The sixth edition of ITB Asia opened today (23 October 2013), with organisers highlighting how the strength of the Asian travel market has enhanced the event’s global appeal.
This year’s edition of the annual travel trade show, which runs from 23-25 September at the Suntec Singapore Exhibition & Convention Centre, has attracted 835 exhibiting companies from 73 countries. And while the number of different exhibitors has dipped slightly, from 865 in last year’s show, Messe Berlin’s new CEO, Dr Christian Goke, said the “most telling KPI” for the event was the number of non-Asian exhibitors.
This year, 37% of exhibitors are from non-Asian countries, compared to just 25% in 2012, and Dr Goke said this shift highlighted the emergence of Asia not only as a tourism destination, but also as outbound market.
“The show has evolved tremendously from when it first made its debut in 2008 and has now gained an even greater dimension,” Dr Goke said at the opening press conference on Wednesday morning.
“Now that Asian has taken the crown as the world’s largest tourism market, it becomes even more critical for us to maintain our position as an effective platform to network and gain insights about the region’s tourism market.”
Evidence of strength of the event and the Asian market, according to Dr Goke, lies in the amount of money companies are now investing in ITB Asia. “The more exhibitors are spending on their booths, the stronger their belief in this show,” he said.
First-time exhibitors this year include Greece and Russia, while the US has increased its booth space by 90%, with 30% more American exhibitors this year, compared to 2012. Exhibitors from Europe have taken up 20% more floor space this year, and there are almost 60% more first-time exhibitors representing emerging markets in 2013.
More than 8,000 people are expected to attend ITB Asia over the three-day period.