(Above and insets): Winter in Finland – one of the new and growing sectors attracting travellers from around the world. International travel to Finland broke all records last year – a total of 6.6 million nights

THIS year’s ITB Asia 2018 finished on a high note with a record-breaking numbers of exhibitors (over 1,000) and buyers (again over 1,000). According to the organisers a staggering 25,000 business appointments were booked with total visitorship figures increasing by almost 10% coming from 127 countries. It was also a wonderful showcase of the most active and attractive destinations being promoted and waiting in store for travellers in the coming year. Of special note is the roster of new exhibitors. The list included Abu Dhabi, Botswana, Canton Sarajevo, Croatia, Fukuoka, Kansai, Mauritius, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Rovaniemi, Slovakia and Ukraine among many others.

This year’s 3-day conference and exhition was under the overarching theme of ‘Travel Reimagined’. Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of ITB Asia, also said, “As we look forward to next year’s ITB Asia, we continue to build and strengthen our efforts in maintaining ITB Asia as the premier event of the year and the go-to hub for remarkable travel content and inspiring experiences.” ITB Asia sees continued strong support from destinations in the ASEAN region as well as Abu Dhabi, Turkey and Jordan in the Middle East and exhibitors such as Austria and Lufthansa City Center amongst others. Eastern European exhibitors such as Hungary and Poland have also confirmed their stand bookings for the 2019 show.

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism on Lombok’s Recovery AN earthquake and series of aftershocks had hit the island of Lombok which is in the NTB (Nusa Tenggara Barat or West Nusa Tenggara) province in July. Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, HE Arief Yahya was at ITB 2018 Singapore to address members of the world travel trade at the NTB Business Meeting on 18th October 2018 and gave a clearer picture in the aftermath of the earthquake to mitigate the impact on tourism arrivals. Also at the Meeting was the Ambassador of Indonesia in Singapore HE Ngurah Swajaya. The Minister first put on record his thanks to all stakeholders for the assistance extended after the disaster. He also wanted to stress that a large part of the island of Lombok was not affected by the earthquake especially in the southern part of the island, in areas such as Mandalika, Sekotong, Tete Bahu and Mataram. Similarly for development work on Mandalika – which is one of the 10 New Balis identified by the Indonesian Government with the potential to be as successful as Bali – is still ongoing. To further illustrate his point that the surrounding areas and islands are safe – the recent IMF-World Bank Group meeting in Bali had been completed without any problems. The areas affected by the earthquake are now recovering and Indonesia’s participation in Singapore’s ITB Asia goes to supporting the recovery of Lombok tourism. He hoped the Business Meeting will go a long way towards providing the latest updates on the areas’ recovery prospects and enhance cooperation with global tourism stakeholders.


About ITB Asia 2018  Now in its eleventh year, ITB Asia 2018 took place at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, from 17 – 19 October 2018. It is organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd and supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau. The annual three-day B2B trade show and convention featured hundreds of exhibiting companies from the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, covering not only the leisure market, but also corporate and MICE travel. Exhibitors come from every sector of the industry, including destinations, airlines and airports, hotels and resorts, theme parks and attractions, inbound tour operators, inbound destination management companies, cruise lines, spas, venues, other meeting facilities and travel technology companies.