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5,000 Travel Delegates from more than 50 countries expected at ITB Asia

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Thursday, 4 September 2008

Travel industry leaders from around the world will convene at the ITB Asia Convention in Singapore to face industry issues, which are at their most trying and tumultuous since 2003.

The Convention is part of the inaugural ITB Asia, 22-24 October in Singapore. Up to 5,000 travel delegates from more than 50 countries are expected to attend.

CEOs representing leading brands in travel Starwood, Accor, Jumeirah, Carlson, PhoCusWright, Sabre, and others will chart the future and lay bare the opportunities and challenges in all sectors of travel. The kinds of holidays consumers are now demanding will be addressed by Peter Long, CEO of TUI Travel, one of the largest tour operators in the world. A futurist will pose the question: Can virtual travel ever replace physical travel?

In testing times, it is always the ones who dare to confront the future and have a firm grasp on trends that manage to seize the opportunities, said Yeoh Siew Hoon, the ITB Asia Convention program organiser.

She said that following a successful Beijing Olympics, and with the worlds first Formula 1 night race set to take off in Singapore in September, sports tourism was now being seen as an engine for growth.

She said, There are definite trends taking place in tourism that we need to heed the evolution of the hotel industry to meet a changing customer, the realities facing global tour operators as they expand their reach into new markets, the increased penetration of technology into our everyday lives, and how that technology is changing the way we book travel and communicate.

In a session called, Reality: Virtual, Mixed or Otherwise How Technology Will Change The Way We Communicate and Travel in Future, award winning inventor, one of the worlds foremost thinkers in computer science, Professor Adrian Cheok of the Mixed Reality Lab, National Technological University, Singapore, will describe a future where we may not have to physically travel in order to have a rewarding travel experience.

In many ways, you could say technological and idea change is faster in Asia than elsewhere in the world, said Dr Martin Buck, Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), which is organising ITB Asia and ITB Convention. Both are being fuelled by double-digit demand growth in China and India. The result is that the travel industry in  Asia is highly challenging even for the experts.

The ITB Asia Convention takes place on the mornings of 23-24 October. The latest travel industry trends will also be discussed at satellite events happening in and around ITB Asia such as the Web in Travel (WIT) event on 21-22 October. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has organized two morning sessions 23-24 October. Meeting Professionals Internationals (MPI) inaugural Asian Meetings and Events Conference takes place 24-25 October. Delegates attending these niche events can enter ITB Asia and the ITB Asia Convention free of charge.

Online booking at qualifies trade visitors for the special pre-event price of US$ 80 (on-site price US$ 120) and saves valuable time at the badge pick-up counter.

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