ITB Asia got underway in Singapore today with organisers claiming that the 2011 edition would be the “best year ever”. The annual travel trade show this year attracted more than 750 exhibitors from more than 70 countries, including several countries exhibiting for the first time, such as Iraq, Botswana, Finland and Croatia. Raimond Hosch (pictured), CEO of the event’s organiser, Messe Berlin revealed the level of demand for this year’s show.
“This is the best year for ITB Asia,” Hosch said at the opening media briefing. “Four months in advance we had completely sold out. We’ve sold 10% more floor space than last year. Next year we’ll move to a different floor (of Suntec Exhibition Centre) with 20% more space.”
Earlier, ITB Asia’s Executive Director, Nino Gruettke, admitted that the event had expanded in spite of feedback from previous attendees that the conference week was already too full. “People asked us; ‘can you cut down on the number of sessions so we have time attend more of them?'” Gruettke revealed. “But to us this is the biggest compliment we could get,” he added.
Indeed, this year’s ITB Asia has the largest conference programme in the event’s four-year history. Two new events have been added; the Travel Agent Conference and the Asia for Asia Conference, while the ITB Asia Association Day returns of the second year.
“We hope this event will eventually become as big as ITB Berlin,” Gruettke added.