ITB Berlin Expands to Asia

    SINGAPORE, April 11 /CNW/ - ITB Asia will have its first run at Suntec
Singapore from the 22nd till the 24th of October 2008 as was announced by
Raimund Hosch, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH, the show organizer of ITB Berlin. The
B2B trade show and convention will be designed to become the primary event for
the Asia Pacific travel industry, much like its parent event, the ITB Berlin

    It will be targetted at creating new and cost-effective networking and
business opportunities for the outbound buyers from the Asia - Pacific, the
small & medium enterprises as well as the vast numbers of suppliers of
products and services to the industry at large.

    "The show is intended to ride the wave of the generational transition
taking place across the Asia - Pacific, clearly the most important travel
market of this century," said Mr Hosch. Many of the doing-business structures
upon which the industry was founded in the 1960s and 1970s are giving way to
new ways.

    Harald Wolf, Berlin's Senator for Economics, Technology and Women's
Issues, said: "Thus people all over the world will get to know the brand which
the ITB Berlin represents, and this will increase the opportunities for Messe
Berlin's customers who operate on the international stage, an aspect which not
least will benefit Berlin as a business venue. Even large-scale trade shows
such as the ITB Berlin cannot cater for the entire world market. By committing
itself in this way Berlin is responding to increasing economic globalisation."

    Meeting the needs of the buyers and sellers will remain the primary focus
of attention, especially buyers from the Asian travel source markets looking
for new products to sell across Asia and also worldwide. This includes not
just buyers of leisure products but also meetings, business travel and

    At the same time, ITB Asia will reach out to the small and medium size
enterprises from the Asian travel industry who could not afford to participate
in global shows and did not find the regional shows useful to make the right

    "This is of utmost importance for emerging market players - e.g. small
hotels, online travel agents, incoming agencies -- that very often have the
most attractive and innovative products but so far lacked the opportunity to
present themselves to the right buyers for their products," said Mr Hosch.

    Another feature that will differentiate ITB Asia will be the convention
to be organised alongside.

    Patterned along the lines of the highly successful event that is
organised alongside the ITB Berlin, the Asian event will be designed to
provide a high level of intellectual value for the new generation of young
Asian travel entrepreneurs. The needs and concerns of this new generation will
be targeted - particularly those from the incoming, online travel, hospitality
and aviation sectors.

    Besides ITB Asia will not only act as a "horizontal" market place for
travel products but also as a "vertical" one for suppliers of the travel
industry. Hence, it will feature the full range of travel products, services
and goods from the supply side of the industry especially in the hospitality
and technology sectors.

    Said Mr Hosch, "Naturally, we will use the full power of our global
databases to market this show and help participants find useful contacts. The
fact that there will no fixed appointments will leave all participants free to
find their own opportunities, of which there will be plenty."

    The show is being organised upon the initiative of the Singapore
government which approached Messe Berlin, organisers of the ITB Berlin, as
part of a package deal to organise Asian versions of the entire suite of trade
events held at the Messe Berlin.

    Mr Hosch said Messe Berlin was happy to accept the initiative but has
made clear that it would like to position it as an "Asian" show and work with
all sectors of the industry region-wide, including national tourism
organisations, associations, airlines, hotel groups, tour operators, to ensure
maximum attendance and the best possible exposure.

    "We will do everything possible to ensure that the costs are kept to a
basic minimum. When the industry finds the show useful, both will grow
together," said Hosch.

For further information:

For further information: Messe Berlin: Michael T. Hofer Director Press &
Public Relations for the Messe Berlin group of companies or ITB Berlin: Astrid
Ehring: Press Officer Tel.:+4930 3038 -2275 Fax: + 4930 3038-2141

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