ITB Asia has announced an exciting line-up of conference and keynote sessions for this year’s ITB Asia Conference. Co-located with MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia, ITB Asia will once again be held as an in-person event from 19 – 21 October at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
Go Big & Go Forward: Travel Industry on the Road to Recovery and Growth will be the overarching theme for this year’s conference. “Tourism reopening across countries worldwide has been having a positive impact on global travel demand, and the Asia Pacific is seeing a strong and growing pent-up demand for travel. Travel and MICE businesses need to go big to tap on and maximize the growth potentials created by various trends in specific industry sectors and go forward to overcome the challenges in the market including the competition and also the global economy”, said Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia, MICE Show Asia, and Travel Tech Asia.
The 15th installment of the annual trade show and conference also welcomes several new and established conference partners including Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE).
ITB Asia 2022’s main stage will be the Knowledge Theatre, where industry experts and leaders share their thoughts and leadership visions on “The future of travel”, “New trends” and “Key issues facing the travel industry”. MICE Show Asia will take place on the leading MICE & Corporate Travel conference stage. Speakers and partners from IAEE, IAPCO, ICCA, MPI, SITE, and many more will discuss topics ranging from “MICE global trends” and “Sustainability and wellness in MICE” to sessions on topics, including “Inclusive: Events that embrace everyone”, “New Normal: New requirements, new contracts, new relationships” and “New era of Corporate Travel: How TMCs & tech companies are joining forces”. Travel Tech Asia is the most important travel technology marketplace for digital travel leaders. This conference will feature a series of talks on “How technology is changing the way we travel and the need for companies to adapt to the changing trends” and “How the travel industry can leverage technology to take their business to the next level”.
Exciting keynote presentations to discuss strategies that are moving the industry forward
On 19 October, ITB Asia’s keynote presentations focus on what’s happening in Asia Pacific’s travel, tourism, and MICE markets and discuss strategies driving the industry forward. Michael Dykes, Vice President, Market Management (APAC), Expedia Group will kick off with his keynote presentation named “Travel in Action, Digitally”, where he discusses how technologies transform products, enabling a seamless traveller journey, as well as empowering the travel industry for greater efficiency and creativity. The following keynote address. will be delivered by Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (Excluding Greater China), Marriott International, who will be talking about “Rebuilding Confidence: How COVID-19 Fostered a More Resilient Future for Travel”. The morning keynotes conclude with a Fireside Chat on “Looking Toward 2025: Where Travel Will Be”. The keynote speakers, Michael Dykes and Rajeev Menon offer a glimpse into the future. The talk will be moderated by Monica Pitrelli, Editor at CNBC Travel.
Knowledge Theatre: Sessions’ Highlights
The Knowledge Theatre features an address by Laura Houldsworth, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Booking.com, titled: “Adapt and Pivot: Delivering Authentic Experiences While Prioritising Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient Growth”. Houldsworth will highlight the real opportunity for the industry to realise its potential as a key sector in the transition towards a greener economy and how to rebuild with a renewed focus on sustainability.
The series of NTOs’ Talks will feature leaders from National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) across APAC and beyond discussing ideas and setting actions for destinations to come back stronger than before. The NTOs’ Talks “Destination Rediscoveries” will be led by senior executives from the South African Tourism, Tourism Australia, Saudi Tourism Authority, Spain Tourism Board, and Visit Maldives, who will identify the changing behaviors, priorities, and preferences of travelers to pay attention to.
“Recovery and Opportunity” is the name of the Hotel Leaders’ Panel which will be moderated by Kwee Wei-Lin, Senior Vice President, Hotels, Pontiac Land Group, and President, Singapore Hotel Association. Together with C-level speakers from Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG), Pan Pacific Hotels Group, and The Ascott Limited, they will discuss how the post-pandemic psyche affects the way people travel in 2023 and their choice of accommodation.
As international tourism resumes, it is time for the travel industry in Asia to quickly seize the opportunities to recover in the new contexts. In the Travel Associations’ Talks, titled, “Where to Next? The New Adaptive Strategies”, Nigel Wong, Honorary Treasurer, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), Eddy Soemawilaga, President, ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA), and Tadashi Shimura, President, Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) will discuss how the industry can reinvent itself. What strategies it needs to reopen and expand connections with international markets and other issues will be addressed by a variety of C-level speakers and experts from Agoda, Austrian National Tourist Office, BWH Hotel Group, Collinson, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, The Travel Corporation, TUI Musement, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and more.
