ITB Asia 2022 is back as an in person event at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre, after two years of virtual events. Martin Ecknig, CEO Messe Berlin, explains how this 2022 edition sets a benchmark for the travel industry in Asia
Beyond bringing the industry back together, ITB Asia 2022 will provide a vision for the future of the global tourism industry.
How does it feel to be back in-person at ITB Asia?
It is a pleasure to be back in Singapore, among travel industry friends and partners. As you are aware, it has been two challenging years. Ever since 2008, we have been welcoming the industry to Singapore, so it is about time that Asia’s leading travel trade show, which is celebrating its 15th year, returns to the Sands Expo & Convention Centre. After having organised ITB Asia in a purely digital format for the past two years, I am delighted that we can offer the Asian travel community a global meet-up once again, so they can forge new partnerships and strengthen existing business relations with the most important players in the region.
What sectors of the travel-value chain are being highlighted at ITB Asia this year?
The event features a wide range of exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East. 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 attending the event.
Co-located with MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia, it covers the key sectors of the travel industry, such as Leisure, MICE, Corporate and Travel Technology. With three shows in one event, it has become Asia’s largest travel showcase.
What are the new features and conferences taking place at ITB Asia this year? Anything you are looking forward to in particular?
ITB Asia Conference is the leading knowledge hub for travel executives looking to learn and be inspired by the latest trends and developments in the travel industry. We have an exciting programme of conferences and keynotes for this year’s show.
I am particularly looking forward to seeing executives from Agoda, Booking.com, Corporate Travel Management (CTM), Expedia, IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG), Marriott International, Saudi Tourism Authority, Travelport and many others to discuss, share and debate their businesses over the coming three days.
In your opinion, what are this year’s hot topics for the travel industry?
Thanks to the opening of borders and the lifting of most travel restrictions, tourism can take a deep breath again. This is also clearly having a positive impact on global travel demand. There is a strong and growing pent-up demand for travel, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where restrictions have been the strongest over the past two years.
The biggest question I see, is how travel and MICE companies can remain competitive and how they can now quickly leverage and maximise their growth potential created by various trends in certain industries. This is why “Go Big & Go Forward: Travel Industry on the Road to Recovery and Growth” will be the overarching theme of this year’s conference. Industry leaders and innovators will discuss topics critical to the future of MICE, corporate travel, leisure travel and travel technology.
What is the importance of events like ITB Asia for the industry?
In these challenging times, the industry is dependent on business meetings, exchanging expertise, information and orientation. ITB Asia is both highly relevant in terms of content and remains true to its mission of providing a global networking and business platform for the Asia-Pacific tourism industry and, particularly an important business outlook. There is no other Asian trade show where the entire tourism value chain in the APAC region is represented.
Why is Singapore the right venue to hold this important meeting?
Thanks to its diversity, Singapore is one of the most popular MICE destinations in the world. The city-state has an excellent infrastructure for business events of all kinds. The variety of MICE venues in Singapore is simply impressive. I am always happy to come here and am also pleased about our long-standing partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Messe Berlin celebrates its 200th anniversary
1822 was the year of Berlin’s first industrial exhibition, and today the company is following in those footsteps, celebrating its 200th anniversary. Celebrations took place earlier this year while the Messe Berlin logo received a festive design.
“Messe Berlin is a part of the city and has always contributed significantly to its international standing as a place for business. That is why in this anniversary year it is good that Messe Berlin is not only looking to the past, but is preparing for the future too“, said Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey at the campaign launch.
As a place for business, Berlin stands out in key areas such as the healthcare industry, financial technology, the creative industries, energy technology, the mobility sector, the optical industry and startups, which in future Messe Berlin aims to be involved with even more closely and to focus on at its events.
ITB Asia is organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore), Messe Berlin GmbH’s Asia headquarters based in Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of Messe Berlin GmbH.