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<strong>DAY</strong> 2<br />

THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

STAND Q 05 STAND T 090<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

THE MICE<br />

SHIFT IN <strong>ASIA</strong><br />







<strong>ASIA</strong><br />







CHINA<br />

#08<br />

#09<br />

#07<br />




Global Head,<br />

CWT Meetings & Events


STAND K 031<br />


Morning Briefing<br />

by Laurence Gaborieau,<br />

Directrice du salon IFTM Top Resa<br />

Director IFTM Top Resa<br />

An exploration of travel's<br />

evolving landscape<br />

Good morning and welcome to Day<br />

2 of <strong>ITB</strong> Asia. Reflecting on yesterday,<br />

we kicked off our 16th edition with a<br />

strong start. The turnout of visitors<br />

was impressive, and the opening<br />

ceremony set the stage for what's<br />

to come. The depth and breadth of<br />

discussions, particularly the keynote<br />

addresses by Hermione Joye from<br />

Google and James Liang from Trip.<br />

com Group, provided valuable<br />

insights into the current state and<br />

future of the travel industry.<br />

Today's agenda is packed with a<br />

multitude of sessions, and while it's<br />

always challenging to spotlight just<br />

one or two, there are several that<br />

stand out. The panel on "Greener<br />

Gatherings: Low-Carbon Meetings<br />

Demand Creative Thinking" is<br />

especially significant. As the travel<br />

and tourism sector seeks sustainable<br />

solutions, this session aims to offer<br />

practical strategies for hosting ecoconscious<br />

events. For those keen on<br />

gaining deeper insights into this topic,<br />

don't miss our exclusive interview<br />

with Ian Cummings of CWT Meetings<br />

& Events, who will be moderating this<br />

panel discussion.<br />

Another focal point of today is the<br />

session on "Driving China’s Next<br />

Tourism Revolution". The Chinese<br />

tourist market is a tapestry of diverse<br />

demographics, from varying age<br />

groups and income brackets to distinct<br />

interests. But there are common<br />

threads that bind them: a penchant<br />

for popular travel destinations, a<br />

reliance on mobile payments, and<br />

an active engagement with social<br />

media. With travel restrictions in<br />

China now lifted, a surge in outbound<br />

tourism is anticipated. The pressing<br />

question is: are global destinations<br />

and businesses adequately prepared<br />

to cater to this renewed demand?<br />

This session promises an exploration<br />

of these dynamics, offering insights<br />

into how businesses can position<br />

themselves advantageously to not<br />

only meet but exceed the expectations<br />

of Chinese tourists and stay ahead in<br />

this competitive landscape.<br />

For a comprehensive view of all<br />

the sessions today, I encourage<br />

attendees to refer to our complete<br />

programme. Beyond these panels,<br />

engage with exhibitors, explore<br />

the latest in travel technology, and<br />

network with peers. With <strong>ITB</strong> Asia,<br />

MICE Show Asia, and Travel Tech<br />

Asia all happening simultaneously,<br />

the potential for collaboration and<br />

discovery is immense.<br />

Let's approach today with curiosity<br />

and enthusiasm. Here's to another<br />

day of learning, networking, and<br />

paving the way for the future of travel<br />

and tourism!<br />

Need to<br />

advertise<br />

during the<br />

show?<br />

You still can!<br />

Would you like to<br />

strengthen your brand's<br />

presence at the show?<br />

Book your advertising or<br />

advertorial space in <strong>ITB</strong><br />

Asia News.<br />

We'd be happy to<br />

discuss opportunities<br />

with you.<br />

Give us a call at<br />

+33 7 66 66 80 30.<br />

We'll help you increase<br />

your brand awareness in<br />

the tourism industry!<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> is a CLEVERDIS Publication<br />

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<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> 3

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

Rakuten Travel Xchange makes<br />

its debut at <strong>ITB</strong> Asia <strong>2023</strong><br />

Rakuten Group, a global conglomerate known<br />

for its diverse portfolio spanning e-commerce,<br />

digital content, communication and fintech,<br />

is no stranger to innovation. With 1.7 billion<br />

members worldwide, the brand has made<br />

a name for itself in the annals of global<br />

business. This year, visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Asia will<br />

