FOXTROTS

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

May 8 2010

 

Differences. ITB Asia and Singapore Tourism Board.

 

R

AIMUND Hosch, CEO of Messe Berlin (which runs the ITB travel exhibitions in Berlin and Singapore) is refreshingly frank. The Fox talked to him recently about MB’s expansion into Singapore.

This is MB’s second move into Asia – although it now tries to separate itself from the first, called ITA, starting in 1999. It ran three years before being dropped.

In 2008, Hosch told The Fox that he was expecting 1000 exhibitors for the Singapore-based ITB Asia 2009 (ITBA), which would require a second hall at the venue. The exhibitor count in 2008 was 651, but its second show, last October, actually counted just 679.

Given the economic circumstances at the time, and during 2009, that could be considered a good result, particularly as Hosch said there was no discounting of booth rates. However, I presume there were other incentives that in good times would have been charged, but for 2009, charges were waived. However, I have no evidence of this.

Some other comments from Hosch (which may be paraphrased, answers to my questions, and which may be out of context in the absence of additional comment):

[] We hope there will a 20% increase in exhibitors for this year’s ITB Asia. [To about 815.]

[] The Singapore Tourism Board did not pay more to support ITBA 2009 but did increase help. [Separately, STB’s deputy head said categorically and contradictorily that the STB had “increased funding” to ITBA.]

[] We told STB that we needed more help in getting exhibitors and they did not really help so much in 2008, [so we pushed them more], particularly in the case of provinces in China.

[] China was upset that we chose to hold ITBA in Singapore and not in Beijing. [That may explain the near-total absence of China at ITBA.]

[] But also we have other influences. In Berlin, we have the biggest consumer electrics show and the organisers want to find a location to run a regional version in Asia. They do not want to go to China, Japan, or Korea because of various conflicts. So Singapore could get this.

[] The agreement with STB and Singapore is for three years, and we want to extend this to five years. But other destinations want to attract the show, particularly Hong Kong – because that is where the first ITB show was held in Asia.

 

[] [A ‘country partner’ for ITB Berlin pays Messe Berlin about €1mn, US$1.5mn. Partners in recent years have included India. The deal for ITBA will be different, and cost less. Messe Berlin is talking to Korea about sponsorship of this year’s ITBA.]

The Fox

 

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