MICE Show Asia: Sessions’ Highlights
What the future holds for an in-person event, especially in the wake of a global pandemic, is the main topic of the CVB panel moderated by Ciaran McQuillan, Head of Special Events, Asia, Global Media Services, Associated Press. Titled “How Large-scale Meetings, Conventions, and Live Events Are Surging Anew”, C-level executives from Business Events Perth, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), NYC & Company, Sapporo Convention Bureau, and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau will explore what it takes to be future ready and how the industry has rebounded to take the MICE industry forward.
Laura Ruffles, Executive Director, Global COO, Corporate Travel Management (CTM), will explore the challenges and opportunities for corporate travelers and how to navigate the new travel environment in her session, titled, “The Value of Corporate Travel”.
The MICE Leaders’ Panel, “Return to a World Transformed: Revitalising MICE for a New Era” features a discussion where professionals, buyers, and sellers of travel and meetings services explore how different players in the MICE ecosystem can work together to deliver a better bottom line and future for the industry. The panel talk will be moderated by Richard Ireland, President, Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS), who will lead a discussion with C-level executives from Marina Bay Sands, International Conference Services (ICS), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau and Tourism Promotions Board Philippines.
When the pandemic brought business travel, personal meetings, and events (M&E) to a near standstill, it prompted companies to take a closer look at the environmental impact of their employees’ travel around the globe. The Fireside Chat: “The road to net zero – A combined approach to travel & meetings, with sustainability at its core” welcomes Ian Cummings, Global Head M&E, CWT Meetings & Events, Maura Geertsma, Vice President, Global Retention Center of Excellence, CWT, and Raphaël Pasdeloup, Managing Director, Enterprise Customers, CWT, as speakers. They will be joined by other high-level key speakers from Amadeus, BCD Meetings & Events, Dusit International, Egencia, FCM Travel, George P Johnson, HelmsBriscoe, HRS Group, MEP Meeting & Exhibition Planners Sdn Bhd, MOI Global, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and UNIGLOBE Travel International to talk about various topics on the new normal, the emerging importance of sustainability, the future of event technology and more.
Travel Tech Asia: Sessions’ Highlights
The Tech Leaders’ Panel, titled “The Future is Digital,” will bring together experts from across the travel ecosystem to talk about the latest innovations that will impact travellers’ next journeys, as well as strategies for travel brands to up their 4.0 game. Confirmed panelists include Khang Trieu Nguyen, CTO at Accor, Terrence Eng, CTO at FCM Travel Asia, Bryant Kok, Director, Digital Transformation & Information Technology at Gardens by the Bay, and Jane Lim, Vice President, Global Markets at Tripadvisor. The panel will be moderated by Jeff Pan, Venture Builder, McKinsey & Company.
In the session, “A Smarter and Greener Global Tourism Industry: The Big Long-Term Game for Travel Tech”, Tom Kershaw, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Travelport, will talk about how the industry needs to use technology and collaborate to inform, integrate and neutralise so that smarter, greener travel becomes the standard for our industry and future travel experiences.
The next frontier in travel will be driven by super apps and the technologies behind the platforms. Amanda Woo, the CEO, of AirAsia Super App, explains to the audience how super apps are not just a glimpse into the future in her presentation “Reimagining Global Connectivity and How Air Transport Can Successfully Integrate with Super Apps”.
Nicholas van Breda, AVP Global Distribution, Shangri-La Group identifies distribution strategies for hotels in the session, named, “A Fresh Look at Hotel Distribution Strategies”. Other high-level speakers from KAYAK, MG Group, OYO, STR, trivago, Trip.com Group, and Winsar Group will discuss various topics on digital transformation including direct bookings, metasearch optimisation, revenue management, and more.
ITB Asia’s annual B2B trade show and convention will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East, covering not only the leisure market but also MICE and corporate travel. Exhibitors from every sector of the industry, including destinations, airlines and airports, hotels and resorts, theme parks and attractions, inbound tour operators, inbound DMCs, cruise lines, spas, venues, other meeting facilities, and travel technology companies are expected to attend.
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