have the opportunity to discover Rakuten<br />

Travel Xchange (RTX), the accommodation<br />

wholesale and travel technology division of<br />

the Rakuten Group.<br />

RTX boats an impressive network that<br />

includes nearly 700,000 unique hotel and<br />

vacation rental properties. This network is<br />

further bolstered by 20,000 directly contracted<br />

properties spread across 200 countries.<br />

Partnerships with renowned hotel chains,<br />

wholesalers, channel managers and leading<br />

online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide are<br />

further enhancing RTX's global footprint.<br />

What really sets RTX apart according to<br />

the brand is its unwavering commitment to<br />

streamlining operations for travel retailers.<br />

Whether it is through a single API connection<br />

or the user-friendly Travel Agent Portal, RTX<br />

aims to ensure that businesses can manage<br />

their entire hotel inventory with ease. Gone<br />

are the days of juggling multiple, resourceintensive<br />

integrations with various suppliers.<br />

RTX's deep roots in Asia and significant<br />

presence on the Japanese travel market help<br />

solidify its position in the industry<br />

STAND T 154<br />

"Breakfast in the Wild":<br />

A sustainable encounter with wildlife<br />

Mandai Wildlife Reserve is exhibiting at <strong>ITB</strong><br />

Asia this year, and proudly claims that every<br />

visit to their parks "comes with conservation<br />

included." A portion of Mandai’s revenue<br />

is committed to protecting wildlife and<br />

supporting conservation projects in Singapore<br />

and the region, and a number of their<br />

activities and programmes include education<br />

surrounding the protection of wildlife and the<br />

environment.<br />

suggests visitors take a break from eating and<br />

come and see the orangutan first as he comes<br />

down to enjoy some bananas but is free to<br />

leave at any time. A professional photographer<br />

is also present at "Breakfast in the Wild" to<br />

give visitors the opportunity to purchase<br />

photos with the animals<br />

STAND T 154<br />

Mandai's "Breakfast in the Wild", for example,<br />

gives diners a chance to meet some of the<br />

zoo's animals while instilling a sense of respect<br />

for wildlife. The activity runs from 9:00a.m. to<br />

10:30a.m. in the rainforest zoo and visitors get<br />

a chance to spend time with animals from<br />

9:30a.m. to 10:00a.m. after enjoying a hearty<br />

breakfast made up of local and international<br />

dishes. The zoo's wildlife ambassadors<br />

introduce the animals to guests, along with<br />

a number of ground rules. Visitors must wash<br />

their hands, leave their food at their table<br />

and queue in an orderly manner so as not<br />

to frighten or startle the animals. The wildlife<br />

ambassador who works with the orangutans<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> 5

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

NEOM to launch yacht repair<br />

centre on the Red Sea<br />

Content proudly provided by SAFE.<br />

The ultimate source of information when it<br />

comes to luxury travel & tourism in Saudi Arabia<br />

NEOM and the super-yacht maintenance company, MB92<br />

Group, announced in September a partnership to establish a<br />

10,000 m2 repair facility for yachts. The facility will be based<br />

in Sindalah, NEOM’s luxury island and yachting destination in<br />

the Saudi Arabian Red Sea.<br />

The partnership aligns with the<br />

imminent opening of Sindalah in 2024<br />

and will be the first of several yacht<br />

repair centres in NEOM, responding<br />

to an anticipated growth of visiting<br />

and resident yachts.<br />

The centre mirrors NEOM’s vision<br />

of becoming a maritime destination.<br />

Yacht owners in the Red Sea will be<br />

able to enjoy the expertise of MB92<br />

Group for intricate repair demands.<br />

Both partners are committed to<br />

offering dependable, efficient and<br />

sustainable solutions.<br />

NEOM’s Chief Urban Planning and<br />

Islands Officer, Antoni Vives, said:<br />

“Teaming up with MB92 Group<br />

reflects our commitment to becoming<br />

a distinctive yachting destination. This<br />

venture embodies our dedication to<br />

delivering world-class infrastructure<br />

and services for yachts visiting the<br />

Red Sea."<br />

MB92 Group Chairman, Pepe García-<br />

Aubert, stated: “We are extremely<br />

excited to be a part of the remarkable<br />

NEOM project and embrace the<br />

opportunity that this partnership<br />

A new era in B2B flight<br />

ticket distribution<br />

represents. We envision this as<br />

merely the beginning of a lasting and<br />

meaningful collaboration, allowing<br />

us to provide the local yachting<br />

community with a world-class refit<br />

and repair service in this beautiful<br />

region.”<br />

The centre will commence operations<br />

with services including onboard<br />

electrical, mechanical and hydraulic<br />

system repairs. The facility will be<br />

capable of welcoming yachts of all<br />

sizes for in-water works and vessels<br />

of up to 40-metres in length for drydock<br />

operations<br />

STAND L 05<br />

Unififi Group, a technology-driven airline ticket and ancillary<br />

supplier, is presenting its approach to B2B travel distribution<br />

at <strong>ITB</strong> Asia <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

