ITB Asia 2019 officially opened on 16 October at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. From 16 - 18 October 2019, organisations from across the travel industry gathers to establish high-quality contacts and conduct business.
ITB Asia 2019 opening ceremony was graced by guests-of-honour: Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, Republic of Singapore; Mr Michael Müller, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany and Dr Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Messe Berlin GmbH. In his speech, Mr Chee reiterated the importance of leisure travel and business travel/MICE markets. He also elaborated on Singapore's three pronged approach to maintaining its competitiveness in the tourism industry by continuously refreshing existing attractions and offerings, using big data in tourism marketing and management, and collaboration with educational institutions in preparing the industry for the ever changing business landscape.
Now in its twelfth year, ITB Asia has continued to enjoy support from destinations and businesses from across the world, with over 1,300 exhibitors and more than 1,250 buyers participating in this year’s show. To accommodate its growth, ITB Asia 2019 has expanded its space and occupies two floors of the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
With the fast-growing demands of the MICE and corporate travel sectors, ITB Asia has this year launched the MICE Show Asia, a MICE-dedicated show to which all ITB Asia attendees have full access. Organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore), the team behind ITB Asia, it seeks to strengthen the MICE component of the show. As an inaugural show, the number of exhibitors was a little disappointing, although it features some interesting destinations such as Caucasus nation of Georgia, North Caucasus Russian state of Chechnya, and Central Asian nations. The MICE Show Asia Conference, featuring mostly vendor presentations, is held in a informal open space located right in the the middle of the MICE exhibition hall. Although this is a creative concept, it is somewhat cumbersome to have to wear headphones for all presentations, and a little distracting with all the exhibition activities happening around the open presentation area.
Nevertheless, the main ITB Asia show floor is impressive and filled with excitement as it attracted over 110 National Tourism Organisations (NTO) and Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO), including first-time appearances for NTOs from Armenia, Czech Republic, Malta, Russia and the Balkan States – Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, and RTOs from Busan, Frankfurt, Los Angeles and more.
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