ITB Asia and WIT-Web In Travel have agreed to join forces in an agreement that will see Asia’s travel distribution and marketing conference held in conjunction with The Trade Show for the Asian Travel market, taking place in Singapore.
WIT, which just concluded on November 29-30 to positive feedback, will be held on October 21-22, 2008 while the inaugural ITB Asia will kick off on October 22.
The two events will be held at Suntec City, Singapore, and ITB Asia exhibition and convention will run up to October 24.
“It makes sense for the two events to come together,” said Ms Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder of WIT. “ITB Asia needs a strong focus on what is the largest growing segment of the travel industry – travel technology and the online travel space – and it is the right time for WIT to have a larger platform which the brand ITB, with its international clout and solid track record, will provide.
“WIT will bring to ITB Asia a strong Asian flavour and focus in what is its first foray to the region while ITB Asia will bring to WIT a global reach and international reputation for staging successful events.”
WIT was launched in 2005 with foundation support by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), which is also instrumental in bringing ITB Asia to Singapore. In 2007 the event attracted close to 300 delegates from 18 countries and nearly 30 sponsors and partners. ITB Asia is a premium B2B event, offering a platform for exhibitors of the leisure, technology, corporate and MICE industry.
Dr. Martin Buck, Vice President of Travel&Logistics at Messe Berlin, organisers of ITB Berlin, The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show taking place annually in March in Germany, and ITB Asia, who attended WIT 2007, said: “We are more than pleased about our cooperation with one of the leading know-how providers for the Asian travel industry. Asia is the strongest growing travel market world-wide. Growth means change, change means learning and learning requires insight into crucial trends and developments. We want to assist Asian travel entrepreneurs to gain the knowledge for being successful and benefit from the opportunities the Asian travel market is offering. Our vision to make ITB Asia the leading travel trade show of the continent, requires a strong convention, which will be generated by the cooperation between WIT and ITB Asia.”
Dr. Buck, who’s also been making his rounds in the region to assess the market, said there was strong interest in ITB Asia and that booth sales were going well. “More than a hundred exhibitors have already confirmed their participation, which is the best proof of concept. We will not only introduce our exhibitors to a high number of qualified buyers in terms of purchasing power at very competitive prizes but also provide an exhibition platform for small and medium sized enterprises that contribute innovative products.”
Under the agreement, WIT will be responsible for running its own event and will retain control and creativity over its programming and management. It will work with ITB Asia to market ITB’s Travel Technology pavilion to potential exhibitors.
WIT’s strategic partner PhoCusWright Inc has been a strategic partner at ITB Berlin since 2006, offering delegates a one-day travel distribution conference called PhoCusWright@ITB, which takes place this year on March 6.
ITB Asia is aiming to attract 5,000 overseas delegates to its inaugural event in Singapore. More than 500 exhibitors from over 50 countries are expected to participate.