ITB Asia 2021 opens virtually today with the travel industry in Asia gradually opening and braving new realities in leisure, MICE and corporate travel. In the course of the next few days, more than 3,200 travel products will be showcased to international attendees. Over 900 buyers and 400 sponsors & exhibitors from all over the world will come together to explore business opportunities and connect with travel trade suppliers and partners.
For the first time, Asia’s leading travel trade show will run for five days from 25 – 29 October 2021, as an entirely virtual event, bringing together international exhibitors with travel trade buyers and trade delegates. ITB Asia Virtual Conference is happening from 26 – 28 October 2021 and will feature a number of key industry speakers who will provide thought-provoking insights and presentations during the event.
All attendees can make business appointments from 9 am to 12 am (GMT+8) daily, with some exhibitors taking advantage of the unlimited number of appointments introduced this year. The show will be hosted on the established platform – ITB Community in Asia (ITB Community) – the ITB Asia 2021 event also plays host to MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia.
Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia said: “This year will be the most important ITB Asia show to date. After 1.5 years, the tourism industry is showing promising signs of recovery, with testing, safe “travel bubbles” and vaccination campaigns increasingly normalizing travel, but there is still a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels. If the pandemic, which caused closed borders, travel restrictions and strict safety measures, has taught us one thing, it’s that our industry must remain flexible and keep re-inventing itself. At ITB Asia Virtual, the industry comes together to establish high-quality networks, conduct business, and share valuable knowledge. What makes this industry so unique is its ability to always turn crises into opportunities and innovations.”
Business appointments, digital exhibition booths, business matching platform, video calls and 24/7 chat functions
Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) and the Saudi Tourism Authority are premiering as Elite Partners of this year’s ITB Asia 2021 Virtual show. A large number of visitors are expected to attend the webinars on 26 October (Saudi Tourism Board) and 27 October (BER) at 2 pm, which are curated exclusively for the Asian travel trade market.
The virtual exhibition continues to facilitate business meetings, showcase interactive digital exhibition booths, promote engagements through video calls and 24/7 chat functions for the show’s 400 sponsors & exhibitors from around the world, allowing effective engagements with key clients and partners. Being a global stage, the virtual exhibition will feature destinations including Azerbaijan Tourism Board, Maldives Marketing Tourism Promotion, Meet Taiwan, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, Japan National Tourism Organisation, Saudi Tourism Authority, Seoul Tourism Organisation, Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Visit Scotland and Zagreb Tourist Board.
Top-notch line-up of industry leaders highlighting the keynote sessions
Under the overarching conference theme of “The Decade Ahead: Braving New Realities in Travel”, visionary pioneers and leading figures gather at the 3-in-1 show ITB Asia, MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia 2021 Virtual, sharing their up-to-date insights and discussing key strategies to lead the industry towards recovery and growth. How to remove barriers to travel, accelerate international recovery and ultimately make sure the travel, tourism and MICE industries become more inclusive and sustainable? This is one of several big and important issues that the conference’s keynote sessions will cover.
Conference Day One (26 October 2021): Hospitality & Travel Technology
In the first hospitality session that day, Nicolas Huss, CEO, Hotelbeds and Carlos Muñoz, CCO, Hotelbeds will lead a discussion under the title “The New Normal for the Hotel Business”. Hotelbeds joins ITB Asia 2021 for an in-depth sharing on new trends emerging in the coming months as travel opens up, what recovery will look like and what the industry needs to embrace even more right now to foster a rebound.
Travel activities – the collection of tours, activities and attractions that destinations offer, are at the core of what turns a trip into an experience. As the virus subsides, the travel activities sector is hoping for some normalcy. At the session “Technology, Travel and COVID Recovery” John Brown, CEO, Agoda and Timothy Hughes, Vice President, Corporate Development, Agoda will discuss how companies forge their own paths through the chaotic landscape.
Conference Day Two (27 October 2021): Post-Pandemic travel & tourism
“Rebuilding Travel Post-Vaccine” is the session where Julia Simpson, President & CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) addresses how industry players can target the traveller’s new priorities post-vaccine while remaining agile to the changing pandemic conditions on the ground.
Stephen Kaufer, President & CEO, Tripadvisor explores in his session “The Evolution of the Traveller Through COVID-19” various trends in travel that have emerged from the pandemic. He also highlights implications of these trends and the unique ways in which travel brands are responding. Most importantly, he puts focus on the actions we should take now to put travellers’ safety, preferences and changing behaviours at the heart of our business while inspiring them to travel the world again.
Conference Day Three (28 October 2021): Destination Marketing and Tours & Activities
Under the heading “Making Every Travel Experience Count Through Sustainability” Wolf Paunic, President, Trafalgar will walk the audience through ideas and insights on how travel brands can promote destinations and experiences outside the traditional tourist circuit, engaging local tourist communities, integrating the creative and cultural sector into local tourism value chains, and contributing to the development of responsible tourism.
Tours & Activities will play their part in travel’s recovery. In the session named “How Will Tours & Activities Support the Return of Travel?” David Schelp, CEO of TUI Musement, Member of the TUI Group Executive Committee will explore how the world will be when travel is back on the agenda, where Tours & Activities business will fit into the new landscape, and how it will compete and, more importantly, how it becomes profitable.