The travel sector is undergoing<br />

significant technological shifts, and<br />

Unififi Group is at the vanguard of<br />

this transformation. As a global airline<br />

ticket seller and aggregator, Unififi<br />

Group is dedicated to addressing<br />

the pressing challenges of the<br />

industry. High resource demands,<br />

cumbersome integration methods<br />

and intricate post-sales procedures<br />

have long been hurdles to overcome.<br />

Unififi's solution is an automated<br />

system designed to streamline<br />

operations and elevate the customer<br />

journey.<br />

In response to the rapid technological<br />

advancements in the travel domain,<br />

Unififi Group has delved into the<br />

potential of cutting-edge distribution<br />

technologies, innovative payment<br />

systems, and the capabilities of<br />

artificial intelligence. <strong>2023</strong> marked<br />

a pivotal year for the group as they<br />

rolled out online modules tailored for<br />

group and individualised ticketing.<br />

According to the company, this<br />

initiative empowers businesses to tap<br />

into the growing market for tailored<br />

travel solutions through Unififi's<br />

established API and agent login<br />

platform.<br />

However, the journey in B2B travel<br />

distribution is not without its<br />

challenges. It is important to strike<br />

a balance between automation and<br />

human touch and make strategic<br />

investment decisions as well as<br />

ensure the workforce is adept at<br />

leveraging new technologies. Unififi<br />

Group's strategy is multifaceted:<br />

they are keen on exploring niche<br />

markets, continuing to upgrade their<br />

technological arsenal, bringing added<br />

customer value and fostering a techaware<br />

team<br />

STAND T 157<br />

6 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> itb-asia-news.com


I<br />






AND ESG.<br />

Ian Cummings<br />

Global Head for CWT Meetings<br />

& Events<br />

“Getting together face-to-face has never<br />

been so important”<br />

Ian Cummings, Global Head for CWT Meetings & Events, an award-winning corporate<br />

meetings and events agency, spoke to <strong>ITB</strong> Asia News in an exclusive interview<br />

The Global Head discussed the challenges facing the market<br />

today and how face-to-face meetings and sustainability<br />

can go hand in hand.<br />

What are some of the challenges<br />

facing meeting and event planners<br />

on the current market? How can<br />

they navigate and overcome these<br />

obstacles?<br />

Cost pressures and availability are<br />

probably the biggest challenges<br />

facing planners at the moment.<br />

Demand from group travel, meetings,<br />

and events has rebounded sharply<br />

– there is still pent-up demand post-<br />

Covid, as well as growth in incentive<br />

travel as companies seek to motivate<br />

and reward employees. Meanwhile,<br />

volatile fuel prices, labour shortages,<br />

inflation, and capacity restrictions<br />

have also put upward pressure on<br />

prices across the whole travel and<br />

M&E supply chain. Consequently,<br />

the average daily cost per attendee<br />

for meetings and events rose 58% in<br />

2022 vs 2021, according to our annual<br />

price forecast report. This year we<br />

expect to see the cost per attendee<br />

climb a further 5.6%, followed by a 3%<br />

increase next year.<br />

Meeting and event organisers should<br />

look to start the planning process<br />

early. We are still seeing lead times<br />

for events remaining extremely short,<br />

post-pandemic. Organisers should<br />

be looking at 2024 with a 12-month<br />

planning cycle if they want to have<br />

a good choice of locations and keep<br />

prices at a reasonable level.<br />

Planners should also consider<br />

secondary cities for their events.<br />

There is growing interest in lessexplored<br />

destinations like Pattaya,<br />

Koh Samui, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang and<br />

Yogyakarta, where the crowds are<br />

smaller and there’s a greater sense of<br />

exploration, learning, wellbeing, and<br />

availability. These locations are rich in<br />

culture, diverse in their offsite activity<br />

offerings, and offer great value for<br />

money.<br />

How can companies balance the<br />

strong demand for face-to-face<br />

meetings with efforts to be more<br />

environmentally conscious?<br />

For businesses worldwide, made up<br />

of increasingly dispersed workforces<br />

and taking part in more digital<br />

interactions than ever before, getting<br />

together face-to-face has never<br />

been so important. Research from<br />

Deloitte has shown that attending<br />

conferences and industry events<br />

and building client relationships are<br />

among the biggest drivers of business<br />

travel and in-person meetings.<br />

Client acquisition and relationship<br />

building are key business goals that<br />

are not easily executed virtually.<br />

While the increase in hybrid working<br />

and adoption of video-conferencing<br />

tools have resulted in a reduction<br />

in some internal travel, we continue<br />

to see extremely strong demand for<br />

face-to-face meetings that focus on<br />

collaboration, teambuilding, employee<br />

productivity, and nurturing talent.<br />

Of course, such activities come at a<br />

cost, and with many companies now<br />

committed to net zero and slashing<br />

emissions, the focus is on how<br />

the carbon footprint of events can<br />

be reduced over time. One of the<br />

factors holding us back from taking<br />

a more comprehensive approach to<br />

sustainability in M&E has been the<br />

lack of data – but this is changing<br />

and we increasingly have more<br />

sophisticated tools to measure the<br />

environmental impact of meetings<br />

and events. For example, earlier this<br />

year we launched an M&E carbon<br />

footprint calculator that combines<br />

information on travel, meeting space,<br />

and F&B carbon consumption for<br />

corporate events, providing detailed<br />

environmental impact insights for<br />

events with up to 50,000 attendees<br />

MICE Show Asia is<br />

welcoming more than<br />

1,300 exhibitors this year,<br />

over 1,250 buyers of which<br />

30% are MICE and 30%<br />

are Corporate profiles<br />

PANEL<br />

Greener Gatherings:<br />

Low-Carbon Meetings<br />

Demand Creative Thinking<br />

Today - 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.<br />

B2, MICE Show Asia Theatre<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> 7



