IBTM Asia Pacific 2021 Released First Details of its Rescheduled Show

By | 2020

The 2021 event will be themed, ‘Inventing the Future’ and will take place from April 13 to 14 in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

“We are working on a range of exciting initiatives in the run up to the event, including a regionally focused future trends report which will be unveiled in the coming weeks. Together with the team at Singapore Tourism Board and our venue partners, we are looking forward to delivering a Covid-safe event with the highest quality business opportunities for exhibiting partners and a comprehensive incentive and familiarisation programme for our Hosted Buyers.” This was commented by Michael Jones who is IBTM Asia Pacific event manager regarding the first details of the show.

IBTM Asia Pacific will bring together a high calibre group of international, Asia Pacific and local meeting planners and exhibitors for two days of pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings, education and networking. The event will be under-pinned by IBTM’s sophisticated hosted buyer programme which creates personalised appointment diaries for hosted buyers and exhibitors allowing delegates, to only meet people with whom there’s a good opportunity of doing business.

Visit the new website at:

Travel and Technology: Keeping us Apart but Together

By | 2020, Press Room

By Katrina Leung,
Managing Director,
Messe Berlin (Singapore)

Through all the difficulties of 2020, the travel industry has shown great resilience. Those who work in our industry have remained optimistic and have gone out of their way to help customers and peers. Throughout the pandemic, our people have adapted to the new normal and the ever-changing work environment, and technology has played an important role in this transition.

Beyond the pandemic, technology was already having a monumental impact on all elements of the travel industry by redefining the future of travel in all its forms and overhauling the end-to-end customer experience for travellers around the world.

Reinventing Travel in the New Normal

As countries across the world gradually reopen borders, we continue to navigate towards the ‘new normal’. Digitalisation and technology have become so intertwined with our way of living and conducting business over the months.

For the travel industry, this goes beyond helping to bring back visitors safely, but also contributes to the planning and redeveloping of strategies as part of moving ahead. While technology will continue to play an ever-important role in our industry moving forward, there is no doubt that the travel ecosystem will require a joint reliance on people and technology.

Bringing us Closer Together, Remotely

To reduce human contact, hotels, visitor centres, attractions and even restaurants have used tech to temporarily replace services previously provided through human interactions, such as answering guest enquiries, placing orders, or making bookings. Digitalisation has not only increased staff and visitor safety, but also supplemented quality service. Customers now enjoy greater convenience for services at the touch of their fingertips, and staff can focus on other important tasks.

In being able to track human movement, we are seeing countries start to resume daily commuting and outings. Technology has also further powered human interaction, albeit virtually, as we continue to connect with one another despite travel restrictions.

Collaboration platforms such as video conferencing tools have made it possible for people across the world to continue meeting, in a time when travel and interaction seems almost impossible. Technology has also allowed people around the world to fill in for the missing physical presence we have all felt.

Virtual reality, augmented reality and even simple video conferencing tools have temporarily satiated the hunger of travel-starved travellers by offering virtual tours to those unable to explore new places due to travel restrictions. We may see a future in hybrid formats; a new model of tours and events with digital enhancements complementing physical experiences for travellers to enjoy a holistic travel experience.

Lastly, we see technology powering the analysis, planning, and forecasting for businesses on the back end. In an uncertain climate where the situation continues to evolve daily, it is hard to predict what the next day, much less the next week can bring. The combined power of artificial intelligence and big data has allowed businesses to predict trends, track performance, visualise scenarios and adjust tactics and strategies.

Data analytics has meant businesses can sort through and make sense of loads of data, drawing insights to recalibrate and optimise their offerings. The travel sector continues to navigate the effects of COVID-19; however, embracing technology and its long-term and positive impacts on travel will certainly help with future strategies

This year the theme of ITB Asia is Reinventing Travel in the New Normal and will go virtual from October 21 to 23.

UAE and Israel Establish Partnership for Trade Development and Large Scale Conferences and Exhibitions

By | 2020

Dubai World Trade Centre has signed an agreement with Israel Export Institute to facilitate participation of Israeli exhibitors in large scale exhibitions in the UAE by end of the year.  It is estimated that commercial potential from the agreement between UAE and Israel is at about USD 500 million per annum.

The framework of the agreement was created based on: cooperation and participation in international conferences and large scale exhibitions; organising and exchanging business delegations; as well as support of significant business partnership opportunities between the two countries.

It will be facilitated by Israel’s Export Institute and Ministries of Economy and Foreign Affairs, which are actively engaged in the promotion of Israeli industry following the recent signing of the peace treaty with the UAE. The Israel Export Institute responsible for Israeli participation in international exhibitions will now take on this role for the first time in the Gulf States.

Signing of the agreement is part of a new engagement between the UAE and Israel to further peace and stability in the region through dialogue and cooperation for sustainable development.

