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ITB Asia 2010 Opens in Singapore

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[HD video below] ITB Asia 2010 opened in Singapore on Wednesday.

Exhibitor numbers at the three-day B2B travel show organized by Messe Berlin (Singapore) are up 6% on last year, with growth in the travel industry reflecting much improved economic growth figures and demand in Asia.

“There is a real sense of new growth and consumer optimism once again in Asia,” said Mr Raimund Hosch, CEO of Messe Berlin. “At ITB Asia we can see that in increased demand for floor space and more companies positioning themselves to get a bigger part of meetings business within the travel industry.”

Mr. Hosch told a press conference on the opening day of the third ITB Asia that the show this year was characterized by five themes: exhibitor growth, better quality buyers, a much greater MICE (meetings) industry profile, the importance of Egypt as a partner country, and the fact that ITB Asia, with its broad appeal to multiple sectors of the travel industry, was now attracting other travel events to start up alongside ITB Asia.

ITB Asia 2010 has attracted 720 exhibitor organizations. This represents a 6% increase on last year when there were 679 exhibitors. There is representation from 60 countries, the same number as last year.

This year, ITB Asia has attracted 62 national and regional government tourist organizations. This is up from 54 last year.

New attendees this year include the Moscow Exhibition and Convention Agency, Israel, the Korean National Tourism Organization, the Moroccan Government Tourist Office, the Nagasaki Prefecture Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Tourism Council of Bhutan, and the Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province in the People’s Republic of China.

On the aviation side exhibitors include IATA, Qatar Airways, THAI Airways International, Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, Vietnam Airlines and LAN Airlines from Chile.

Greater MICE Appeal

The 2010 edition of ITB Asia has introduced Association Day. The ‘day’ includes special events, networking and discussions spread over three days of ITB Asia. The objective is to empower the travel industry in Asia to attract more association events. These occur when professionals such as doctors, scientists, researchers, chemists and insurance executives convene for their annual, bi-annual or four-yearly association meetings.

Some 94 association and travel industry professionals have signed up for the inaugural Association Day at ITB Asia. Important association meeting organisations have combined to make Association Day a reality, including, the International Congress and Convention Association, ASAE – The Center for Association Leadership, the Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau and professional convention organizer, ace:daytons direct.

One outcome is that the percentage of MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) travel buyers at ITB Asia this year has increased from 32% to 43%.

Improved Travel Buyers

This year Messe Berlin (Singapore) management is emphasizing the advances in the quality control of its 580 hosted buyers at ITB Asia.

“The quality and relevance of buyer-seller interaction is the foundation of nearly everything we do at ITB Asia,” said Hosch. “Therefore, this year we introduced an even more stringent vetting system for buyers.”

He said that this year buyers had to be recommended either by exhibitors or by other established high quality buyers who could vouch for the professionalism and relevance of the proposed hosted buyer.

Buyers who performed well at ITB Asia in 2008 and 2009 were also invited back. A staggered invitation process meant that a more balanced geographical market mix among buyers was achieved.

Summarising ITB Asia 2010 on its opening day, Mr Hosch said, “ITB Asia in only three years has grown to be more than twice the size of its long-established competitor events. We have a very effective team based in Asia and great partnerships with Singapore and beyond. As CEO of Messe Berlin, I am optimistic that ITB Asia will continue to grow and attract quality participants as the trade show for the Asian travel market.”

HD Videos from ITB Asia 2010

Dr. Martin Buck shares some stats from ITB Asia 2010

Sharjah Press Conference @ ITB Asia 2010.

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