This year’s event, held at the traditional venue the the Sands Expo and Convention Center at the Marina Bay Sands on Oct 25-27, drew more than 940 exhibitors from 113 countries – up 11% on last year.
Representing Phuket were Mongkol Boonporn and Woraporn Voratat, both Executive Committee members of the Phuket Tourist Association, along with 20 other representatives from tour and travel operators from Phuket and elsewhere in Southern Thailand.
The entourage’s attendance at the event was funded by the Phuket Provincial Administration Office.
Simply by taking part in this event will increase the number of tourists travelling to destinations throughout the Asia-Pacific, and helps to promote Phuket and the Andaman region on the global tour and travel stage, Mr Mongkol and Mr Woraporn noted.
Unveiling its largest exhibitors showcase yet, ITB Asia 2017 reported a 77% growth from its inaugural edition, featuring new exhibitors such as the Rwanda Development Board, Tourism Tunisia, Promote Iceland, Tourism & Foreign Affairs Department of Almaty City, Republic of Kazakhstan, Jeju Convention and Vistor Bureau, amongst others.
Exhibitors also invested more in the quality of their booths, with Greece, Japan, Russia and Korea putting up impressive and engaging experiences, noted event organisers.
This year’s conference programme looked at the role of technology, setting the tone for the changes that the industry is likely to see in the next ten years. Speakers from big names IBM Asia Pacific and Google delivered insights on the potential of Artificial Intelligence, Ctrip presented its global strategy, while fast-growing start-ups Hiverlab, Zebra Design and Savioke shared on the exciting realities and opportunities for augmented reality and virtual reality in hospitality and tourism.
“In view of 10 years of ITB Asia, we’ve taken every effort to celebrate the past as well as to provide attendees with a useful view to the future. 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,” said Katrina Leung, Executive Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia.
“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,” she added.
ITB Asia will continue to be held in Singapore, following the past 10 years of consistent support from the Singapore Tourism Board and the Singapore Exhibition Convention Bureau. Following this year’s show, ITB Asia has received the highest exhibitor rebookings for ITB Asia 2018. As early as now, the surge in interest for next year’s show has been seen from destinations such as Greece, Middle East, Africa, Spain and the Scandinavian region as well as continued strong support from Asian markets such as Thailand and the Philippines.
Melia Hotels International and Global DMC Network by the JTB Group have also confirmed their stand bookings for the 2018 show.
ITB Asia 2018 will be held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre from Oct 17-19.