Reinventing travel in the new normal

Organiser of ITB Asia 2020 Virtual revealed Reinventing Travel in the New Normal as the theme for this year’s virtual event. The three-day, 120-session themed agenda has been specially curated to help travel industry professionals navigate through the current challenges and prepare for the industry’s recovery.  

The virtual event next month will see travel industry professionals around the world connect to share ideas and plans that will shape the next decade of travel in a post-pandemic world. The virtual event will be hosted on ITB Community, which has over 1,500 community members and over 400 buyers subscribed till date, since the launch 2 weeks ago.  

Ms Katrina Leung, Managing Director, Messe Berlin (Singapore), organiser of ITB Asia, states, “We are proud to announce the theme of this year’s virtual event, which will provide the foundation for the travel industry as it moves towards recovery. We truly believe that ITB Asia will play a fundamental role in shaping the future of travel in the new normal. Enabling participants to connect virtually allows for seamless knowledge sharing at a pivotal point in the travel industry’s history. Till date, we’ve over 100 confirmed exhibitors registered for ITB Asia 2020 Virtual.” 

Keynote sessions this year will highlight the emerging trends the travel industry should consider as they continue to navigate COVID-19. Speakers will also address industry’s best practices, business innovations, industry know-how and professional tips on how to adopt the mindset of industry leaders when navigating through challenges.  

Industry-leading keynote speakers this year include:  

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  • Angel Llull Mancas, Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Booking.com
  • Hermione Joye, Sector Lead, Travel and Vertical Search APAC, Google;  
  • Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip;  
  • Axel Hefer, Managing Director & CEO, trivago;and  
  • Ben Drew, President, Viator

Said Angel Llull Mancas, Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Booking.com, “Despite challenging times, I’m heartened that our industry continues to rally together as one strong community – to share global learnings and insights, support industry recovery and restore consumer confidence in travel. As we emerge from this global pandemic, our world and industry will undoubtedly be different, but one thing is for certain – travel and the desire to explore and experience our world will remain fundamental to people’s lives. I look forward to sharing how Booking.com continues to stay agile and adaptable today, leveraging the power of our innovation, technology and tools to better support and enable our partners and customers.” 

Over the course of the three-day event, sessions will address six core themes: 

Corporate Travel 

Thinking outside the box is critical when it comes to the future of corporate travel, and this series of conferences will urge participants to challenge their approach to “business as usual”. Key speakers will include Tobias Ragge, CEO of HRS Group, who will cover The new prospects for Corporate Travel, and Brett Thomson, General Manager, Corporate Travel, TAG, who will discuss Building a better solution for International Mobility. 

MICE Show Asia 

Rethinking the MICE industry will be encouraged in this series of conferences, and participants will be challenged to question their familiar and comfortable approach to everything MICE. Key speakers will include Matthias Schultze, Managing Director, German Convention Bureau (GCB) who will share What’s next in the constantly changing business events industry, and Edward Koh, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), who will also discuss Doing MICE business in the New Normal.

Travel Tech Asia 

The role of technology in travel is more important than ever before. This conference series will explore what technologies will define the future of travel, as well as those tech trends that are taking off now and helping to keep the industry moving. Oliver Dlouhy, Co-Founder & CEO, Kiwi.com will consider COVID-19 as a fast track to fully digital travel distribution and Richard Harris, Founder & CEO, <intent> who will discuss the future of AI in travel in his keynote You can’t predict the future of travel. But the machine can. 

Destination Marketing 

This conference series sees national tourism boards, destination agencies and marketing experts come together to discuss how to adapt strategies to serve customers in the new normal. Nicola Eliot, Vice President, BBC StoryWorks APAC, BBC Global News will considerHow to create the right stories at the right time to reach out to an audience dreaming of travel

Hotel Revenue and Distribution 

Hoteliers and those in related fields will share thoughts on how hotels and accommodation can adapt to the current situation as well as how to stay strong during this time. Allen Law, CEO, Park Hotel Group will discuss Navigating the crisis and beyond: Rebound, Recession & Reimaginationand Jennifer Li, EVP & Chief Business Officer, Tujia will considerHow to revive homestays after the pandemic? 

Tours, Attractions and Activities 

Participants will share thoughts and insights on how the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped the way the travel industry sees customers and businesses in the tours and activities market. James Thornton, CEO, Intrepid Travel will host a speech on the tour operators of the future, and Claudio Bellinzona, Co-Founder & COO, Musement will discussWhat tours & activities companies can do to prepare for re-opening and recovery 

Attendees will have the opportunity to attend over 120 virtual conference sessions led by more than 120 expert speakers from 21 – 23 October 2020. For more information visit http://bit.ly/ITBAsia2020ConferenceAgenda  

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