmes discussed ‘The Future of Travel’ through various sessions in numerous tracks and angles with presentations from participants reportedly generating over 6,000 conference minutes. The keynote addresses featured IBM and Google on the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence and travel.
MICE Day & Corporate Day
MICE Day on October 25 and a Corporate Day on October 26 were observed with the speakers delivering presentations and workshops on MICE and corporate sectors. A travel tech track was also launched this year hosted by an Israeli startup InnoVel, connecting the travel companies with cutting-edge startups. The cross-sharing addressed the challenges in areas such as revenue management, customer engagement, online marketing etc.
Singapore Tourism Board’s Passion Made Possible
Singapore Tourism Board presented its recently launched brand campaign, ‘Passion Made Possible’. The campaign displayed how Singapore is reinventing the way it presents the city with a line-up of activities to share Singapore’s spirit and passions with visitors and inspire them to discover the city. The timing of ITB Asia saw an interesting integration of this campaign with Diwali celebrations all over Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands & WWF
The hospitality giant Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced a partnership to raise the seafood sustainability standards within the resort and across Asia. Asia consumes two-thirds of the global fish catch and over-fishing to meet this demand is now the single biggest threat to the oceans. Through this partnership, MBS aims to have 50 pc of its total seafood by volume responsibly sourced by 2020. Ian Wilson, the Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations at MBS said, “due to a number of people that stay, dine and attend conferences at the resort, MBS is in a position to make a significant impact on seafood sustainability of the region.”
OTOAI, the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India is one of the supporting partners of ITB Asia this year. OTOAI President, Guldeep Singh Sahni gave an overall presentation on Indian outbound travel scenario touching all the important aspects of the Indian outbound travel behaviour. “The need of Indian outbound travellers is changing very rapidly. It is important for any destination or tourism product management company to understand the Indian travel culture and come up with innovative marketing and promotional options to attract the Indian outbound travellers at large.”