Cementing its position as Asia’s leading travel trade show, ITB Asia marked its 10th successful edition last year with record-breaking attendance and exhibitor numbers.

Held from 25 to 27 October 2017, the annual three-day conference was organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd and saw over 11,000 event attendees, along with 940 exhibitors from 113 countries and 951 buyers from the MICE, Corporate, and Leisure travel sector.

Themed “Future of Travel”, ITB Asia 2017 featured a comprehensive programme of presentations and discussions exploring the role of technology in travel and tourism, and projections on how the industry would evolve in the next 10 years.

Keynote speakers included industry leaders such as Mitch Young, IBM’s general manager (ASEAN), and Rob Torres, Google’s industry director (Travel), who shared insights on how to leverage technological tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the travel experience for increasingly discerning consumers.

Other noteworthy speakers who took the stage were Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, who spoke about its global strategy, as well as a panel of premier online travel agents from JTB, Expedia, trivago, Tidesquare, and Cleartrip.

The 2017 edition also saw a remarkable 77 per cent growth from its inaugural edition, and attracted newcomers such as Promote Iceland, Jeju Convention and Visitor Bureau, Rwanda Development Board, Tourism Tunisia, Tourism & Foreign Affairs Department of Almaty City (Kazakhstan) and the Republic of Kazakhstan – the first time Central Asia was represented at ITB Asia.

Destination exhibitors, especially Greece, Japan, Russia and Korea, also outdid themselves with the design and initiatives at their booths to create a more immersive and engaging experience for visitors.

One of the delegates, Ritchie Tuano, chairman/general manager of AsiaReps Travel Services Inc., was notably impressed. He said: “ITB Asia proves to be a very good venue to expand and establish your pool for travel product suppliers. Singapore as the host city-state is strategic and central in location for buyers and sellers from any part of the world. Singapore is also equipped to stage such kind of events with their exhibition and accommodation facilities.”

At the close of last year’s show, ITB Asia received the highest exhibitor re-bookings for its 2018 edition, with keen interest registered by destinations like Greece, the Middle East, Africa, Spain, and Scandinavia, as well as Asian markets such as Thailand and the Philippines.

Said Katrina Leung, managing director of Messe Berlin (Singapore) and organiser of ITB Asia: “While we are very pleased with our achievements in terms of the quality and numbers, what brings us most satisfaction is bringing together all the different stakeholders across the industry to network and inspire each other. The relationships built and strengthened will continue to boost our efforts in making ITB Asia the region’s go-to event and a hub for unforgettable content and enriching experiences for many years to come.”

ITB Asia 2018 will be held from 17 to 19 October at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

Programme highlights include a Hotel Xperience Showcase focusing on hoteliers and hotel guest experiences, a Muslim Travel Showcase, a dedicated MICE pavilion, and speed networking luncheons for leading MICE and corporate buyers. Visit the event website now to find out more.