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Asian travel leadership takes centre stage as top Indian travel leaders gather at the India Travel Forum to share valuable insights on online trends and issues key to the travel and tourism industry

MUMBAI, 27 AUGUST 2013: The fourth edition of TravelRave, Asia’s most influential travel and tourism festival, returns from 21 to 25 October 2013 in Singapore, with eight quality events across related sectors from hospitality and tourism investment, to technology and aviation. The latest addition to the TravelRave calendar includes the inaugural Union of International Associations (UIA) Associations Round Table Asia which will showcase a curated programme for an international audience with a focus on the Asian associations’ perspective.

For the travel and tourism industry, the focus is on Asia as a rapidly growing region that is progressively reshaping the global tourism landscape. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the combined GDP of China and India is projected to exceed that of the G7 countries by 2025 while two out of every five travellers are expected to be Asian and will account for nearly half of global tourism expenditure by 2020.¹ According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), international visitor arrivals to the Asia Pacific region registered the strongest growth worldwide – a year-on-year increase of six per cent over the first four months of 2013.

With a strong line-up of events featuring relevant Asia-focused content taking place throughout the week, TravelRave serves as an integrated platform that provides attendees access to valuable insights and best practices in the region. By gathering industry professionals and business leaders from the entire spectrum of the Asian travel and tourism industry, TravelRave generates strategic networking and business opportunities while setting the stage for potential collaboration on important areas of growth.

 “Since the launch of TravelRave in 2010, we have witnessed thought-provoking discussions among Asia’s travel leaders from diverse backgrounds on the future of the travel and tourism industry,” comments Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). “Such platforms add to the breadth and depth of accessible content, while providing channels of active dialogue among the industry. This enables the cross-pollination of new and innovative ideas which has resulted in collaboration to look into issues such as talent and leadership development in Asia. We are happy to stage the India Travel Forum ahead of TravelRave, gathering thought leaders in the industry to share valuable business and consumer insights on the Indian market.”

With the international spotlight on Asia’s emerging economies, TravelRave 2013 will see high profile speakers from India sharing their views on pertinent topics. Mr Amit Saberwal, Chief Operating Officer (International), MakeMyTrip will be speaking at a Web in Travel (WIT) panel discussion on “Trends Changing Travel And Asia”; and Mr Aniruddha Sinha, Chief Information Officer (CIO) Air India will be speaking at an Aviation Outlook Asia CIO’s panel titled “Which technologies will unleash airline growth?”

Another highlight is the Asia Travel Leaders Summit (ATLS), a thought leadership platform that gathers decisions makers and opinion leaders across the Asian travel and tourism industry to exchange insights on the latest trends, and spearhead greater engagement on key issues confronting the industry. Prominent ATLS delegates from India include Mr Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO of MakeMyTrip, Ms Priya Paul, Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, and Mr Madhavan Menon, Managing Director of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

Mr Menon was also in a panel of Indian travel leaders who spoke at the India Travel Forum today. Hosted by STB, the Travel Forum took place ahead of TravelRave’s thought leadership platform, and featured eminent leaders who shared insights and knowledge on the topic “Online Travel Trends in India - Crossing the Technology Edge to Drive Business Growth”. Other panellists included Mr Stuart Crighton, Co-Founder and CEO of Cleartrip, Mr Rajeev Wagle, Managing Director of Kuoni India, Mr Mohit Gupta, Chief Business Officer of Holidays, MakeMyTrip, and Ms Lachmandas who moderated the discussion. The discussion explored the role of digital technology in shaping consumer behaviour as well as the impact on Indian travel companies as businesses continue to innovate and explore ways to leverage digital platforms in order to drive growth.

The subject of technology will also feature strongly at TravelRave 2013 events like Web in Travel (WIT) and Hotel Technology Conference as well as panel sessions such as those within the “Innovation in Aviation” section under Aviation Outlook Asia. In addition, the National Association of Travel Agents (NATAS) Travel Conference 2013 at ITB Asia will include a presentation on “Growing Sales Opportunities Harnessing Technology” by Mr Brett Henry of Abacus International Pte Ltd.

“As delegates become more selective in the types of events they attend, one of the challenges is to attract and develop events that offer original and value-added content. TravelRave 2013 is a showcase of the burgeoning opportunities and growing potential of Asia as a travel and tourism destination where attendees can look forward to the opportunity to learn and connect with some of the leading names in the industry,” adds Ms Lachmandas.

“Beyond the events, visitors can select from a unique concentration of different leisure experiences to meet their specific needs and enhance their business trips, from distinctive local cultures and dining options, to a vibrant arts scene and events like Singapore Biennale 2013 – the fourth edition of Singapore’s premiere contemporary art exhibition. In doing so, they can create for themselves a personalised and holistic experience of Singapore.”

¹Sources: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and EIU, BCG analysis in Consumer Insights: Profiling the Asian Middle and Affluent Traveller, a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Asia Travel Leaders Summit, 2012



About TravelRave

TravelRave, Asia’s most influential travel trade festival, will be back from 21 to 25 October 2013 with an exciting line up of eight quality events featuring thought-provoking content, influential speakers and the chance to network with some of the leading names in the travel and tourism industry. Set in a region primed for growth, last year’s events gathered more than 10,700 attendees from across the globe. Leveraging Asia’s growing potential, TravelRave 2013 provides a dynamic platform for business leaders and industry professionals to convene, share knowledge and insights, network and discover new business opportunities and celebrate Asian tourism at its best.

About the Singapore Tourism Board (STB)

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is a leading economic development agency in tourism, one of Singapore’s key service sectors. Known for partnership, innovation and excellence, STB champions tourism, making it a key economic driver for Singapore. The STB aims to differentiate and market Singapore as a must-visit destination offering a concentration of user-centric and enriching experiences through the “YourSingapore” brand. For more information, please visit www.stb.gov.sg or www.yoursingapore.com.

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