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ITB Asia kicks off first virtual event: Reinventing Travel in the New Normal

Singapore, 21 October 2020 – ITB Asia, Asia’s Leading Travel Trade Show, today opened its virtual doors for the first-ever virtual event. As one of the industry’s firsts, the three-day event is being hosted online.

Over the course of the next three-days, almost 900 buyers and 400 exhibitors from all over the world will come together to establish high-quality networks, conduct business, and share their knowledge.

Held on the newly established platform – ITB Community in Asia (ITB Community) - this year’s ITB Asia event also plays host to MICE Show Asia and marks the debut of Travel Tech Asia.

Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore)- organiser of ITB Asia – comments; “We are proud to have quickly pivoted to a fully virtual format that has enabled us to maintain our position as the leading travel trade show in the region. It is now more important than ever before that we provide this opportunity for industry leaders around the globe to come together virtually to share insights, knowledge, and experience, to pave the way for the future of the travel trade. Over the next three days, we look forward to closely collaborating with international exhibitors, travel companies and international buyers to unveil a strong, engaging, and contextually relevant programme.”

Virtual Exhibition to facilitate business and networking

Despite ITB Asia’s brand-new format, the virtual exhibition line-up continues to facilitate business appointments, digital exhibition booths, a business matching platform and 24/7 chat and call functions for almost 400 exhibitors around the world to engage with key clients and partners. Being a global stage, the virtual exhibition will feature new destinations including Switzerland, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Monaco and Sapporo. Exhibitors from hospitality and travel groups include Meliá Hotels International, Radisson Hotel Group and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, to name just a few.

As part of ITB Asia’s usual business matching typically held on the exhibition floor, this year’s Business Matching takes place on a dedicated Business Matching portal. Available throughout the three days of ITB Asia, sellers will be able to upload company brochures and collateral, and buyers may upload proposal request briefs for the same successful discussions and business negotiations as like the previous ITB Asia shows.

Conference line-up to reinvent travel

Now in its thirteenth year, the theme of this year’s event, set against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic, is “Reinventing Travel in the New Normal”. The over 100-session themed agenda, led by more than 160 international speakers, has been specifically curated to support the travel industry in navigating the current challenges and prepare for eventual recovery.

Today’s conference will see a strong line-up of speakers from across the industry discussing topics such as the future of travel, and building recovery for travel and tourism. These speakers included industry heavyweights from leading global organisations such Maribel Rodriguez, Senior Vice President, Membership & Commercial at World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), and Anita Mendiratta, Special Advisor to Secretary General at The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Tomorrow (22 October), attendees can look forward to hearing from top speakers such as Alexandre de Juniac Director General & CEO, International Air Transport Association (IATA), and keynote speakers Deep Kalra, Founder & Group Executive Chairman, MakeMyTrip and Ben Drew, President, Viator. They will be sharing their insights on topics from improving leadership to restoring confidence and attracting travellers.

Partners set to discuss the path to recovery

This year, ITB Asia’s partners also have a strong speaker track. In its fifth year of partnership with CrescentRating for the “Halal in Travel Asia Summit”, this year’s summit focuses on enabling destinations and travel stakeholders to develop their own strategic solutions towards recovery and growth through insights from their Mastercard-CrescentRating Travel Readiness Report and using their Travel Readiness Framework.

The Travel Foundation will run a themed session focussed on “Building Back Better” which will look at what better means to the Future of Tourism Coalition, which has developed thirteen guiding principles to help over 200 companies, destinations, and organisations forge a new path for tourism.

Cruise Lines International Association will focus on preparing for resumption in its session and will answer questions on what the travel trade can do to combat misperceptions and raise awareness of the strict regulations that govern cruises worldwide.

Building a resilient MICE industry with MICE Show Asia

MICE Show Asia invites professionals in the meetings and events industries to look ahead to building a resilient post COVID-19 MICE industry. Highlights of the event will include a series of MICE destination talks with global participation including Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), German Convention Bureau (GCB), Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), Russian Convention Bureau (RCB), Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) and more with MICE associations including IAPCO, MPI Academy and SITE Africa also in attendance.

The launch of Travel Tech Asia

Co-located with ITB Asia and MICE Show Asia, is Messe Berlin’s brand-new show – Travel Tech Asia. Here, participants can share latest technologies, trends, tech travel brands and innovative start-ups, to create new possibilities for the future of travel. Thousands of influential executives and attendees across travel industry sectors will come together for three days of unparalleled networking as part of the largest travel trade show in APAC.

Amadeus, TrustYou and Oracle Hospitality are also leading a brand-new track on Hotel Revenue and Distribution. Meanwhile, a new Air Travel track will see executives from leading associations and agencies present the latest global flight data trends and insights, led by the Skyscanner, Dohop and many more.

For more information on this year’s event, or to join the next two days, please click here.

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