(video below) The 2009 edition of ITB Asia opened on Wednesday
in Singapore, amid increased travel industry belief that the worst
of the global recession is over and that there are real prospects
for travel industry growth in 2010.
The three day B2B show organized by Messe Berlin
(Singapore) positions itself as “The Trade Show for the Asian
Travel Market”. Launched a year ago, the second edition of ITB
Asia has this year maintained a growth trajectory despite recent
“This year, I’m happy to say ITB Asia has
broadly maintained its size,” said Mr Raimund Hosch, CEO of Messe
Berlin. “We exceeded our targets with the inaugural show last
year. To effectively maintain that benchmark is a strong
achievement given the operating environment. It is time now to
plan for new travel industry growth.”
Exhibitors from 60 Countries
Mr Hosch reported that ITB Asia 2009
features 679 exhibitor organizations from 60 countries. The
exhibitors will engage with 553 vetted quality buyers from 50
countries. Nearly 18,000 buyer-seller appointments have been
In addition, 1,144 trade visitors have
registered online and some 130 journalists have pre-registered.
ITB Asia will report the final number of trade
visitors on Friday, 23 October.
Mr Hosch said “This year the quality of buyers
has been of paramount importance to us. That’s why in April we
appointed Ms Siti Banding as our Assistant Director – Buyers
Programme. All indications are that Siti and the ITB Asia team
have done a great job in attracting even higher quality buyers
compared to last year.”
The 2009 edition of ITB Asia has a greater
preponderance of Asian buyers compared to last year. In part this
is due to Asian economies doing better than economies in Europe
and North America.
Mr Hosch said, “Showcasing global travel
products to Asian buyers is the core value proposition of ITB
Asia. Soft economies in Europe and North America have made ITB
Asia more of an Asian show this year.”
Other trends are apparent this year. Many
exhibitors have chosen to book space in their respective NTO
pavilion. There are 54 national tourism offices, a 10% increase
over last year.
Exhibitors at ITB Asia 2009 represent the
leisure, MICE, and corporate travel segments of the travel
industry. The show this year includes exhibitors from every sector
of the industry, including destinations, airlines and airports,
hotels and resorts, theme parks and attractions, inbound tour
operators, inbound DMCs, cruise lines, spas, venues, other meeting
facilities and travel technology companies.
Nearly 43% of exhibitors are accommodation
related. Tour operators and travel agencies make up 31%. Tourism
organisations and associations are 10%.
Strong Strategic Support from Singapore
ITB Asia, taking place at the Suntec
Singapore Exhibition and Convention Centre, is supported by the
Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau, a division of
Singapore Tourism Board.
Ms Melissa Ow, Assistant Chief Executive,
Business Travel & MICE Group, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said,
“ITB Asia is well on track to becoming a strategic networking
platform and vibrant marketplace for Asia’s travel industry,
evidenced by the sell-out of its exhibition space despite a
challenging global business climate. Over the years, STB has
cultivated a close partnership with Messe Berlin and we share the
common vision of establishing ITB Asia as the region’s leading
“We are confident that ITB Asia will
successfully harness Singapore’s strategic connectivity,
pro-business environment and robust economic sectors, as well as
strong fundamentals as an award-winning business events
destination, to capitalize on the exponential growth potential of
the Asia-Pacific travel trade industry and enhance its size and
stature in the years to come.”
Travel Technology, Marketing and Distribution
As last year, ITB Asia’s partner event, Web In
Travel (WIT) is taking place alongside ITB Asia at Suntec. Special
price tickets have again been made available for travel
professionals attending both shows.
“Web In Travel is Asia’s leading travel
technology, distribution and marketing interactive forum,” said Dr
Martin Buck, Vice President of Messe Berlin. “We therefore took
the strategic decision to entrust ITB’s thought provoking
‘convention’ element to Web In Travel. WIT delivers a uniquely
Asian perspective on travel technology matters. This fits well
with our overall ITB Asia objectives.”
