SINGAPORE – Messe Berlin (Singapore), organizer of ITB Asia, “The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market,” has announced that Japan will be the partner country for this year’s show held from October 19-21 in Singapore.
This partnership is a multi-agency initiative made possible with the support of Messe Berlin, Singapore Tourism Board, and Pico. ITB Asia will provide a strategic platform for the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) to showcase the country’s impressive recovery from the March 11 earthquake and promote the destination to over 6,000 attendees expected at the three-day trade show.
“Japan is a key player in the global travel industry, and tourism is a major contributor to the nation’s economy. By rallying the support of the regional travel industry through ITB Asia, we hope to spur on a faster recovery and contribute towards its overall social and economic growth,” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia.
According to PhoCusWright, Japan was the largest total and online travel market in Asia Pacific in 2009, contributing gross bookings amounting to US$75.5 billion, or 34% of the region’s total travel market. A study by Union of International Associations also showed that Japan ranked second in the “Top International Meetings Country” category in 2010, recognizing the country’s position as one of the world’s preferred business events destination.
The JTA delegation will provide updates on the remarkable progress of the post-earthquake rehabilitation work. They will also unveil a host of marketing and promotional initiatives aimed at restoring consumer confidence and encouraging the return of travelers. These include promoting the Shizuoka Prefectural Government, home of Mount Fuji, alongside co-exhibitors such as Prince Hotels & Resorts, Hoshino Resort, and Nippon Travel Agency.
“The Asian markets play a very significant role in contributing to Japan’s inbound and outbound tourism. Tourist arrivals from Asian countries accounts for almost 70% of Japan’s international visitors. Despite the challenging post- earthquake recovery plans which Japan is spearheading, we aim to continue our support for the travel industry,” said Hiroshi Mizohata, Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency.
“With the hotel and tourism operators coming from Japan to participate, this will mark JNTO’s [Japan National Tourism Organization] 3rd appearance at this ITB Asia 2011 held in Singapore. It is an excellent platform to promote and showcase Japan as the perfect destination for leisure and business,” said JNTO Singapore’s Executive Director Motonari Adachi.
According to JNTO’s arrival statistics, 180,960 Singaporeans visited Japan in 2010, setting a new record high, surpassing the 2008’s arrival of 167,894. In a visitors’ survey conducted at the NATAS Holidays Fair 2011 held from August 26-28, Japan was ranked among the top 5 most popular destinations Singaporeans would like to visit for a holiday.
Said Aw Kah Peng, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board (STB): “As a country with a traditionally strong travel and tourism industry, Japan has always been an important partner in Asia. This collaboration at ITB Asia and TravelRave will further strengthen existing tourism cooperations and leverage growth opportunities in the region. We look forward to a continued partnership and bilateral exchanges between our two countries.”
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.