Best Western Premier<br />

Marvella Nha Trang<br />

The Sanctuary Resort Pattaya,<br />

BW Signature Collection by Best Western<br />

BWH Hotels embarks on an exciting era<br />

of growth in Asia<br />

<strong>2023</strong> has been a successful year for BWH Hotels, one of the leading global<br />

hospitality networks comprised of WorldHotels, Best Western Hotels & Resorts<br />

and SureStay Hotels<br />

The group successfully accelerated its expansion strategy,<br />

achieving prestigious awards and creating exceptional<br />

guest experiences across Asia.<br />

With 19 distinct brands ranging from<br />

economy to luxury, BWH Hotels is<br />

now able to meet the needs of guests<br />

and developers in every sector of<br />

the market. This diversity is driving a<br />

new era of growth for the company,<br />

focusing on a series of key strategic<br />

markets in Asia, including Thailand,<br />

Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and the<br />

Philippines.<br />





In Thailand, BWH Hotels made its<br />

debut in the popular resort town of<br />

Hua Hin, added a second hotel in<br />

Pattaya, and increased its portfolio<br />

in Bangkok with three new hotels.<br />

This reaffirmed its position as one of<br />

the Thai capital’s leading hospitality<br />

companies, with 10 properties. The<br />

rebranding of Tawa Ravadee Resort<br />

in Prachinburi as a WorldHotels<br />

Distinctive member also reflects<br />

the ability of this expanded brand<br />

collection to adapt to expectations.<br />


Japan is another key market, and BWH<br />

Hotels has celebrated three important<br />

openings. These include the country’s<br />

first BW Signature Collection by Best<br />

Western in culture-rich Kyoto, and two<br />

new WorldHotels members at Tokyo’s<br />

Haneda Airport, which added more<br />

than 1,700 keys to Japan’s busiest<br />

aviation hub.<br />





JAVA<br />

Southeast Asia’s first SureStay Studio<br />

hotel opened its doors in Clarkview,<br />

one of three new hotels in the<br />

Philippines, and Indonesia’s inaugural<br />

BW Signature Collection hotel opened<br />

in an up-and-coming area of West<br />

Java. More recently, in Vietnam, a new<br />

Best Western Premier hotel in Nha<br />

Trang joined the tourism scene in this<br />

beachfront city, including a rooftop<br />

bar overlooking the ocean.<br />

BWH Hotels’ success in <strong>2023</strong> has not<br />

gone unnoticed: the company retained<br />

its place in TTG Asia’s prestigious<br />

“Travel Hall of Fame: Best Mid-Range<br />

Hotel Brand” once again. The company<br />

also achieved the “Best Midscale<br />

Hotel Chain – Asia Pacific” title at the<br />

Travel Weekly Asia Readers’ Choice<br />

Awards for the ninth consecutive year<br />

Best Western Plus<br />

Carapace Hotel Hua Hin<br />

and has been nominated in Lifestyle +<br />

Travel Magazine and Now Travel Asia<br />

Magazine.<br />

Looking ahead, BWH Hotels will<br />

continue to expand in key cities and<br />

resort areas, as well as emerging<br />

business and leisure destinations all<br />

across Asia, aiming to become one of<br />

the region’s most loved and trusted<br />

hospitality companies<br />

STAND Q 05<br />

8 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> itb-asia-news.com


HOTELS I<br />

Banyan Tree Group<br />

focuses on well-being and<br />

sustainability at <strong>ITB</strong> Asia<br />

<strong>2023</strong><br />

Banyan Tree Group is one of the world’s leading independent,<br />

multi-branded hospitality groups, with a purpose-driven<br />

approach centred on well-being and sustainability across its<br />

portfolio of 10 global brands.<br />

Meliá Hotels International will<br />

open its first ME by Meliá Hotel<br />

