ITB Asia 2017: 5 Highlights of Asia's Biggest Travel Trade Show

ITB Asia 2017: 5 Highlights of Asia’s Biggest Travel Trade Show

Happening from 25 to 27 October at Marina Bay Sands, ITB Asia brings together the travel industry and showcases exotic destinations, the latest technologies and budding travel startups.

The annual travel trade show, ITB 2017, organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) and supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, opened its doors on 25 October and will go on until Friday 27 October.  This year, there are 940 exhibitors in attendance and 951 buyers from the MICE, Corporate, and Leisure sector.

Themed “The Future of Travel”, the conference focuses on travel startups, the latest technology used in the tourism industry, and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Here are some of the key highlights of ITB 2017:

InnoVel brings travel companies and startups together

New this year is a conference track where Israeli startup InnoVel connects travel companies with leading startups for cross-sharing. They will discuss areas such as revenue management, customer engagement and online marketing. InnoVel will also take these companies through the implementation of solutions that address concrete pains and problems and focus on valuable features.

MICE & Corporate Hub

An inaugural MICE & Corporate Hub was also launched, with a MICE Pavilion and a Corporate Day on 26 October. Partners of ITB Asia delivered presentations and workshops on the corporate sector.

Showcase of Virtual Reality (VR) technology

VR is already widely used for tourism promotion and marketing, hotel and accommodation visualisation and training, and this year saw many demonstrations by startups.

Startups Hiverlab and Zebra Design shared their experiences on the realities and opportunities for augmented reality and virtual reality in hospitality and tourism. Savioke, which makes autonomous indoor delivery robots, also discussed learnings from its pilot project at M Social, which first used front-of-house service robots.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) dominate conference keynotes

AI was a key topic for conference keynotes, as many travel companies start to integrate AI into their online strategies in efforts to improve customer service and engagement.

IBM Asia Pacific shared about opportunities for the travel industry to evolve with cognitive technology, and how IBM Watson has enhanced travel experiences. Google also spoke about how consumer expectations for seamless, assistive experiences in travel are higher than before, and how it is leveraging new trends and immersive experiences for users throughout their travel journey.

Showcase of more “exotic” destinations

This year saw the mushrooming of destinations from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries who also happened to exceed exhibitor booking rates. The conference hosted Brazil’s Rio Convention and Visitor Bureau, the Moscow City Government, Promote Iceland, and a larger African pavilion featuring newcomers Tunisia and Rwanda.

Kazakhstan was also exhibited for the first time at ITB Asia, while North Asia was featured prominently.

Information extracted from press materials issued from ITB Asia 2017.

About Author

Ellyne Phneah
Ellyne Phneah

Elly is constantly on perpetual wanderlust. Having conquered 5 continents and 33 countries, she enjoys off-the-beaten-path places and filling her life with adventure and stories. Outside of travel, she is a closet geek, aspiring yogi and dancer, animal lover, and a die-hard Game of Thrones fan. Find her on Instagram @upyourelly

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