Organised by Messe Berlin, Singapore, this year’s sessions will cover a wide range of topics across the full spectrum of the tourism industry based on the latest trends and developments. “Each year, ITB Asia refreshes its conference programme, to provide a comprehensive and holistic collection of sessions for travel industry professionals. We continue to attract delegates from all across the globe from the MICE, leisure and corporate sectors. In particular, we look forward to welcoming our strongest show from the Asian region, especially Indonesia, Laos, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines. Other countries outside the region with strong presence include Finland, and we will also see our largest US contingent to-date,” said Katrina Leung, Executive Director, Messe Berlin.
Industry Insights and Trends
ITB Asia 2015 will play host to its strongest conference line-up to-date, leveraging partnerships from all across the travel industry. “This year, our keynote sessions on the 1st and 2nd day will feature industry professionals at the forefront of the travel technology industry sharing insights on trends and developments,” Leung said. PhoCusWright founder and industry veteran Philip Wolf will cast a spotlight on the people and the players significantly impacting travel, tourism and hospitality in the region. He will be joined on stage by a distinguished group of Asian travel executives with a high level of conversation and probing perseverance for real answers - such as Kei Shibata, Founder & CEO, Venture Republic Global Pte Ltd; Deep Kalra, Founder & CEO, MakeMyTrip; Timothy Hughes, Vice President of Marketing, Agoda.com; Mieke De Schepper, Vice President APAC, Expedia Inc; Chan Park, GM SEA and Strategy & Planning Lead, Uber; Brian Schmidt, Vice President of Global Accounts, TripAdvisor and Julian Persaud, Regional Director – APAC, Airbnb.
Trends in Luxury travel and hospitality
DestinationElite will conduct LTHF, a half-day industry conference for the luxury travel and hospitality sector. Distinguished speakers will present and discuss the latest trends in this premium industry sector. Wild Asia, ITB Asia’s official CSR partner will put together 2015’s series of Responsible Tourism events. CAPA Aviation Outlook session will focus on Asia Pacific, which has been a leader in global aviation innovation over the past decade.
Another key session that will be held during the exhibition is GfK: Global Travel- Facts & Figures which would focus on the need of travel companies to anticipate market developments trends, understand their sophisticated customers and – most importantly of all – embrace every opportunity both online and offline to engage the consumer and increase profitable growth.
Emerging markets of BRIC nations
ITB Asia has bolstered its strategic partnership with Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) to provide delegates with its most comprehensive business-focused programme to-date. The GBTA Business Travel Outlook session will provide delegates with insights into the current economic conditions in the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) as well as an outlook on business spending over the next two years. Another highlight in this year’s show is the 2016 Global Travel Price Outlook, which will provide an understanding of the evolving travel landscape, offering travel buyers the information they need to successfully budget for and negotiate their upcoming travel programs. The latest results of GBTA’s Business Traveller Sentiment IndexTM, created in partnership with American Express will also be unveiled, which offer a glimpse into the complex world of traveller sentiment, focusing on how business travellers feel about their travel experiences, and how these feelings affect their actual behaviour.
“Currently the Asia Pacific region owns the largest share of the business travel spend market, and business travel spend in China is forecast to skyrocket 61 % in the next five years,” said Daphne Bryant, GBTA Foundation Executive Director. “We look forward to partnering again with ITB Asia to offer the GBTA Business Travel Day as part of this must-attend event in the Asian travel trade industry offering key insights into corporate travel trends to support business travel professionals looking to expand in the strong Asian business travel market,” Bryant added.
Global Travel Professional examinations
A new element at this year’s show will be the inclusion of the Global Travel Professional (GTP) examinations, which is the first and only certification for dedicated business travel professionals, designed to raise industry standards, enhance work performance and recognise individuals who demonstrate core competencies essential to business travel management. These examinations will be held on the second day of the show.
ITB Asia has partnered with the Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP) for a half-day conference at the show this year. ICESAP’s session will focus on an education programme for the incentive, conference and events market (IC&E). “ICESAP is delighted to provide the Incentive Conference & Event Business Session at this year’s ITB Asia event. Our society is strongly focused on improving the understanding of the IC&E sector, in particular through advancing learning & professional standards of our members and the industry as a whole,” said Nigel Gaunt, President of Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific.
Following this, a session led by Lisa Hopkins, Managing Director, Asia Pacific of BCD Meetings & Events titled, ‘Why Price Matters’ will explore the complex world of pricing strategies, and provide key insights on how to get the best deal for your events. Delegates can then find out what happens ‘When Events Go Wild’, which will explore the possible situations that may come up such as in a crisis. It will include real-life examples and practical solutions to help manage unplanned and unforeseen disasters.“Our objective is to provide practical advice and real examples based on what we understand event managers want to know more about. We hope attendees will walk away with something that they can use in their next event,” said Hopkins.
A customer panel entitled ‘How to bring magic to your events’ will also allow delegates to hear from some of the industry’s leading corporate event leaders on how they can differentiate their events, and generate first class results on any budget. This session will be moderated by Benoit Badufle from Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority and Horus Development & Consulting.
Managing hotel revenue
The panel discussion on Hotel revenue management in the age of big data will be moderated by Rachel Grier, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, IDeaS with panellists Jurgen Ortelee, Vice President – Revenue Performance, Pan Pacific Hotels Group and Danny Kim, Senior Account Manager, Google.
TTG Media Engagement Workshop will pose some hard hitting questions to the media. Speakers for the same include Marcus Cotton, Managing Director, Tiger Mountain Nepal; Jamili Nais, Director, Sabah Parks; Kannan Chandran, Founder, E-Quill News Media and Six-Six News; Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire; Stewart Hunter, Director (Asia-Pacific), Sojern; Todd W. Arthur, Managing Director (Asia-Pacific), HRS.
The advantageous Chinese market
Tuniu: How to take advantage of the booming Chinese travel market will focus on China’s huge demand for outbound tourism, but many overseas travel resource suppliers could not keep up with the pace. Some of the common questions are how to efficiently provide competitive travel resources, how to understand and fulfill the travel appeals from the Chinese tourists, how to conduct effective cooperation with China’s domestic travel agencies with low communication costs and how to confront the low information level of Chinese travel agencies. Tuniu.com will share its in-depth views and rich experiences, and will present the solutions via its proprietary Supply Chain Management System. Navigating China’s Digital Travel Landscape session will witness the MoU signing ceremony between STB & ITB Asia. Visitors of this edition of ITB Asia will witness TravelDaily China session.“Building Momentum” is the main theme of ITB Asia-TravelDaily China Session to highlight China’s growing importance to the world travel and tourism industry. As China is a key regional market, GBTA will also host a session dedicated to examining the trends emerging in the Chinese meetings.