By Katrina Leung, Managing Director, Messe Berlin (Singapore)
For the past six months, we have seen how the global health pandemic has had the power to transform the world. To control the spread of the virus, countries and economies have been brought to a near stand-still and we are still feeling these effects globally.
The effects of the pandemic suggest that there may be long-term impact on the way we travel. As the international community continues to find novel ways to stabilise and mitigate the effects of the virus on society, the same must be done for the travel and MICE industry.
In a post-pandemic world, we can foresee certain trends and developments that will remain. As such, it is important that the travel industry continues to think about the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on business travel and plans for the new normal.
Being Nimble and Staying Flexible
As the leading travel and trade show in Asia, we understand our responsibility to adapt, serve and guide the travel trade community towards recovery; however, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our team and all stakeholders of our events. As COVID-19 continues to develop and concerns about the virus remain, we had to make some bold decisions to ensure the continuity of our annual show which caters to about 13,000 delegates and participants a year.
By being nimble and staying flexible to the ongoing situation, in July we announced that our annual ITB Asia show would be virtual to ensure that the show still goes on for ITB Asia. The virtual event, happening from 21 – 23 October 2020, will be hosted on a newly developed platform, also known as the ITB Community in Asia (ITB Community), and will see us leveraging the power and benefits of a digital platform to band the community closer, continuously creating the meaningful conversations and high-quality relationships that have always been associated with our physical events.
The digital platform will also facilitate a year-long engagement programme for the travel and tourism community, free of charge for its inception year. The platform will leverage on ITB Asia’s global database of travel suppliers and buyers to virtually continue their conversations and to contribute best practices and content for the travel trade to navigate the recovery of tourism.
At ITB Asia, we have always been committed to bringing the community together to discuss major game-changing issues that impact the industry and this time is no different. It is during this extremely trying time that we want to demonstrate the travel trade’s resilience and ability to innovate for a future world.
For more information, you can check out the e-Brochure on ITB Community here.