Five months before ITB Asia, more than 900 travel industry buyers have already applied for hosted buyer status.
Limiting the final amount of hosted buyers to 700 has encouraged buyers to apply early. ITB Asia exhibitors favour this arrangement as it allows them to complete their appointment schedule in advance.
The 900 buyers were responding to an initial batch of invitations that went out in April. A second batch went out mid May. A third is scheduled for July.
“The response has been beyond our expectations,” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia, which takes place in Singapore 20-22 October. “I’m pleased to say that applicants are diverse—from the MICE, leisure and corporate sectors and from a wide range of geographic markets,” he said.
Based on buyer applications received so far, show organizer, Messe Berlin (Singapore) (MBS), reports that 50% of buyer applications are from leisure travel buyers, 44% from MICE buyers and 6% from corporate travel buyers.
By region, 49% are from Asia Pacific, 39% from Europe, 6% from the Middle East, 5% from Europe, and 1% from Africa. Buyer interest has been particularly strong from United States, UK, Italy, Germany, Australia and India.
MBS has enhanced the ITB Asia hosted buyer programme this year by applying more stringent quality control filtering on applications. As part of the development, buyers with a strong track record are being invited to recommend other buyers for MBS to invite. The aim is for buyers become partners in increasing the show’s quality.
In addition, exhibitors are being encouraged to nominate buyers. Once approved, these buyers will be invited by Messe Berlin (Singapore) on behalf of the exhibitor.
Before the third batch of invitations goes out in July, MBS will adjust specifications of wished-for applicants to ensure that the final 700 buyers represent a balanced spread of markets and travel industry sectors.
Buyers with an excellent track record at the previous two ITB Asia shows are being invited again this year.