ITB Asia tackles new realities

Virtual event’s conference speakers to offer insights and strategies for post-vaccine business travel and MICE-industry sustainability amid rise in hybrid options

POST-VACCINE business travel and whether hybrid events will dominate the MICE industry are among the challenges being tackled at the ITB Asia Virtual Conference 2021.

ITB Asia takes place October 25-29 under the theme of “The Decade Ahead: Braving New Realities in Travel”.

Organisers Messe Berlin (Singapore) say conference sessions on business events will look at what lies ahead to ensure business stability as the MICE industry is ”slowly getting back in its feet”.

Sessions will include “MICE Megatrends: What’s Hype, What’s Real, What’s Next”, “After Lockdown – The Who, What and How of Bouncing Back”, “MICE Buyers’ New Priorities” and “The Rise of Remote Working and the Future of Meetings and Events”.

Speakers will discuss how people in meetings, incentives and conferences can ensure long-term business sustainability and how dominant remote working and hybrid events will be. Updated insights and strategies on accelerating international recovery in business travel will be discussed in addition to enduring travel, tourism and MICE industries become more inclusive and sustainable.

Among the confirmed speakers at the MICE Show are Vincent Lim, president of the Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations; Michael Matthews, president, Association of Australian Convention Bureaux; Adam Wu, CEO, CBN Travel and MICE; Ashwin Gunasekeran, chair, Asia Pacific Chapter, ICCA; Dan Rivlin, CEO, Kenes Group); David Audrain, executive director, Society of Independent Show Organisers, and Kai Hattendorf of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

During the five-day event, the conference brings together leaders of national tourism boards and convention bureaus, destination management companies, travel agencies, cruise lines, hotels, attractions, world’s major travel brands, MICE planners and travel tech solution providers.

Leaders in corporate travel will discuss the new priorities travel managers are dealing with and how Travel Management Companies (TMCs) and other partners can adapt quickly. Among the key topics are “Business Travel Post-Vaccine: A Reset for 2022”, “How Digital Nomads and Bleisure Are Re-Defining the Future of Business Travel”, “Navigating Through the Industry’s Greatest Crisis”, “Travel Managers’ New Priorities” and “Who Will Disrupt Corporate Travel?”.

In “Hotel Leaders’ Talks: Road to Recovery” ITB Asia will ask hotel leaders to share their observations on what has changed in the hotel business landscape.

Speakers from the hospitality sector include John Flood, of, Archipelago International); David KongBWH Hotel Group), Markland Blaiklock, Centara Hotels & Resorts; Rainer StampferFour Seasons Hotels & Resorts); Alan Watts, HiltonRajit Sukumaran,  IHG; Paul Town, Marina Bay SandsRajeev Menon, Marriott InternationalMichael MarshallMinor International; Dean Schreiber, Oakwood Worldwide); Katerina Giannouka, Radisson Hotel Group); Olivier Berrivin, WorldHotels, and Joon Aun Ooi, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

ITB Asia’s Talk Series will kick-off with the “NTOs’ & CVBs’ Talks: What We Plan for 2022” with topics ranging from “Travel trends in Asia and the world, and their implications”, “Initiatives and new business models” to “Travel bubbles, vaccine passports and policy recommendations” and “Exit measures for post-pandemic recovery: Plan for 2022 and years ahead”.

Main picture: A booth at TravelRevive 2020, organised by ITB Asia and Singapore Tourism Board

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