ASIA Travel

Travel Trade Shows and Exhibitions in 2019, 2020 and 2021

Attending travel trade shows and conferences is not only time consuming but can be very costly as well, so choosing which to attend is paramount to the success of your business.

You cannot attend them all, and nor would you want to. At we now try and attend the smaller, much more focused shows where we hope to meet sellers from the emerging destinations of a country, people you would not normally meet and who often do not have the budget to attend the world's largest travel trade shows in Europe or the Americas, for example.

Some travel trade shows do host buyers, covering airfares and hotel etc., so it is always worth asking whether that is an option and how to apply.

Hopefully the below information will help you to make the right decision about which travel trade shows you should attend in the future.

For Asia, the ASEAN Tourism Forum, or ATF as it is more commonly known, is an excellent show to attend, especially as it rotates between ASEAN countries every year, allowing you to experience the destinations you are selling. It is also a great way to make contacts and see old friends at the beginning of the year. This year it took place in Ha Long, Vietnam and in 2020 will be in Brunei. In 2021 the ASEAN Tourism Forum will take place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia - a very exciting destination and definitely something to look forward to.

The Thailand Travel Mart + (TTM+) has improved enormously over the years and is now an excellent show to attend as it is very focused and gives buyers the opportunity to meet with a wide range of Thai sellers who they would not normally meet. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has done an excellent job in turning this event into an extremely valuable and must attend travel trade show. In 2019, TTM+ was held at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien, Pattaya. The venue is perfect for an event of this size as it is close to three international airports (BKK, DMK and UTP), is by the beach, there are plenty of hotels within walking distance, and there is an abundance of nightlife, shopping and places to visit for delegates to enjoy. If you sell Thailand, you really have to attend the TTM+.

2019 2019 2019
14-18 January ASEAN Tourism Forum Ha Long, Vietnam
18-20 February AIME Melbourne, Australia
6-10 March ITB Berlin Berlin, Germany
26-30 March LIMA Langkawi, Malaysia
24-27 April ATM Dubai, UAE
28-29 May Mekong Tourism Forum Yunnan, China
5-7 June Thailand Travel Mart + Pattaya, Thailand
17-23 June Paris Airshow Paris, France
18-20 September PATA Travel Mart Astana, Kazakhstan
11-13 October Cambodia Travel Mart Phnom Penh, Cambodia
23-25 October HICAP Hong Kong
24-27 October Tourism Expo Japan Osaka, Japan
30 Oct - 1 Nov ILTM China Shanghai, China
4-6 November WTM London London, England
17-21 November  Dubai Airshow Dubai, UAE
2-5 December ILTM Cannes, France
2020 2020 2020
11-15 January ASEAN Tourism Forum Brunei
11-16 February Singapore Airshow Singapore
17-19 February AIME Melbourne, Australia
4-9 March ITB Berlin Berlin, Germany
4-8 May Mekong Tourism Forum Bagan, Myanmar
18-21 May ILTM Asia Pacific Singapore
? June Thailand Travel Mart + Thailand
20-24 July Farnborough Airshow Farnborough, England
5-7 November WTM London, England
2021 2021 2021
?-? January ASEAN Tourism Forum Phnom Penh, Cambodia
10-14 March ITB Berlin Berlin, Germany
?-? March LIMA Langkawi, Malaysia
21-27 June Paris Airshow Le Bourget, France
?-? November WTM London London, England

The Cambodia Travel Mart takes place in October every year and will be attending for the first time in 2019 so we will add our review once it is over. Let's hope that, similar to the TTM+, it concentrates more on inbound to Cambodia rather than outbound and that their are plenty of sellers from around the country that one would not normally meet at a trade show elsewhere.

In 2008, Messe Berlin, organisers of the mammoth ITB Berlin, together with the Singapore Tourism Board, put their full weight behind the inaugural ITB Asia. Over the years, it has grown and grown, and continued to grow - at least the events around ITB Asia has. While all this expansion may seem like a good thing, in our eyes - as a media outlet - there is too much going on, with conferences and seminars covering every imaginable topic taking place at the same time. We no longer attend ITB Asia, which takes place annually in Singapore, as we prefer to attend more focused shows such as TTM+, ATF and CTM.

Another important travel trade show in the region is Tourism Expo Japan, formerly known as JATA Tourism Expo. This trade show has the ambitious aim of becoming the biggest in Asia and with Japan being such an important outbound market, even with a 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. The Tourism Expo Japan 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.

The Mekong Tourism Forum rotates annually between countries on the Mekong, so from that perspective it is very interesting to see different cities and get updates about the local tourism industry in that area. This event has a lot of potential, but is still trying to figure out the best format to use. It is not really a travel trade show as there are no buyers meet seller appointments - a pity perhaps, nor are there any exhibitors - again a pity, as it would be interesting to see and meet with small hotels and tour operators in that area. The MTF is more of a conference to promote sustainable tourism.

The ITB and WTM, held each year in Berlin and London respectively, are two of the oldest and still the biggest travel trade shows in the world. We used to attend both religiously for many, many years, but now, of the two, only attend the WTM. Make sure you book flights and accommodation well in advance as both Berlin and London get very busy.

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

To add your trade show to the calendar of events above costs just US$199 per show per year and includes a direct link which opens in a new tab / window. Send us an email to add your show.

Conferences / Seminars / Workshops

In addition to the major travel shows listed above, there are also hundreds, if not thousands, of conferences, seminars and workshops which cover every topic imaginable.

 These conference-type events are not dedicated exhibitions - even though they may have a small exhibition area to increase revenue - instead they tend to have speakers, panels and discussion groups, and can be very expensive to attend.

 As with anything, some are useful, such as WIT Singapore, but the majority are just pure money making exercises for the organiser.

 We have attended some, but they are rarely worth the thousands of dollars that the organiser tries to charge. Some events have so many speakers that their entire audience is made up of speakers! Plus, a lot of events pick the same companies and the same 'experts', so there is an awful LOT of repetition going on.

To combat this growing trend, of what is ultimately competition, a lot of the leading travel trade shows such as the ITB Berlin, ITB Asia, WTM, JATA Tourism Expo, ATM, etc. have conferences attached to the show, some are official and some not, so do check with the organiser what conferences are available.

To add your trade show to the calendar of events above costs just US$199 per show per year and includes a direct link which opens in a new tab / window. Send us an email to add your show.

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