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ITB Asia kicks off first online event

ITB Asia today (21 October) opened its virtual doors for the first-ever online event. The three-day event will see almost 900 buyers and 400 exhibitors from across the globe attend.

Held on the newly established platform, ITB Community in Asia (ITB Community), this year’s ITB Asia event also plays host to MICE Show Asia and marks the debut of Travel Tech Asia.

Katrina Leung, managing director of Messe Berlin Singapore, organiser of ITB Asia, said: “We are proud to have quickly pivoted to a fully virtual format that has enabled us to maintain our position as the leading travel tradeshow in the region. It is now more important than ever before that we provide this opportunity for industry leaders around the globe to come together virtually to share insights, knowledge, and experience, to pave the way for the future of the travel trade. Over the next three days, we look forward to closely collaborating with international exhibitors, travel companies and international buyers to unveil a strong, engaging, and contextually relevant programme.”

Despite ITB Asia’s new format, the virtual exhibition line-up continues to facilitate business appointments, digital exhibition booths, a business matching platform and 24/7 chat and call functions for almost 400 exhibitors around the world.

Being a global stage, the virtual exhibition features new destinations including Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Monaco and Sapporo.

This year’s Business Matching takes place on a dedicated Business Matching portal. Sellers will be able to upload company brochures and collateral, and buyers may upload proposal request briefs.

Now in its 13th year, the theme of this year’s event is 'Reinventing Travel in the New Normal'. The over 100-session themed agenda, led by more than 160 international speakers, has been curated to support the travel industry in navigating the current challenges and preparing for eventual recovery.

In its fifth year of partnership with CrescentRating for the 'Halal in Travel Asia Summit', this year’s summit focuses on enabling destinations and travel stakeholders to develop their own strategic solutions towards recovery and growth through insights from its Mastercard CrescentRating Travel Readiness Report and using its Travel Readiness Framework.

The Travel Foundation will run a themed session focused on 'Building Back Better', which will look at what better means to the Future of Tourism Coalition, which has developed thirteen guiding principles to help over 200 companies, destinations, and organisations forge a new path for tourism.

Cruise Lines International Association will focus on preparing for resumption in its session and will answer questions on what the travel trade can do to combat misperceptions and raise awareness of the strict regulations that govern cruises worldwide.

The event will also feature a series of MICE destination talks with global participation including Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), German Convention Bureau (GCB), Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), Russian Convention Bureau (RCB), Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) and more with MICE associations including IAPCO, MPI Academy and SITE Africa also in attendance.

Co-located with ITB Asia and MICE Show Asia, is Messe Berlin’s new show, Travel Tech Asia. Here, participants can share latest technologies, trends, tech travel brands and innovative start-ups, to create new possibilities for the future of travel.