in Guangzhou, China<br />

Meliá Hotels International is due to<br />

open its first ME by Meliá hotel in<br />

the Asia Pacific. Planned for 2027,<br />

ME Guangzhou will aim to take<br />

guests to a new level of hospitality.<br />

ME Guangzhou will feature 120<br />

rooms and suites, each designed<br />

to offer a luxurious haven for<br />

guests. The hotel will boast diverse<br />

dining options, including a rooftop<br />

bar as well as event spaces, a spa<br />

and a fitness centre. Last but not<br />

least, according to the company<br />

ME Guangzhou will be at the<br />

avant-garde of culture offering<br />

experiences in art, design, fashion<br />

and music<br />

STAND Q 015<br />

AN Chengdu Wenjiang<br />

AN Lang Co<br />

BT Macau<br />

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reports<br />

strong APAC performance amidst<br />

travel resurgence<br />

Banyan Tree Group's properties not<br />

only offer Asian-style luxury but<br />

also aim to provide a "Sanctuary for<br />

the Senses" for travellers seeking<br />

ecological and cultural experiences as<br />

well as a connection with exceptional<br />

destinations.<br />

The group counts 10 global brands<br />

with over 70 hotels and resorts in 23<br />

countries, as well as residences, spas<br />

and galleries. It encompasses Banyan<br />

Tree, Angsana, Cassia, Dhawa, Folio,<br />

Garrya, Homm and Laguna as well as<br />

two Banyan Tree extensions Banyan<br />

Tree Escape and Banyan Tree Veya.<br />

According to the the group, its core<br />

pillars of well-being and sustainability<br />

have been the Banyan Tree mantra<br />

since its inception and they shape<br />

the group's brands, products, and<br />

signature offerings. Banyan Tree<br />

Group is also working to become<br />

more sustainable. One of the group's<br />

initiatives was to plant thousands of<br />

trees, bringing life back into a stagnant<br />

lagoon and remediating an abandoned<br />

tin mine in a luxury integrated resort.<br />

All Banyan Tree brands aim to share<br />

the same purposeful travel experience<br />

of connecting guests with themselves<br />

and nature.<br />

Banyan Tree Group is continuing<br />

to develop. In <strong>2023</strong>, the group<br />

inaugurated the Angsana and the<br />

Dhawa Ho Tram in Vietnam as well as<br />

the Folio Sakura Shinsaibashi Osaka<br />

and Homm Stay Yumiha Okinawa<br />

in Japan and the Banyan Tree<br />

Dubai. Next year, Banyan Tree will<br />

open in Dongguan Songshan Lake<br />

(Guangzhou, China) while Angsana<br />

will inaugurate a property in Siem<br />

Reap, Cambodia<br />

STAND Q 027<br />

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’<br />

commitment to its OwnerFirst<br />

approach has seen notable<br />

results in the APAC region. In<br />

2022, the hotel chain experienced<br />

a 6% increase in room capacity,<br />

with 30% of these new signings<br />

attributed to repeat owners.<br />

Notably, 40% of their agreements<br />

achieved same-year signings and<br />

openings. This strong partnership<br />

Wyndham Grand Phu Quoc<br />

model contributed to a 31% rise<br />

in APAC's revenue per available<br />

room (RevPAR) in the first half of<br />

<strong>2023</strong>. As global travel resumes,<br />

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts<br />

remains proactive, liaising with<br />

industry stakeholders across<br />

various hotel tiers, from economy<br />

to upscale<br />

STAND R 015<br />

© Hero shot<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> 9




"AI revolutionises our understanding<br />

of travellers seeking unique experiences"<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Asia News spoke to Boon Sian Chai, Managing Director and Vice President,<br />

