SINGAPORE – Attendees at ITB Asia 2011 will now be able to contribute to a good social cause while doing what they do best, traveling around the world. Messe Berlin (Singapore), organizer of ITB Asia, “The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market,” has launched a special social media project to help raise funds for its adopted charity – Operation Smile Singapore.
The star of the project is known as the “ITB Asia Stickman” – a smiling, bendable rubber figurine in the signature ITB orange. The “ITB Asia Stickman” and 499 other custom-made fellowmen will be available for adoption at this year’s show at a donation sum of choice. All proceeds from the donation drive will go to Operation Smile Singapore.
Exhibitors and delegates are encouraged to take photographs of the little orange models in different cities as they travel around the world for business or leisure and uploading them onto a dedicated “ITB Asia Stickman” photoblog (www.facebook.com/itbasia) or through submission by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITB Asia will then pledge US$10 for each of the first 250 photographs uploaded to Operation Smile, a not-for-profit, volunteer medical services organization that provides reconstructive facial surgery to indigent children and young adults. The total sum raised will go towards funding approximately 7 life-changing operations.
This idea is the brainchild of Nino Gruettke, the Executive Director of ITB Asia. “Social media has significantly enhanced the way we share our travel experiences, stories, and photos. Our travel photos not only capture memorable moments but also celebrate local cultures, communities, and inspire future generations of globetrotters,” explained Gruettke.
“The success of this fundraiser hinges on the concerted efforts of everyone who owns an ‘ITB Asia Stickman.’ With close to 7,000 delegates from 60 countries expected to attend the show this year, we want to tap on their experiences and take advantage of the viral nature of social media outlets to contribute as an industry towards the fantastic work done by Operation Smile Singapore,” Gruettke added.
The “ITB Asia Stickman” project will take place over a year, starting from October 19, 2011 until ITB Asia 2012 – or when the target of 250 photographs has been reached.
ITB Asia is a unique international platform that unites the travel and tourism industry to exchange valuable insights and business leads, attracting 6,605 attendees and 720 exhibitors from over 60 countries in 2010. ITB Asia is also a partner event of TravelRave, a mega travel and tourism festival week organized by the Singapore Tourism Board to be held in Singapore in October 2011. For more information on the conferences, please visit www.itb-asia.com .