SINGAPORE – Messe Berlin (Singapore), organizer of ITB Asia, “The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market,” has announced four new conference sessions added to this year’s show. These include panel discussions on “Loyalty Programs,” “Boutique Hotels,” “Women in Action.” and a “Business Travel Plenary Session.” Held from October 19-21 in Suntec Singapore, ITB Asia delegates can look forward to a powerful speaker line-up for all four sessions, which will take place across the three days of the show.
This year’s conference program is already the show’s largest line-up to date, with the addition of the inaugural TTG Travel Agent Conference, the Asia for Asia Conference organized by Singapore Tourism Board, as well as the second instalment of the successful ITB Asia Association Day.
“The conference component has always been a key element of ITB Asia’s knowledge-sharing platform, and this year’s program is all set to be even bigger and better with over 3,000 minutes of high-powered content, about 40% more compared to 2010,” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia.
“To ensure that ITB Asia truly represents the travel industry, we’ve put together an exciting and more in-depth program that will probe into the most relevant issues surrounding the industry this year. All sessions will be addressed by key industry players who will provide case studies and share first hand experiences and valuable insights not only from the Asia Pacific region but from around the world,” added Gruettke.
The conference program will kick-off on the first day of the show with a keynote speech from Paul Brown, Hilton Worldwide’s President of Global Brands & Commercial Services, who will address the impact of demography and technology on MICE business in Asia.
The panel on loyalty programs held on the same day will be represented by industry heavyweights including Paul Kerr, President & CEO of Small Luxury Hotels of the World; Robert M. Rush, President & CEO of LRA Worldwide, a leading global research and consulting company focused on customer experience management; Maria Taylor, Vice President, Loyalty and Direct Sales, Asia Pacific for Accor; Sung-A Hong from Starwood’s Loyalty and Partner Marketing division; Alfie Yee, Director of Marketing, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide; and Sim Beng Koon, Regional Director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).
“Delegates will learn the key to getting the balance right when executing loyalty programs from these industry experts. They will also learn how to stay relevant to travelers’ needs,” added Gruettke.
The session on boutique hotels, which will also take place on October 19, will feature speakers from some of the best brands in the business, including Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Wanderlust, New Majestic, Hotel 1929, The Scarlet Hotel, W Hotels Worldwide, and Design Hotels. In this discussion, boutique hotel industry leaders will share some of their trade secrets and big chains will also reveal their strategies on countering competition from the niche players.
The Business Travel Plenary session will include research findings on “The Economic Impact of Business Travel in Asia Pacific” by Adam Sacks, Managing Director of Tourism Economics. The company designs market strategy models, tourism policy recommendations, tourism forecasting models, and tourism economic impact studies. This session will take place on the second day of the show, October 20.
The final conference session, which is scheduled to take place on October 21, will put the spotlight on female travel leaders. These “Women in Action” will share the stories of their journeys, what they have done to achieve success, and their vision for the future of travel and tourism. Speakers confirmed so far for this panel include Claire Chiu, Director of Business Development from Warwick International Hotels; Jeanette Ho, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Raffles Fairmont Hotels; Aya Aso, President & CEO of Agora Hospitalities who manages the Nojiriko Hotel EL BOSCO, a boutique resort hotel in Nagano Prefecture, Japan; and Barbara Gallay, President, FROSCH New York. Gallay also sits on various advisory boards including The Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and Starwood Luxury Collection. She was featured in Crain’s “Top 100 Businesswomen in New York” and Forbes’ “Top 25 Women in Travel.”
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.
For more information on the conferences, please visit www.itb-asia.com .