International Markets Trip.com Group, in an exclusive interview<br />

He discussed the latest consumer travel trends<br />

as well as the use of AI for creating products and<br />

content.<br />

How is traveller behaviour<br />

evolving?<br />

We observe several trends. Many<br />

tourists are exploring more off-thebeaten-track<br />

destinations, including<br />

rural tourism and untraveled<br />

destinations such as Azerbaijan,<br />

Georgia, Sri Lanka or Kenya. Private<br />

tours, with independent groups and<br />

flexible itineraries, are particularly<br />

popular. Wellness tourism is also<br />

more popular, including activities<br />

such as yoga, meditation, spa and<br />

holistic health experiences.<br />

Consumption is moving towards<br />

high-quality services and in-depth<br />

travel encounters. Staycations have<br />

surged with the desire for localised<br />

experiences. This shift towards<br />

experiential travel will become a<br />

defining feature for the years to<br />

come. Finally, sustainable travel has<br />

also emerged as another prominent<br />

trend: over 16 million individuals<br />

chose our company's low-carbon<br />

products.<br />

How is Trip.com Group attempting<br />

to adapt to travellers’ evolving<br />

needs ?<br />

We remain focused on diversifying<br />

our product and service. Our highvalue<br />

package deals offer more than<br />

8,000 high-end hotels matching<br />

customers' needs. Meanwhile, our<br />

lower-tier city penetration strategy<br />

pays off. We enhance our product<br />

coverage, pricing, and customer<br />

acquisition, which attracts many new<br />

customers. We have also invested<br />

heavily in content marketing around<br />

product and tech innovation. We<br />

upgraded our travel lists to provide<br />

customised travel recommendations,<br />

including Trip.Trends, Trip.Best<br />

and Trip.Deals. These<br />

lists deliver real-time<br />

information on the latest<br />

travel trends, prices,<br />

and top-ranked hotels,<br />

flights, and attractions.<br />

We also continually<br />

improve Trip Moments,<br />

an immersive UGC<br />

platform that connects<br />

our traveller community<br />

with recommendations,<br />

reviews and useful travel<br />

information.<br />

What role can AI play in<br />

meeting the traveller's<br />

demand for unique<br />

experiences?<br />

AI revolutionises<br />

our understanding<br />

of travellers seeking<br />

unique experiences. By<br />

fundamentally reshaping<br />

our societal behaviours<br />

and perceptions, AI is<br />

driving us to explore new<br />

avenues of customer<br />

engagement, both in pre- and<br />

post-booking searches. Thanks to AI<br />

technology, we now have the ability<br />

to glean insights from travellers that<br />

pave the way for smarter and more<br />

accurate solutions. Our AI-powered<br />

travel assistant, TripGenie, fosters<br />

authentic conversations, yielding a<br />

wealth of information about each<br />

traveller. In an ideal scenario, our<br />

vision is to use AI to provide each<br />

of our customers with a uniquely<br />

tailored solution.<br />

What innovations is Trip.com Group<br />

looking to invest in the future?<br />

It is key to understand that individual<br />

travellers have their own demands<br />











and behaviourial patterns, seeking<br />

efficient and personalised solutions<br />

to plan their trips. We have been<br />

establishing an infrastructure of AIgenerated<br />

content production to<br />

enhance our content quality and<br />

improve efficiency. In the future, we<br />

will continue to invest in and develop<br />

the latest tools to ultimately improve<br />

the booking experience for both our<br />

customers and partners. We envision<br />

integrating the AI assistant TripGenie<br />

with voice-activated devices like<br />

smart speakers and voice recognition<br />

technology to create a more natural<br />

and user-friendly experience<br />

STAND T 090<br />






The rise of social media and digital<br />

wallets has reshaped consumer<br />

behaviour, making them contentsavvy.<br />

Their behaviour and<br />

preferences are heavily dependent<br />

on recommendations and trends<br />

online. Content marketing is one of<br />

the most effective ways to capture<br />

this emerging demand.<br />

Trip Moments Community, a UGC<br />

platform of Trip.com has seen the<br />

number of global community<br />

members posting content increase<br />

by 287% YoY. Engaged by 35% of<br />

app users, the platform attracts and<br />

retains users and influencers: 22%<br />

of them book a product within just<br />

a month.<br />

Trip.com Group has also established<br />

an infrastructure for AI-generated<br />

content production. This initiative<br />

enriches advertising creatives with<br />

AIGC elements, and is a supplement<br />

to a content creation pipeline for<br />

enhanced quality and efficiency.<br />

One of Trip.com Group's latest<br />

content initiatives is a curated series<br />

of travel lists, which are driving<br />

substantial business growth.<br />

While online travel agencies have<br />

traditionally served as transaction<br />

platforms for travel products, Trip.<br />

com Group recognises a burgeoning<br />

opportunity for a distinct ecosystem<br />