This year’s Web In Travel has the theme “Tough
Love”. ITB Asia attendees who attend WIT will gain unique insights
at sessions entitled, “Taming the Social Media Beast”, “Is Content
Really King or Is It All About Price?” and “Positioning Your
Business for the Recovery,” to name just some of the sessions.
A Platform for Responsible Tourism
In a new development, ITB Asia and partners will
hold a responsible tourism networking event today, 22 October. The
objective is to share experiences and strengthen contacts and
business opportunities between environmentally and socially
responsible travel operators.
The event is a continuation of the responsible
tourism networking event supported by Messe Berlin during ITB
Berlin in March and at the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange
(SATTE) in New Delhi in April. The responsible travel event at ITB
Asia is being co-organised by The Blue Yonder, Traveltocare.com
and Wild Asia.
“Our objective is to show tourism operators how
easy it is to implement practical measures,” said Dr Buck.
“Tourism operators can now easily find out more about the many
initiatives that are ready to use. These best practice measures
help the environment, boost a company’s credibility and save money
in the long run.”
ITB Asia has also worked with responsible
operators to create the Responsible Tourism Centre at ITB Asia.
The centre is an 18 square metre booth on the ITB Asia show floor
made from recycled and reusable material walls, carpets and
signage boards. The centre – booth number S01 – is being manned by
experienced representatives from groups and associations dealing
with responsible tourism in Asia. The centre is a resource
and contact point for all ITB Asia attendees interested in
becoming more responsible in their tourism practices.
Continued Support for SMEs in Asian Travel
Financial and economic challenges of the past
year have had a significant impact on Small & Medium Sized
Enterprises (SMEs) in Asia’s travel sector. An ITB Asia-sponsored
survey of developments over the past year concludes that SMEs
specifically in the travel and tourism sector of the national
economies are neither getting their fair share of the assistance,
nor are they mounting a strong case to get the assistance they
To be released at ITB Asia 2009, the report
shows that SMEs urgently need to find ways to work more closely
with each other, identify their specific requirements for
assistance, press their case more strongly, create more networking
opportunities, and underscore their importance to both national
economies and ecological sustainability.
The report will be presented by Imtiaz Muqbil,
Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire at: Room 204 at Suntec
Level 2 on 23 October, 2pm to 3pm.
Mobile Innovation at ITB Asia
Visitors to this year’s ITB Asia can download a
free guide to the show on their mobile phones. The first ITB Asia
Mobile Guide offers the entire show at one’s fingertips, including
a list of exhibitors, a floor plan and information on press
conferences and sightseeing in Singapore. The ITB Asia Mobile
Guide, provided by GIATA & TOURIAS, will make it easier for ITB Asia
visitors to find their way around the Suntec Singapore
International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The ITB Asia
Mobile Guide also contains the programme of Web In Travel 2009,
and a list of ITB Asia events, presentations and receptions. The
app can be easily
downloaded onto many commonly available mobile phones at
(charges for downloading may apply - especially roaming etc).
Positive Outlook from the CEO
Messe Berlin CEO, Mr Raimund Hosch, said that
ups and downs in the global economy were only to be expected.
“We’ve seen them all at ITB Berlin over the last
40-plus years,” he said. “Importantly, if you are a strong, well
respected brand, an established brand, such as ITB, you can
survive the choppy waters of global economics. We have done just
that with ITB Asia 2009. And the news is getting better every day.
The resilient travel industry is once again preparing for new
growth. ITB Asia is here to help that process along.”
He said that in a very short time, ITB Asia had
quickly established itself in Asia as a reliable brand. The show
has grown to become twice the size of its nearest travel trade
competitors in the region.
“This is what happens when you join part of an
established brand that is positive about its future direction,” he
entire ITB Asia 2009 opening press conference (as well as almost
every other press conference and the opening ceremony) will soon
be featured on ASIA Travel Tips.com in Full HD format. Do check