Messe Berlin (Singapore), organiser of ITB Asia, the Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market, has received more than 940 applications for the hosted and partial hosted buyers programme to date, just a few months after registration opened in March.
Apart from repeat buyers, an impressive nearly 20% of the applications are from markets looking to participate in the show for the very first time. These newcomers include countries such as Bhutan, Brunei, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mauritius, Norway, Slovakia and Zimbabwe.
“ITB Asia’s hosted buyer programme has always attracted strong interest from top international buyers eager to meet with exhibitors and do business in Asia. The interest from new markets demonstrates the growing reach of the show beyond the region as well as the effectiveness of the show as a business platform.” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia.
This year’s programme also attracted strong representation from key source markets such as Australia, China, India and Japan. While leisure and MICE buyers still form the bulk of the applications in line with previous years, there is a healthy increase from 6% in 2010 to 10% this year in the applications received from corporate buyers. This is indicative of the steady growth of corporate travel sector for the region.
There has also been encouraging response for the new partial hosted buyer category introduced this year. This category provides buyers with more flexibility to participate in other ITB Asia programmes such as panel discussions and conferences and enable them to manage their appointment schedules better.
An early fan of this new category is Mr Henry Wong, Executive Director, Discovery Overland Holidays, “I have many partners in the region and I always look forward to meeting them at ITB Asia each year, but the scheduling constrains can be challenging for a busy traveller like me. It is fantastic that the organisers of ITB Asia are listening to the buyers and constantly improving on the hosting programme to accommodate our needs.”
Last year, ITB Asia also enhanced the hosted buyer programme by introducing new filtering techniques to ensure that only high quality buyers are invited.
ITB Asia 2011 expects to be hosting a quality cohort of approximately 500 international buyers this year, representing a balanced spread of markets and travel industry sectors and regions.
Held at Suntec Singapore from 19 to 21 October 2011, ITB Asia, in its fourth year is a unique international platform that brings together the travel and tourism industry to exchange insights and business leads in one event-filled travel-focused show.