Travel leaders to tackle industry issues at ITB Asia Convention


SINGAPORE (September 2, 2008) – Travel industry leaders from around the world will convene at the ITB Asia Convention in Singapore to face industry issues, which are at their most trying and tumultuous since 2003. The Convention is part of the inaugural ITB Asia to be held October 22-24 in Singapore. Up to 5,000 travel delegates from more than 50 countries are expected to attend.

CEOs representing leading brands in travel – Starwood, Accor, Jumeirah, Carlson, PhoCusWright, Sabre, and others – will chart the future and lay bare the opportunities and challenges in all sectors of travel. The kinds of holidays consumers are now demanding will be addressed by Peter Long, CEO of TUI Travel, one of the largest tour operators in the world. A futurist will pose the question: can virtual travel ever replace physical travel?

“In testing times, it is always the ones who dare to confront the future and have a firm grasp on trends that manage to seize the opportunities,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, the ITB Asia Convention program organizer. She said that following a successful Beijing Olympics, and with the world’s first Formula 1 night race set to take off in Singapore in September, sports tourism was now being seen as an engine for growth. She said, “There are definite trends taking place in tourism that we need to heed – the evolution of the hotel industry to meet a changing customer, the realities facing global tour operators as they expand their reach into new markets, the increased penetration of technology into our everyday lives, and how that technology is changing the way we book travel and communicate.”

In a session called, “Reality: Virtual, Mixed or Otherwise – How Technology Will Change The Way We Communicate and Travel in Future,” award winning inventor, one of the world’s foremost thinkers in computer science, professor Adrian Cheok of the Mixed Reality Lab, National Technological University, Singapore, will describe a future where we may not have to physically travel in order to have a rewarding travel experience.

“In many ways, you could say technological and idea change is faster in Asia than elsewhere in the world,” said Dr. Martin Buck, director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), which is organizing ITB Asia and ITB Convention. “Both are being fueled by double-digit demand growth in China and India. The result is that the travel industry in Asia is highly challenging, even for the experts.”

he ITB Asia Convention takes place on the mornings October 23-24. The latest travel industry trends will also be discussed at satellite events happening in and around ITB Asia such as the Web in Travel (WIT) event on October 21-22. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has organized two morning sessions October 23-24. Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) inaugural Asian Meetings and Events Conference takes place October 24-25.

Delegates attending these niche events can enter ITB Asia and the ITB Asia Convention free of charge. For further information about ITB Asia Convention, visit . Registration for trade visitors: . Online booking qualifies trade visitors for the special pre-event price of USD 80 (on-site price USD 120) and saves valuable time at the badge pick-up counter.

About ITB Asia ITB Asia will take place for the first time at Suntec Singapore on October 22-24, 2008. It is organized by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte, Ltd. in conjunction with the Singapore Tourism Board. The event will feature up to 500 exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, covering not only the leisure market, but also corporate and MICE travel. It will include exhibition pavilions and tabletop presence for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) providing travel services. Exhibitors from every sector of the industry, including destinations, airlines and airports, hotels & resorts, theme parks & attractions, inbound tour operators, inbound DMCs, cruise lines, spas, venues, other meeting facilities and travel technology companies are all expected to attend.

Registration for Journalists:

Contacts for exhibitors Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte, Ltd.,
Whey Whey Ng, General Manager, 25 International Business Park, # 04-113, German Centre Singapore 609916, Tel: +65 6407 1468, Fax: +65 6407 1501, Email: or Messe Berlin, Astrid Wargenau, Sales Director, ITB Asia, Tel: +49 30 3038 2339, Email: . Official Partner Country Press contacts: Messe Berlin, Michael T. Hofer, Director, Press & Public Relations for the Messe Berlin group of companies. ITB Asia and ITB Berlin Press Officer, Astrid Ehring, Messedamm 22 D-14055 Berlin, Tel: +4930 3038-2275, Fax: +4930 3038-2141, Email:, Web: . ITB Asia PR Contact for the Asian Region: Ken Scott, ScottAsia Communications, Email: , Tel: (+66) 2860 8227, Web: . For additional details: