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ITB Asia adds four new conferences to highlight regional tourism trends

ITB Asia adds four new conferences to highlight regional tourism trends (Forimmediaterelease.net) SINGAPORE – Messe Berlin (Singapore), organizer of ITB Asia, “The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market,” has announced another 4 new conferences to join the line-up for this year’s show. These include panel discussions on the boom in the luxury hospitality and retail segments, new developments in the Chinese corporate travel market, travel buyer and supplier collaborations, and a first look at the lucrative cruise industry.

ITB Asia 2012 will be held from October 17-19 at The Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Taking place over the first 2 days of the show, the 4 sessions will enhance ITB Asia 2012’s already powerful line-up of events.

This year, ITB Asia has forged new partnerships with leading travel industry experts representing UNWTO, MCI, National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS), Panacea Publishing Asia, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Asia Cruise Assocation (ACA) and strengthened existing programs with WTTC, PhoCusWright, TTG Asia Media, and Web In Travel, delivering over 3,700 minutes of high-quality content altogether.

“Tourism is one of the world's fastest-growing industries, and we need to anticipate trends and prepare for the challenges to tap into the enormous potential of this exploding market. To keep our delegates at the forefront of travel, we have assembled a record conference program line-up and are bringing in speakers who are at the top of their respective industries to deliver the latest knowledge and insights to capitalize on these trends,” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia.

“Now in our fifth year, our conference component continues to offer the best-in-industry learning experience and unrivalled networking opportunities. ITB Asia is at the epicenter of the booming Asian travel market, and we are committed to keep our delegates a step ahead of their competitors,” added Gruettke.

The conference program will kick-off on the first day of the show with a keynote speech from Horst Schulz, President and CEO Capella Hotels, who will share insights on “The Global Hospitality Industry Today and Tomorrow."

The program will continue with the “Luxury Retailers vs. Luxury Hoteliers” panel discussion featuring speakers representing some of the best brands in the business including Capella Hotels, LVMH and Hilton Worldwide‘s Waldorf-Astoria and Conrad brands. In this session, industry heads will weigh in to discuss the flourishing relationship between luxury retail and hospitality markets, and how both industries will stand to benefit from the collaboration.

The session addressing new developments in Chinese corporate travel market will also take place on October 17. Led by Welf Ebeling, Regional Director Asia, GBTA, The “GBTA: Corporate Travel Update from China” session will discuss latest research findings on China’s economy and growth of business travel expenditure. The panel of experts includes Dean Fowles of Rio Tinto, Blake Hedger of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, as well as Cinn Tann of Jin Jiang International Hotel Management.

The recent development of regional cruise facilities will provide a catalyst for further cruise tourism development throughout the region. Leveraging on this trend, ITB Asia is introducing its first in-depth panel session on the cruise industry. Taking place on the second day of the show, “Asia Cruise Association Panel session: Navigating the Cruise Industry Towards Greater Profits” will be facilitated by the ACA, a leading association devoted to the growth of the cruise industry in the Asia-Pacific region. The session will serve as a dedicated platform for delegates to convene and learn about aspects of managing a profitable cruise business. Interested participants can also join in the training session for prospectives interested in the ACA business.

The final conference session led by Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) on “Building a More Collaborative Relationship Between Buyers&Vendors” is scheduled to take place on October 18. Moderated by Kurt Knackstedt, Category Lead, Global Sourcing, Travel and Expense Management at Rio Tinto, the conference session will address and go through key aspects of building successful relationships between travel buyers and suppliers. The panel will be represented by experienced industry professionals including Peter Ko, Global Category Manager from Travel Standard Chartered Bank, Edwin Cheng, Regional Director of Asia Pacific Pegasus Solutions, as well as Timothy Tan, Regional Director of Sales of South East Asia Mandarin Oriental Hotel group.

ITB Asia is an international platform that unites professionals and leaders from the travel and tourism industry to network and exchange invaluable first-hand experience and insights to the business. The leading travel trade show attracted over 7,500 attendees from over 90 countries in 2011, and promises to be even bigger and better with the 15 percent increase in exhibition space and variety of conference programs. 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 2012.

Please refer to www.itb-asia.com/en/EventsAndConference/ for the latest information on the full conference program.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Messe Berlin, Michael T. Hofer, Spokesman, Director Press & Public Relations for the Messe Berlin group of companies; ITB Asia and ITB Berlin, Astrid Zand, Press Officer, Messedamm 22, D-14055 Berlin, Phone: +4930 3038-2275, Fax: +4930 3038-2141, Email: Zand@messe-berlin.de, Web: www.messe-berlin.com ; ITB Asia PR Contact for the Asian Region, Brenda Yeo, ICON International Communications, Phone: (+65) 6220 2623, Emails: byeo@iconinternational.com.sg , Web: www.iconinternational.com.sg

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