Your perception of how ITB Asia has evolved as an important travel trade show in Asia in the last few years.
Seven years ago, we set out to establish ITB Asia as ‘The Trade Show of the Asian Travel Market’ and each year since, we’ve reinforced that positioning by continuously improving and growing the show to meet the evolving needs of the Asian travel market. As a leading platform that facilitates the exchange of quality travel products and services, we’re been constantly upgrading our programme with new initiatives based on feedback and the latest industry trends so it’s never the same experience for visitors. With such an international portfolio of exhibitors, a quality group of hosted buyers and an exciting line-up of conferences and panels, visitors attending ITB Asia can ‘meet the world’ easily in just three days. The show has gained a great international dimension and has become a must-attend event for companies looking to establish a strong presence in the Asian travel market.
What, according to you, have been the most significant milestones?
As a key trade show for the Asian travel market, we continually contribute to the lively discussions to shape the future of tourism in Asia. Over the years, our conference programme has developed a reputation as a key knowledge platform that provides delegates with the most relevant and insightful trade secrets. Each new conference partnership we forge is a key milestone for us. This year, we are delighted to work in collaboration with leading travel industry experts from Robb Report Singapore, TTG Asia, American Express, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), NATAS, MPI and KIT Group delivering over 30 conference sessions.
Is ITB Asia 2014 bigger and better than the previous editions?
The seventh installment of ITB Asia has seen tremendous growth in terms of exhibitors, quality buyers and conference partners and we are expecting this year’s event to be the biggest, most exciting edition yet.
Will there be any major focus areas of the conferences being organised this time?
Delegates at this year’s conference can expect informative and tailored sessions that will shed insights into the future of travel covering topics such as 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. Through our partnership with leading conference management company, KIT Group, this year’s conference programme will see two back to back educational sessions on the growth and outlook of international association events in Asia. The association meeting business is becoming a major sector within the region as this industry is relatively resilient and such events take place regardless of global economic conditions.
One other new session that visitors can also look forward to gaining valuable insights is the 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.
In addition, delegates can expect informative and tailored sessions across a wide range of travel topics. Robb Report Singapore will be hosting its inaugural session giving delegates access to 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. Not forgetting our partner event Web in Travel (WIT) Conference, an essential platform for all players in the digital travel space.
Any interesting trends in terms of exhibitor participation?
As the region’s key travel trade event, visitors can expect a full spectrum of the tourism industry represented at all levels, including the hospitality and aviation sectors, tour operators and travel agencies, National Tourism Organisations, travel technology firms, MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and corporate travel representatives. On that front, we are welcoming back several exhibitors as well as a number of new participants. Exhibitor demand from Asia, Europe, and North America has been particularly strong as the tourism industries continue to focus their attention on the Asia travel market.
Are there more exhibitors participating from India this year? Which are the important new additions?
We have always enjoyed strong support from India exhibitors at ITB Asia and this year is no exception. India tourism is one of the fastest growing travel markets and we expect this trend to continue. This year, we’ve attracted a number of new exhibitors and organisations, such as Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board and Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. Apart from bringing in new exhibitors, we are also welcoming returning organisations who have supported us in previous ITB Asia such as Go India Journeys, West Bengal Tourism, Blue Yonder Holidays, Karnataka Tourism for example.
What kind of growth do you expect from the India market in the near future – for both buyer and supplier segments ?
According to industry research authority PhoCusWright, Asia Pacific has become the world’s largest travel market and India, an emerging economic powerhouse, which have significantly contributed to this growth. With these trends, we expect an even stronger representation from the India market to our show. There is no better platform than ITB Asia to showcase the country’s travel industry to the global market.