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ITB Asia 2009 Registrations Up 20% Despite Downturn

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Exhibitor registrations for ITB Asia are up 20% compared to same period last year. With three months to the show, new exhibiting organisations include the Japan National Tourism Organization, THAI Airways International, Qatar Airways and Sharjah Tourism. The city tourism bodies of Shanghai, Osaka and Busan have united to promote their own “Golden Triangle” at ITB Asia for the first time.

National Tourism Organisations have also increased stand space. Cambodia, Dubai, Maldives, Myanmar, Sarawak, Slovenia and Tanzania have doubled their exposure compared to last year. Indonesia has increased floor space by 67%, Thailand by 50%. Most NTOs at ITB Asia will sub-let part of their large tourism pavilions to smaller operators from their respective countries.

General Manager of Messe Berlin (Singapore), Ms Whey Whey Ng, said, “After only one year since the inaugural ITB Asia, the show is proving to be strong and reliable. Ahead of the economic upturn expected next year, exhibitors and buyers are choosing ITB Asia because it is a travel trade show they can rely on to deliver results in trying times.”

The inaugural ITB Asia last year attracted 651 exhibiting companies from 58 countries. Up to 6,200 delegates attended the three-day B2B show and convention.

The current economic recession has, however, hit small and medium-sized enterprises. Their bookings for ITB Asia 2009 are down 25%. Hotel bookings for the show, which takes place 21-23 October in Singapore, are also down 7%.

Nevertheless, some big hotel companies have bucked the trend and increased their presence. These include WORLDHOTELS (up 100%), Moevenpick Hotels (up 100%), Carlson Hotels (up 50%) and Park Hotels (up 39%).

ITB Asia, which positions itself as “The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market”, has been designed to meet the needs of all three elements of the modern travel industry: leisure travel, meetings and conventions travel (MICE), and corporate travel.

Some 54% of buyers who have so far applied to attend ITB Asia are interested in leisure travel, 36% of them in MICE, and 10% in corporate travel. Over half of the applicant buyers come from Asia (56%) followed by Europe (22%), the Americas (10%), Oceania including Australia and New Zealand (7%), and the Middle East 4%.

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