SINGAPORE will continue to be the base for ITB Asia over the next three years thanks to an MoU signing between trade-show organisers Messe Berlin and the city state’s tourism ministry.
Chee Hong Tat, senior minister of state with Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education, delivered the keynote at address at the opening of the three-day show at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre on October 16.
The minister said the signing would underline Singapore’s position as a global and regional business events hub, a role reflected in the 2.9 million meetings, incentives, conference and events visitors it welcomed in 2018, a growth of 12.1 per cent from the previous year.
In addition to hosting ITB Asia, which topped a record 1,300 exhibitors and more then 1,250 buyers at this year’s show, Singapore is set to welcome leading events such as the Deloitte All Hands Meeting, Home Delivery Asia and Vidcon Asia, the world’s largest event for online content creators.
Chee was joined at the opening ceremony by the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Muller, Messe Berlin CEO Christian Goke and Singapore Tourism Board chief executive Keith Tan.
To accommodate the growth in exhibitors and buyers, ITB Asia 2019 expanded its space to occupy two floors of the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. MICE Show Asia was also added this year to represent meetings and incentives while providing additional seminars for attendees.
Messe Berlin also announced the launch of Travel Tech Asia to run October 21-23, 2020, while ITB Asia is scheduled for October 16-18.
Meanwhile, competition in Asia’s travel-trade show segment looks set to intensify with Reed announcing the inaugural IBTM Asia Pacific to be held in Singapore, April 6-8, 2020.
Despite this, ITB says it is continuing to increase its size and attendees in both its Singapore show and its three-year-old ITB China event in Shanghai.
Katrina Leung, managing director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), said: “ITB Asia continues to maintain its position as the leading travel trade show in the region.
“Working in close collaboration with international exhibitors, travel companies and international buyers from across the MICE, leisure and corporate travel markets, we look forward to unveiling this year’s engaging and exciting programmes that will benefit all.”
National tourism organisation attending ITB Asia for the first time were Armenia, Czech Republic, Malta, Russia and the Balkan States of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, while regional new representatives included Busan, Frankfurt and Los Angeles.