with an all-in-one-app. It facilitates<br />

product and service purchases, but<br />

also serves as a recommendation<br />

hub for customers<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> 11



MICE I<br />

Convention Center<br />

Ulsan, a city blending industry<br />

and MICE activities<br />

Already known as an economic hub in South Korea, Ulsan is now looking<br />

to establish itself as an obvious choice for MICE activities<br />

The city is presenting its infrastructure and various MICE<br />

products at <strong>ITB</strong> Asia this year.<br />

Ulsan is South Korea's seventhlargest<br />

metropolis with over a million<br />

people living there. The city is located<br />

in the south-east of the country, is<br />

a major port, and is considered<br />

the industrial powerhouse of<br />

South Korea, particularly with the<br />

presence of one of the world's<br />

largest automobile assembly plants,<br />

operated by the Hyundai Motor<br />

Company. Ulsan, the economic hub<br />

of Korea, is a city that has achieved<br />

a rare level of rapid economic<br />

growth. The metropolis is not only<br />

a stronghold of the automobile<br />

industry, it is also a leading location<br />

for the petrochemical industry,<br />

renewable energy and shipbuilding<br />

activities.<br />

Ulsan is well connected to the rest<br />

of South Korea by air as well as<br />

high-speed train. Travellers can get<br />

from Seoul to Ulsan by high speed<br />

train in just two hour and it is even<br />

faster from other MICE cities, like<br />

20mins from Busan and 10mins from<br />

Gyeongju.<br />

Thanks to its strong economic<br />

background, Ulsan is a new<br />

destination for MICE tourism in<br />

South Korea. The city administration<br />

is now concentrating its efforts to<br />

promote Ulsan as a unique MICE<br />

city, attracting the market with its<br />

infrastructure as well as its history<br />

and culture.<br />






The Bangu-dae Petroglyphs<br />

were listed on the tentative list of<br />

UNESCO World Heritage Sites.<br />

Whales are one of the main animals<br />

the petroglyphs represent as the<br />

area carries the legacy of one of the<br />

world's first whaling industries. Ulsan<br />

is the only city in Korea where real<br />

whales can be observed. There is a<br />

dedicated museum in Jangsaengpo<br />

as well as various whale-themed<br />

activities.<br />




Ulsan recently launched a tour<br />

programme for MICE participants<br />

which highlights the city's industrial<br />

heritage. Participants can visit<br />

Hyundai Motor's Ulsan plant, where<br />

an average of 6,000 cars a day and<br />

1.4 million cars a year are completed<br />

on site, while over thousands of<br />

cars are lined up to be exported on<br />

a 60,000-tonne-plus dedicated car<br />

ship. This tour aims to give visitors a<br />

demonstration of Korea's technical<br />

skill.<br />

As Ulsan is Korea's number one<br />

petrochemical producer with<br />

€75.5 billion in revenue from 292<br />

companies. Travellers can learn<br />

about the sector by visiting various<br />

promotional centres that provide<br />

an overview of the petrochemical<br />

industry.<br />

Ulsan is also known for shipbuilding<br />

and is home to the world's fifth<br />

largest shipbuilder, Hyundai<br />

Heavy Industries & Hyundai<br />

Mipo Shipbuilding. MICE groups can<br />

visit sites and see workers building<br />

various ships, including giant<br />

container ships<br />

STAND J 05<br />



CITY<br />

The rapid growth of industrial<br />

development has long been linked<br />

to environmental pollution. However,<br />

in the last 20 years, Ulsan has taken<br />

major environmental improvement<br />

actions. For example, Taehwa River,<br />

which flows through Ulsan centre,<br />

has been recognised as the second<br />

national garden of Korea. Today it is<br />

an eco-friendly park where nature<br />

and people coexist. Visitors can<br />

observe salmon and various types of<br />

fish in the river as well as thousands<br />

of crows and the Milky Way path<br />

made up of bamboo forest<br />



CENTRE<br />

Ulsan inaugurated its Exhibition and<br />

Convention Centre (UECO) in 2021.<br />

The multi-functional complex can<br />

accommodate diverse exhibitions,<br />

international conferences, seminars<br />

and cultural performances with a<br />

surface area of 43,000 sqm and<br />

a capacity of 1,400 delegates for<br />

its convention hall. Ulsan also<br />

established the MICE Alliance<br />

cooperation system to foster MICE<br />

activities<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> 13


© Zoran Jelaca/CNTB<br />


ON DISPLAY AT <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

With direct access from many major European airports<br />

such as Helsinki, Schiphol and Frankfurt, Norway has<br />

become a popular destination for international tourists.<br />

Visit Norway is exhibiting at <strong>ITB</strong> Asia this year, looking<br />

to attract travellers with their unique landscapes,<br />

adventure tourism and culinary experiences.<br />

Houses at Gacka River<br />

Discovering rural Croatia<br />

at <strong>ITB</strong> Asia <strong>2023</strong><br />

This year, Croatia is inviting visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Asia to discover<br />