“The historic signing of the Abraham Accords agreement has opened new avenues for strengthened collaboration and exchange between the UAE and Israel. It has also established a framework for bilateral trade and economic ties to flourish between both states. Partnerships such as the one between the Dubai World Trade Centre and the Israel Export Institute will have a wide-reaching positive impact, as not only both nations stand to benefit, but so does the wider region, particularly through an inward flow of investment and trade, increased cooperation, knowledge sharing, and large-scale innovation,” said Abdulla bin Touq Al Mari, UAE’s Minister of Economy.

Sarawak Receives a Total Economic Impact of RM106 Million from Business Events

By | 2020

The latest business events performance figures were officially announced by Sarawak Convention Bureau during the recent business events tribal meet in the capital city, Kuching.

It was reported that between January and September this year, Sarawak achieved an estimated of RM106 million on total economic impact.  This amount, has contributed to RM58 million in direct delegate expenditure which enabled the state, to collect tax revenue of RM6.4 million and create 8,480 jobs in various sectors.

From 2020 to 2024, Sarawak will have secured 31 business events amounting to 39,356 delegate days.  This can be attributed to the introduction of the Business Events Planners Incentivised packages.  The packages have also proved its effectiveness with business events cancellations are a low of three cancellations – leaving 95 percent of events ongoing in the business events calendar this year.

According to BESarawak’s acting chief executive officer the bureau, is 68 percent on achieving its target this year and are focusing on business events topics from seven key focus areas.

The seven key areas are urban development, social development and environmental development, reengineering economic growth, rural transformation on agriculture development, service industry and digital economy.

Sarawak also aims at increasing its market share of corporate meetings and incentives segment by at least 20 percent over the next five years in line with the objectives of the Sarawak Economic Action Council.  Currently, Sarawak’s strength lies in conventions with 80 percent of the business derived from associations.

Messe Frankfurt Revamps Spring 2021 Trade Fair Schedule

By | 2020

The largest trade fair, congress and event organiser Messe Frankfurt, will not, be holding any of its own physical trade fairs at its Frankfurt exhibition grounds between January and March 2021. The company is said, to be revamping its spring trade fair calendar, to focus on new synergies and digital offerings.

Messe Frankfurt has already organised 13 large trade fairs at various locations in China since the crisis began.

However, it is not possible to hold such events in Germany at present. This is in spite of the fact that exhibition halls are among the safest enclosed buildings in which people can spend time without being subjected to an increased risk of infection.

The halls can be continuously resupplied with fresh air, and in conjunction with the measures included in our extensive hygiene concept, people could safely do business in person here on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.

Now that it is not only governments tightening travel restrictions, but also companies, the latest pandemic developments are causing growing uncertainty amongst trade fair customers.

Wolfgang Marzin, president and chief executive officer of Messe Frankfurt said:  “It is important for our customers that we make a decision at an early date, as it would otherwise be time for them to begin investing in their trade fair presentations. Messe Frankfurt will continue to work closely with its customers to ensure that its decisions serve the interests of the exhibiting industries.”






IBTM World 2020 Transition to Virtual

By | 2020

IBTM Events has announced that IBTM World 2020 will be held as a virtual event this year. The decision was made after consultation with partners of the event and, because of the travel restrictions of Covid-19.

“Whilst we have been planning positively for a live event in December, and we know that people want to get back to meeting face-to-face, the situation across Europe and the wider world remains very changeable. Therefore, even though the show is still some months away, we believe we have a responsibility to provide clarity to enable our partners, exhibitors, buyers and visitors to plan for the future,” said David Thompson, event director.

Commenting on the news Christoph Tessmar, director of Barcelona Convention Bureau, said: “We are very sad that IBTM World will not take place live in Barcelona this year. We all wanted, and indeed hoped that we would be able to get back to meeting face-to-face this year, and I know this has been an incredibly difficult decision for everyone involved. We remain committed and supportive partners of IBTM World and together we very much look forward to hosting the global events industry in Barcelona next year.”

IBTM World Virtual will take place from December 8 to 10.  It will incorporate one-to-one meetings between exhibitors and buyers, as well as a knowledge programme with a range of targeted education sessions.

At the same time, exhibitors and buyers can benefit from IBTM’s bespoke appointment system of matchmaking buyer’s business needs with supplier’s services.

Sarawak Business Events Performance with Highest Economic Impact from Corporate Meetings and Incentives

By | 2020

It was reported during the recent Business Events Tribal Meet @ Sibu that the business events industry in Sarawak, has  accumulated an economic impact of RM1.6 billion from 2006 to 2020.

In 2019 alone, Sarawak had a bidding success rate of 94 percent by securing 99 business events which was worth an estimated RM122.71 million in direct delegate expenditure.

Today, Sarawak excels in the conventions segment. Currently, conventions make up 80 percent of the state’s economic impact. As for secured business events, Sarawak has bagged 88 events for the years 2020 until 2022.

Corporate meetings and incentives segment will be the focus in 2021 with the aim, to increase the market share by at least 20 percent over the next five years in line with the objectives of the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC).

