ITB Asia, ‘Asia’s Leading Travel Trade Show’, is set to deliver another year of thought-provoking and inspiring content to industry practitioners as part of its conference programme.
Themed ‘Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves’, the conference will bring together thought leaders from across the MICE, Leisure, Corporate, and Travel Tech sectors for high-level discussions on the trends that are galvanising change in the travel industry. Across the three days of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to experience over 100 sessions featuring insights from more than 260 speakers.
“ITB Asia is bringing together key industry players, both existing and emerging, who are shaping the future of travel. This is the opportunity not just to identify the clearest opportunities, products, services and technologies, but to debate and collaborate on how to maximise their potential, for the benefit of providers and travellers alike,” said Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia.
‘Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves’ will feature a wide range of themed sessions, including Corporate Travel, Travel & Tech, Destination Marketing and Muslim Travel. Keynote discussions will be held in ‘Knowledge Theatre’, ITB Asia 2019’s main stage.
On Day One, speakers from American Express Global Business Travel (AMEX GBT), CTrip, CWT, Sabre and Traveloka will assess the future of technology, sharing insights on innovations that will shape the travel ecosystem and how consumers’ mindsets and travel behaviour will be affected by them.
Day Two will include a keynote session on the future of travel distribution. Speakers from Agoda, Hotelbeds, KAYAK and TripAdvisor will outline how they innovate to remain competitive in a fast-evolving industry.
Baidi Li, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, of TripAdvisor Experiences, said, “The tours, activities and attractions industry is rapidly changing with new technological advancements reshaping nearly every aspect of the sector. As this industry moves further online, it’s critical for operators of all sizes to connect their business and adapt to new traveller needs. We’re excited to be a part of ITB Asia and explore these topics, including how online distribution – whether it be with local, regional, or a global online travel agency like TripAdvisor Experiences – is presenting new opportunities for growth.”
Day Three features representatives from companies such as Booking.com, OYO Hotels & Homes, and Thomas Cook China who will be uncovering the potential that Chinese travellers’ evolving preferences will offer to businesses, brands and retailers.
“After just over three years of operating in China, Thomas Cook is an increasingly popular brand with a fresh and modern approach aimed at digitally savvy customers. As the behaviours of Chinese travellers continue to evolve at rapid pace, our continued focus on innovation, choice, quality and curated experiences will be key to deliver on our ambition to grow China into a significant market for the Thomas Cook Group,” said Alessandro Dassi, CEO at Thomas Cook China. He added, “I am delighted to be invited to speak at ITB Asia for a second time. ITB is the perfect platform to kick-start the next phase of growth for Thomas Cook in China and beyond.”
In response to its popularity last year, Knowledge Theatre will also see the return of C-Suite talks. This will see senior representatives from AKARYN Hotel Group, GCP Hospitality, Intrepid Group, Lonely Planet, THE RIDE and Travelzoo, sharing their perceptions on the vital issues facing the travel industry today.
Catering for the growing number of corporate participants, the show floor of ITB Asia’s ‘Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves’ will include a Corporate Travel showcase for industry experts to discuss breakthrough developments in business travel. Featured sessions will include insights sharing by leading brands including Amadeus, Egencia and SAP Concur as well as emerging travel players Grab and Travelstop. Divergent approaches to managing corporate travel and how to cater to millennials will be among the topics analysed.
In addition to the business travel trend-setters featured in ITB Asia’s conference line-up, corporate partner, Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), will again be organising its exclusive Corporate Travel Day on Day Two of the show. Attendees can look forward to a line-up of relevant discussion topics, with experts sharing the emerging trends and best practices that are defining the future of this travel sector.
Maintaining ‘Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves’ focus on the future, leading travel players will identify the trends and cutting-edge technologies that are driving the travel industry. Speakers will also highlight how organisations can innovate to stay ahead of their competitors through the adoption of the game-changing technologies that are set to transform how travel, meetings, and business dealings are conducted.
The Travel & Tech track showcase will also dedicate an entire series to trends in hotel technology. The sessions will explore the growing role of automation and artificial intelligence and how they can revolutionise a hotel’s offering.
This year will also see two other showcase tracks in Destination Marketing and Muslim Travel. Top practitioners in these sectors will share insider tips on getting the most from social media to promote travel destinations; utilising destination brands to attract interest; best practices in developing Muslim-friendly destinations; and reaching out to the modern Muslim millennial.
‘Bold Thoughts, Bold Moves’ themed sessions are part of a varied programme of events designed to make this year’s ITB Asia the largest in its twelve-year history. For the first time, ITB Asia will share the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at the Marina Bay Sands with its co-event, MICE Show Asia, where a featured line-up includes speakers from the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the United Networks of International Corporate Events Organizers (UNICEO) as well as entrepreneurs such as Meetingbox and PouchNATION. Attendees will also hear about forecasts for the global meeting and events industries in 2020, as well as how digital transformation is impacting the meeting and events industries.