ASIA Travel

The ITB, held each year in Berlin, is the biggest travel trade show in the world and a must for anyone in the travel industry. Book flights and accommodation well in advance as Berlin gets very busy. The WTM in London, held annually in November, is again another very big show though perhaps less of a "must attend" than the ITB. The EIBTM and IMEX are without a doubt the best MICE shows in the world although AIME in Australia is also a good event aimed at the MICE market.

The Arabian Travel Market is an excellent show especially if you are interested in selling the Middle East or attracting customers from the wealthy Middle Eastern markets. To make the most of this show try and do sales trips after or before the show to some surrounding areas such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain etc.

For Asia, there has traditionally been two major shows in the region. The ASEAN Tourism Forum, or ATF as it is more commonly known, and the PATA Travel Mart. In recent years the ATF has seen somewhat of a rebound and is fast becoming the "must attend" event it once was. Rotating between different ASEAN countries every January the ATF is an excellent show for the industry to see the best of what ASEAN and the region as a whole has to offer. The PATA Travel Mart has unfortunately not managed to rebound in the same way, and the popularity of the show very much now depends on its location. In 2014 the PTM will take place in Phnom Penh, a popular destination with buyers and media.

In 2008, Messe Berlin the organisers of the mammoth ITB Berlin, put their full weight behind the inaugural ITB Asia. Over the years, it has grown and grown, and is now linked with TravelRave which is Singapore Tourism Board's week-long travel industry "festival". TravelRave attracts some very exciting events, such as Aviation Outlook Asia, Hotel Technology Conference, Tourism Destination Investment Conference, WIT, Asia Travel Leaders Summit as well as the World Travel Awards and Singapore Experience Awards. In 2014 it moves away from Suntec and will take place at Marina Bay Sands.

Another important travel trade show is the JATA Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase. This trade show has the ambitious aim of becoming the biggest in Asia. With Japan being such an important outbound market, even with the weak global economy, then this will always be one of the most important events on a calendar year. Traditionally JATA and the World Travel Fair, also in Tokyo, rotated annually. Now they have combined, and a few years ago they set up an inbound component to the show. This was very big news, as JATA had always been about the important, and lucrative, outbound market, and, had pretty much ignored the inbound. But with the weak global economy, the country had to start looking for new revenue streams, and of course one of them is tourism. The JATA Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase takes place annually in September, and is a show you should attend. There are many delegates not just from Japan but also, Asia Pacific and around the world. See: HD Videos from JATA 2012.

For luxury, the ILTM series, which started in Cannes but has grown in recent years to include Japan and China among other, is one of the best.

If you are interested in Asia as a buyer or to exhibit then really the main shows you should definitely consider are the ATF, then possibly ITB Asia and JATA Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase.

If you manage a travel or travel trade show which is not listed, or you would like more info on one of the travel shows below please send us the information by contacting us.

January 18 - 25 2016 ASEAN Tourism Forum - ATF Manila, Philippines
February 7 - 9 2016 Routes Americas San Juan, Puerto Rico
February 16 - 21 2016 Singapore Airshow Singapore
February 23 - 26 2016 AIME Melbourne, Australia
March 6 - 8 2016 Routes Asia (Aviation) Manila, Philippines
March 9 - 13 2016 ITB Berlin Berlin, Germany
April 25 - 28 2016 ATM Dubai, UAE
June 8 - 10 2016 Thailand Travel Mart + Chiang Mai, Thailand
September 2 - 4 2016 Macau Int. Travel (Industry) Expo (MITE)  Macau
September 7 - 9 2016 PATA Travel Mart Jakarta, Indonesia
September 22 - 25 2016 JATA Tourism EXPO Japan Tokyo, Japan
October 19 - 21 2016 HICAP Hong Kong
November 7 - 9 2016 WTM London, England
December 5 - 8 2016 ILTM Cannes, France
January 16 - 20 2017 ASEAN Tourism Forum - ATF Singapore

In addition to the major travel shows listed above, there are also hundreds, if not thousands of conference events, which cover every topic imaginable. These conference-type events are not exhibitions, instead they tend to have speakers, panels and discussion groups, and can be very expensive to attend. As with anything, some are useful, but the majority are just pure money making exercises. We have attended some, which while very interesting, were not worth the thousands of dollars that the organiser was trying to charge. Some events have so many speakers that their entire audience is made up of speakers!

To combat this growing trend, a lot of the leading travel trade shows such as the ITB Berlin, ITB Asia, WTM, JATA Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase, ATM, ATF etc have conferences attached to the show, some are official and some not, so do check with the organiser what conferences are available. These conferences, which are attached to the trade shows, are generally of a higher quality than stand alone events and also enable you to save money and time by doing both at the same time. 

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