The industry gathering, organised by Business Events Sarawak highlighted the development of corporate meetings and incentives segment, described as the transformative economic impact strategy for Sarawak’s business events industry.

Incentivised packages for future corporate meetings and incentives are available for planners. It has been proven for Sarawak, that these incentivised packages has been the key solution in minimising cancellations during the Covid-10, with 95 percent of business events still ongoing and three cancelled.

Other initiatives industry players can look forward to is the Tribe Digital Campus which is a product by BESarawak in collaboration with government agencies and industry partners.

Tribe Digital Campus is Sarawak’s business events industry’s first education and business exchange platform that offers its registered members complimentary and sponsored classes. Open to all interested parties regardless of location and profession and registration is free.

Commenting on the business events industry’s stance in Sarawak, Amelia Roziman, acting chief executive officer of BESarawak said, “This industry has shown a tremendous sense of unity, which we know it as #TRIBESPIRIT is a movement showing our ownership of our value that unity is the key to plough through a phase as challenging as COVID-19 pandemic.”








ICCA’s 59th Congress Complemented with Events Held Regionally

By | 2020

Since travel is a major concerned for many, this year, ICCA is showcasing a unique hybrid model of its event. While Kaohsiung remains the main venue, the 59th Congress is accompanied by regional hub events across the globe. For those who choose to stay at home, a virtual option will be available.

List of regional hubs are:

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Latin America Virtual
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaga, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain
  • North America Virtual
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

While the North and Latin American Chapters will be hosting a bespoke virtual hub.

The congress will still have a unified theme of ‘Transforming Global Events Together’ whereby ICCA’s global community, are encouraged to connect and explore new ideas, formats and technologies – to combine efforts and create the ‘Kaohsiung Protocol’ – which will be the framework that identifies major trends and key strategies for international meetings industry to thrive.

In terms of registration, ICCA’s Congress will offer risk-free, flexible options that will allow attendees to change their registration type.

The hub events will feature live, streamed content from Kaohsiung as well as, bespoke local content in each of the destinations.

There will also be a six-week long interactive ‘Road to Kaohsiung’ pre-congress programme exploring key issues of the international meetings industry.

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said: “The regional hubs allow us to provide members with a variety of attendance options depending on their ability and attitude to travel. The 59th ICCA Congress has provided an opportunity to re-imagine the way we deliver the event and we are excited to be working with so many local and global partners to ensure it meets the expectations of all attendees. I take this opportunity to thank the regional hub hosts and commend their commitment to bringing the ICCA family and the meeting industry together.”

Inaugural Event LIFEEXPO 2020 Concluded Successfully

By | 2020

The three days of virtual expo and conference held in Delhi, India, ended on August 28 with lively discussions, networking and contributions from around the world on the new normal in life; showcasing latest trends in the travel and MICE sectors and the importance  of adapting  to Ayurveda for health and lifestyle.

Organised by Delhi based exhibition experts, forty over global speakers joined the event virtually over the three days and debated on the new norms of doing business, living wisely and adapting to new trends.

Among the topics during the conference, were challenges in the current MICE situation, the status of the travel and hospitality business and on restart business models.

There was also the power packed Ayurveda, Yoga, Health and Lifestyle with the second session dedicated to Ayurveda and its role in the current new normal. Together with focused sessions on emotional wellness.

Corporate think tanks brought together key corporate buyers from the industry aimed at safety and hygiene this presented a positive outlook on their future plans.

While Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau shared with the participants updates in Thailand MICE.

ITB China Travel Trends Report: China’s Travel Market and Consumer Confidence Steadily Recovering

By | 2020

Travel is still, to be, one of the preferred leisure activities among Chinese consumers with the gradual mitigation of the pandemic outbreak. Chinese willing to travel according to report by ITB China, is rising every day

In the survey conducted by the report, over 90 percent of the respondents believe travel to be still one of the preferred leisure activities among Chinese consumers. Over 40 percent of those surveyed, have recently received inquiries from consumers on outbound travel products. From May to June 2020, nearly 60 percent stated that their clients are interested in travel products as well as, actively buying pre-sale travel products.

Asked about the average annual spending of Chinese households in the next year: 60 percent of those surveyed estimate the spending between USD700 to 2,800; 24 percent expect it to be between USD2,800 to 7,060; while 10.5 percent think, it might be less then USD700; and 5.5 percent believe will be more than USD7,060.

While the latest statistics on China’s travel market during holiday season shows strong consumer demand and restored confidence in travel.

Statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism show, that during the public holidays from May 1 to 5 this year, all nationwide destinations welcomed a total of 115 million visits and generated domestic travel-related revenue of USD6.79 billion.

The report is based on a survey among 200 Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel companies, including interviews with several industry experts. The report is a yearly publication, updating global travel suppliers and Chinese buyers with the latest needs of the Chinese travel market in order, to get best prepared to restart travel business in China.

The complete version of the 2020 ITB China Travel Trends Report is published on