There’s less of a rave about a week that was previously billed as Singapore’s TravelRave – a hearty gathering of the world’s movers and shakers in the tourism, business travel and MICE segments. Prized events, such as the Singapore Experience Awards – or tourism awards – were the lynchpins of TravelRave.
Some say the Lion City has preferred to nurture its lesser known qualities this year. A special Singapore edition of the Michelin star guides, for instance, has seen a great deal of effort rolled into highlighting a tantalising array of restaurants, from fine dining to the celebrated street fare.
This week is nonetheless geared up for the travel industry, whether tour wholesalers seeking the latest booking technology, or meetings and incentive organisers yearning to pin down the next cool location in Asia.
Today sees the inaugural IMM Asia organised by the globetrotting crew from the TravMedia website, a resource for hungry travel writers, editors and the marketers who feed them. This time travel journos will get a taste of what it’s like to be a hosted buyer on the exhibition floor with a day of 15-minute meetings with suppliers.
The speed-dating format has been winning high praise from hacks from London to Melbourne and it would be interesting to see if TravMedia’s partnership with AccorHotels and ITB Asia bears fruition and the event joins what was once Singapore’s TravelRave Week.
Show organisers Messe Berlin’s ITB Asia is again at the core of activities from Wednesday to Friday this week. All eyes (and ears) will be on the latest from those upstart disruptors Airbnb and Uber who are continuing their foray into once sacrosanct space, such as business travel. There will be others in their wake, and the brasher the better.
The finish line
The besuited brigade of the meetings, incentive and business events segments will also be out in force with the Singapore MICE and exhibitions association, SACEOS, hosting panels and seminars on Thursday. ICESAP, the steadily rising association for corporate end-users, are putting on their own gravitas tinged with good humour to the convention and exhibition complex linked to the splendid Marina Bay Sands.
I’ve been given the honour of moderating panels for SACEOS and ICESAP on Thursday. That is where the sacrosanct – as well as the rave – deliberations end; until the next time we see a TravelRave in full force.