Day 1 of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific’s Exhibition component commenced today, with a total of 316 exhibiting organisations eager and ready to do business with over 450 buyers in attendance. 2018 features the largest contingent of National Tourism Organisations, Convention Visitor Bureaus, and corporate exhibitors in the show’s history and a monumental 35% growth in booth take up and expansion across the floor.
Tourism Promotions Board Philippines’ Officer-in-Charge, Sales and Accounts Management Division, MICE Department, Karem E. Miranda, elaborated on their significant expansion this year, “The Philippines welcomes its biggest delegation so far with 28 private sector companies. We have seen a marked increase in business for all sectors of MICE, owing to the quality of buyers IT&CMA brings in.”
Exhibitors who have significantly increased their space this year include Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (60%), Pattaya MICE City (50%), Worldwide Cruise Associates (50%), Tourism Promotion Board Philippines (33%), and Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau (33%). Seoul Tourism Organisation exhibits independently this year after their newfound status as a government-funded foundation. 6 Global MICE Cities from Japan – Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kobe, Nagasaki, Osaka, and Sapporo – JTB Corporation’s Asia-Pacific headquarters, JTB Thailand and Kobe Convention Bureau are also exhibiting alongside in the largest display of Japanese support.
Other new and returning destinations and corporates on board at IT&CMA include Busan, Cambodia, Dubai, Indonesia, Jeju, Korea, Lanna, Macao, Malaysia, NYC & Company, Switzerland, Taiwan, as well as Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, Desaru Coast, EventsAIR, Marshall Cavendish, Princess Cruises, Radisson Hotel Group, Resorts World Sentosa, Royal Caribbean, Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Sampran Riverside, Hong Kong Ucloudlink Network Technology, Thai Airways, and more.
First time MICE buyer from Poland, Managing Director of Planet Escape, Piotr Molicki, complimented, “The event was very smooth and well-organised for me, especially since I could pre-schedule meetings ahead of the show. There are many hotels and DMCs from around Asia represented here, providing us with the opportunity to explore new partnerships with. MICE is moving away from mass markets to more tailor-made trips and we are eager to work on these connections to craft better itineraries for the European market.”
Returning Association buyer and Philippines Council of Associations and Association Executive’s (PCAAE) CEO, Octavio B. Peralta said, “The highlight of IT&CMA for me is the Association Day programme. There is high educational value in the forums and presentations that we can bring back to our association and members to let them know what is happening outside our country.”
Over at CTW Asia-Pacific, the corporate travel-centric conference and table top exhibition gathered leading airlines, travel management solutions and technology providers, hotel groups, and transportation service providers in an all-in-one purpose-built CTW Knowledge Hub and Lounge. 9 exhibiting organisations namely American Airlines, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, Carey International, Egencia, FCM Travel Solutions, Frasers Hospitality, HRS, Japan Airlines, and Park Hotel Group, met 120 corporate travel managers and buyers through a myriad of education, business and networking activities.
Many exhibiting suppliers and sponsors at CTW Asia-Pacific also chose to share knowledge and reinforce their brand capabilities by extending their thought-leadership at the 8 corporate travel forums. Said HRS’ Managing Director, Emmanuel Ebray, “Education is important to convey transparency and bring together a very complex industry that is constantly evolving. CTW Asia-Pacific fulfils both our business and education global strategy, allowing us to meet corporate travel managers face-to-face to share how the market works from our point of view, the trends, key challenges and especially solutions to better serve their needs.”
First time attendee, Luxoft’s Travel Manager, Business Travel Department, Maciej Olbert shared, “I am happy to share my experience and knowledge alongside other travel managers and corporate buyers. Our industry is growing and we definitely need to talk and understand each other’s needs to foster closer cooperation.”
Destinations and organisations also displayed experiential elements at their booths with activities, giveaways, and entertainment that opened along with the exhibition today. Some highlights included DIY handicrafts and entertainment at the Thailand pavilion, a Happy Hour at the Taiwan pavilion that featured signature Taiwanese delights, coffee tasting with Indonesia, locally-grown tea tasting at Lanna, traditional handicrafts at Seoul and Korea, and many more that will continue on through the rest of the exhibition days.