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Mice Net : December 2008
news off to a good start itb asia – was limited – organisers says 10 per cent – it still had plenty to offer buyers who were after some quick information on a variety of destinations and product all in the one place. According to organisers, Messe Berlin, 6208 delegates visited the show over the three days, with 651 exhibitor companies taking up 10,600 square metres of space at the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Exhibitors were from all corners of the globe, except for Australia which organisers said had adopted a “wait and see” approach before deciding to commit. Of the visitor numbers, there were 600 hosted buyers which included media representatives. Part of the program also included seminars, with some interesting topics and some less than impressive (see thumb’s down page 14). The event was no doubt heavily supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. The STB has made a five year commitment to the show, and organisers are looking at expanding the available floor space to ensure that those companies that missed out in 2008 won’t do so in 2009. Messe Berlin (Singapore) director, Dr Martin Buck, said Messe Berlin was very impressed by the position response from the travel industry. “This is proof we have met customer expectations by focusing exclusively on Asian source markets, following a B2B format, running a high quality hosted buyer program, and putting our trust D 30 mice.net espite being the little sister of the mega ITB Berlin travel show, ITB Asia was still pretty big by world standards. And even though its focus on the meetings and incentives sector story By brad foster For a First-time show organisers of itB asia couldn’t have asked for a better start. in the convenience and professionalism of Singapore as the host venue,” he said. Initial survey results from delegates have shown an 86 per cent overall approval rating for the inaugural event. More than 95 per cent said they would recommend their business partners to attend ITB Asia in 2009 with more than 94 per cent saying they would attend next year. Destination Marketing Services accompanied the first group of Australian conference and incentive agents to the event. The small group spent three days at the show, attended the welcome cocktail function created by Pacific World’s specialist events division, and took a whirlwind tour of Singapore by Pacific World following the end of the show. There were a number of other hosted buyers from Australia who reported on the event favourably. Singapore looks forward The Singapore Tourism Board, major supporter of ITB Asia, is predicting a softening in inbound travel in 2009, and has already experienced a slowdown of visitors in the second half of 2008. A spokesperson admitted there had been a “contraction of the market” since June. Despite the slowdown, the STB is already looking beyond next year with high hopes. This is when the mega-resorts of Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa will be up and running, and it will be the third year of the Singapore Grand Prix, which traditionally gains momentum year-on-year. 2010 will also see the