ITB Asia will have its first run at Suntec Singapore from the 22nd till the 24th of October 2008 as was announced by Raimund Hosch, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH, the show organizer of ITB Berlin. The B2B trade show and convention will be designed to become the primary event for the Asia Pacific travel industry, much like its parent event, the ITB Berlin itself.
It will be targetted at creating new and cost-effective networking and business opportunities for the outbound buyers from the Asia - Pacific, the small & medium enterprises as well as the vast numbers of suppliers of products and services to the industry at large.
“The show is intended to ride the wave of the generational transition taking place across the Asia - Pacific, clearly the most important travel market of this century,” said Mr Hosch. Many of the doing-business structures upon which the industry was founded in the 1960s and 1970s are giving way to new ways.
Harald Wolf, Berlin’s Senator for Economics, Technology and Women’s Issues, said: “Thus people all over the world will get to know the brand which the ITB Berlin represents, and this will increase the opportunities for Messe Berlin’s customers who operate on the international stage, an aspect which not least will benefit Berlin as a business venue. Even large-scale trade shows such as the ITB Berlin cannot cater for the entire world market. By committing itself in this way Berlin is responding to increasing economic globalisation.”
Meeting the needs of the buyers and sellers will remain the primary focus of attention, especially buyers from the Asian travel source markets looking for new products to sell across Asia and also worldwide. This includes not just buyers of leisure products but also meetings, business travel and conventions.
At the same time, ITB Asia will reach out to the small and medium size enterprises from the Asian travel industry who could not afford to participate in global shows and did not find the regional shows useful to make the right contacts.
“This is of utmost importance for emerging market players - e.g. small hotels, online travel agents, incoming agencies—that very often have the most attractive and innovative products but so far lacked the opportunity to present themselves to the right buyers for their products,” said Mr Hosch.
Another feature that will differentiate ITB Asia will be the convention to be organised alongside.
Patterned along the lines of the highly successful event that is organised alongside the ITB Berlin, the Asian event will be designed to provide a high level of intellectual value for the new generation of young Asian travel entrepreneurs. The needs and concerns of this new generation will be targeted - particularly those from the incoming, online travel, hospitality and aviation sectors.
Besides ITB Asia will not only act as a “horizontal” market place for travel products but also as a “vertical” one for suppliers of the travel industry. Hence, it will feature the full range of travel products, services and goods from the supply side of the industry especially in the hospitality and technology sectors.
Said Mr Hosch, “Naturally, we will use the full power of our global databases to market this show and help participants find useful contacts. The fact that there will no fixed appointments will leave all participants free to find their own opportunities, of which there will be plenty.”
The show is being organised upon the initiative of the Singapore government which approached Messe Berlin, organisers of the ITB Berlin, as part of a package deal to organise Asian versions of the entire suite of trade events held at the Messe Berlin.
Mr Hosch said Messe Berlin was happy to accept the initiative but has made clear that it would like to position it as an “Asian” show and work with all sectors of the industry region-wide, including national tourism organisations, associations, airlines, hotel groups, tour operators, to ensure maximum attendance and the best possible exposure.
“We will do everything possible to ensure that the costs are kept to a basic minimum. When the industry finds the show useful, both will grow together,” said Hosch.