its landscapes and rural charm. Over 90% of its land is rural,<br />

encompassing 8 national parks and 12 nature parks, some of<br />

them UNESCO-protected. These regions offer travellers a range<br />

of options from adrenaline-filled parks to authentic Croatian<br />

homesteads.<br />

The rising trend is clear: travellers are<br />

seeking the natural parts of Croatia.<br />

They want wholesome food, artisanal<br />

products, clean environments, and a<br />

journey into the unknown. Croatian<br />

villages, rich in tradition, offer<br />

experiences that are both unique and<br />

deeply rooted in history, with culinary<br />

recipes passed down for generations.<br />

Croatia's rural spaces try to offer<br />

something for everyone, whether<br />

travellers are looking for family<br />

activities, a romantic retreat, or a<br />

road-trip among friends. Adventurous<br />

activities range from rafting and<br />

kayaking to horseback riding, while<br />

cyclists can enjoy four EuroVelo<br />

routes and various local trails. For<br />

those looking for something calmer,<br />

there are lots of options for hiking or<br />

simply picnicking outdoors.<br />

Accommodation in Croatia is a blend of<br />

tradition and modernity. Stay options<br />

include traditional village homes,<br />

adventure-centric facilities, farm stays<br />

and luxury villas. Sustainability is a<br />

core focus for the country, as ensuring<br />

Croatia's landscapes and heritage<br />

remain intact for future visitors is a<br />

priority<br />

STAND P 029<br />

One of the ways travellers can<br />

experience Norway is by train. The<br />

Flåm Railway and Bergen Line<br />

offer views of valleys, plateaus,<br />

and the vast Hardangervidda<br />

National Park. The journey from<br />

the mountainous Myrdal station<br />

down to the fjord village of Flåm<br />

is a visual treat, and travellers can<br />

go sightseeing on award-winning<br />

electrical boats in the Sognefjord.<br />

From hiking to the Pulpit Rock<br />

in Lysefjord to kayaking in the<br />

UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord,<br />

travellers can experience unique<br />

landscapes firsthand. The city<br />

of Bergen, aptly termed the<br />

"Gateway to the Fjords," is<br />

a strategic starting point for<br />

Aurland in Sognefjord<br />

adventurous travellers, nestled<br />

amidst seven mountains and<br />

coastal landscapes. Tromsø, the<br />

largest city in Northern Norway,<br />

offers Arctic adventures, from<br />

husky sled rides to the Arctic<br />

Cathedral.<br />

Norwegian cuisine celebrates<br />

seafood, with an emphasis on<br />

fresh, local ingredients. Other<br />

typical fare includes crisp waffles<br />

topped with local jams or the<br />

distinct brown cheese. Norwegian<br />

cuisine is known for being quite<br />

health-conscious, and visitors can<br />

expect dining that is both a tasty<br />

and nutritious experience<br />

STAND M 016<br />

© www.fjordnorway<br />

14 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> itb-asia-news.com


I REGION I<br />

<strong>ASIA</strong> I<br />

© Pramuka<br />

Jakarta offers MICE travellers opportunities<br />

for entertainment and relaxation<br />

The MICE industry in Jakarta not only plays an<br />

important role in business, but also has a positive<br />

impact on recreation and entertainment in the city.<br />

MICE activities are attracting travellers from both the<br />

archipelago and abroad to Jakarta.<br />

Head of Jakarta Tourism and<br />

Creative Economy Department,<br />

Andhika Permata, says that<br />

holding international events such<br />

as The Meeting of Governors<br />

and Mayors of ASEAN Capitals<br />

(MGMAC) and the ASEAN Major<br />

Forum (AMF), as well as the 43rd<br />

ASEAN Summit in <strong>2023</strong>, is clear<br />

proof that Jakarta is recognised<br />

by the world as a MICE city.<br />

"When MICE activities in Jakarta<br />

increase, not only will the<br />

business aspect increase, but<br />

this will have a positive impact on<br />

the recreation and entertainment<br />

aspects. In principle, MICE is<br />

able to attract participants to<br />

come to Jakarta and explore<br />

all destinations and facilities in<br />

Jakarta," he explains.<br />

Jakarta's combined tourism<br />

strategy is based on the fact that<br />

international business people will<br />

also feel relaxed and enjoy all the<br />

entertainment Jakarta has to offer<br />

as well. The goal is to become<br />

a tourism destination and one<br />

of the most important cities<br />

for MICE in the Asian region.<br />

Jakarta's slogan "Jakarta, the<br />

Heart of MICE" reflects the city's<br />

expectation to become a new<br />

MICE city that offers business<br />

and investment opportunities<br />

through conferences and trade<br />

exhibitions.<br />

As a megacity, Jakarta<br />

frequently accommodates<br />

foreign diplomatic missions<br />

and international representative<br />

offices meaning that they are<br />

accustomed to applying high<br />

security standards to ensure the<br />

safety and comfort of residents<br />

and visitors.<br />

According to the data from 2019<br />

before the pandemic, Indonesia<br />

succeeded in presenting more<br />

than 300 exhibitions, 64 percent<br />

of which were held in Jakarta.<br />

This means that more than half of<br />

the events in Indonesia were held<br />

in Jakarta. Based on data from<br />

the Association of Indonesian<br />

Exhibition Companies (IECA), in<br />

<strong>2023</strong> 178 exhibitions are being<br />

held in Indonesia. Of the total<br />

exhibitions, 129 are in Jakarta.<br />

The estimated transaction<br />

turnover from all exhibitions<br />

reaches more than IDR 150<br />

trillion.<br />

To strengthen MICE activities,<br />

Jakarta has added a number<br />

of venues to accommodate<br />

all national and international<br />

business activities. Currently,<br />

new investments have been<br />

made in international standard<br />

hotels, convention centres,<br />

exhibitions, sports centres and<br />

international standard hospitals.<br />

Jakarta Tourism and Creative<br />

Economy Department is<br />

optimistic and working towards<br />

its commitment to become the<br />

heart of MICE in Indonesia and<br />

around the world<br />

STAND L 033<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>ASIA</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 26 OCTOBER <strong>2023</strong> 15

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