|TravelRave unveils significant industry insights.|
Tuesday, 30th October 2012
Source : TravelRave
New research and content affirm buoyant opportunities in growing Asian tourism industry.
TravelRave concluded Friday 19 October with fresh and industry-shaping insights emerging from the many fruitful discussions among Asia’s prominent travel and tourism leaders.
A 5-day festival comprising eight travel trade events, TravelRave kicked off with the Singapore Experience Awards and Web in Travel Bootcamp on Monday 15 October and concluded with ITB Asia on Friday 19 October.
This third edition of the festival welcomed more than 10,700 attendees, a record attendance that represents a 12 per cent growth over 2011.
Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said, “The insights shared at this year’s show will catalyse new business opportunities and pave the way for sustainable growth in the Asian travel and tourism industry. TravelRave has once again proven to be a valuable platform to generate dialogue and collaborations that will have a momentum beyond the festival.”
Opportunities presented by Asia’s Middle Affluent Consumers
This year’s Asia Travel Leaders Summit (ATLS), an intimate, two-way conversation among eminent business leaders with strong interests in the development of Asia’s travel and tourism industry, delved deeper into the Asian Middle Affluent Consumer (MAC), with a focus on those in China, India and Indonesia.
A joint study by STB, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Visa, Summit partner for ATLS, revealed that by 2020, nearly 70 per cent of Asian outbound travel spend will be generated by Chinese, Indian and Indonesian travellers, accounting for USD 425 billion in total spend. MACs in China, India and Indonesia are estimated to contribute USD 300 billion in outbound travel spend by 2020.The Chinese MACs alone will spend more on outbound travel in 2020 than all North American travellers combined.
The study also revealed nuances in travel planning and consumption behaviour amongst the Chinese, Indian and Indonesian MACs. Armed with this insight, leaders could now identify potential areas of collaboration to leverage the manifold opportunities presented by the multi-faceted Asian MAC traveller. Leaders also recognised certain business implications such as the necessity of re-thinking traditional business models and distribution channels, and brainstormed collectively on more effective solutions to better serve this fast rising segment.
“The third Asian Travel Leaders’ Summit created a valuable forum that will lead to a continuing dialogue amongst attendees on key issues and opportunities facing the industry. The overall themes of the Summit reinforced that organizations will need to adapt at speed to meet changing needs of consumers and staff – both through understanding of the consumer purchase decision path of key segments, and also commitment to develop staff. These themes will focus the ongoing engagement and collaboration of the CEOs who attended the Summit and Visa’s ongoing commitment to support further development of the Summit themes though data, insights and active participation,” said Ross Jackson, Head of Cross Border Business for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa.
Investing in talent and leadership development
In addition to discussing opportunities, leaders at the Summit engaged in candid dialogues to address the challenges of leadership development and talent retention. Leaders acknowledged that companies have not grown their organizational capabilities quickly enough to cater to the rapidly evolving demands and new segments in Asia’s tourism industry.
Along with an expected shortfall of eight million tourism jobs in Asia in the next 10 years¹, the talent crunch is expected to be most acute at the managerial levels. For example, the supply of hotel managers in 2021 is expected to meet less than half of expected market demand. In short, businesses need to start accelerating the development of next-generation leaders now to support future business growth.
These views were reiterated at the first ever media roundtable session held after the Summit and featured Mr Budi Tirtawisata, CEO, Panorama Group; Mr Deepak Ohri, CEO, Lebua Hotels; Mr Ross Jackson, Head of Cross-Border Business for Visa in Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Ms Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive at STB. In addition to sharing the excerpts from the Summit, the group also discussed the importance of mentoring and investing time in younger employees, cross-cultural training for an increasingly diverse workforce, and shifting the mindsets of employers to better understand the new generation of potential leaders.
There was also unanimous agreement by the leaders on the abundance of opportunities to work together to achieve sustainable growth for Asia’s tourism future. Said Chen Rong, CEO of China International Travel Service (CITs), one of the key leaders at the Summit, “I found the Asia Travel Leaders Summit (ATLS) to be extremely meaningful. It is a perfect platform for Asian industry leaders to exchange views and this is especially important to the China enterprises as China increasingly integrates into the global economy. The topics discussed were forward looking and the discussion on these pertinent issues will certainly be helpful to our future growth and development. I look forward to being part of the conversation next year.”
Shaping the future of tourism in Asia
Trends on Asia formed a recurrent theme over at ITB Asia, TravelRave’s anchor tradeshow. The fifth edition of the three-day trade show included its largest conference programme to date. It had on board new partners like World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), BBC, Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), MCI, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and Mix Magazine delivering panel discussions and new trends with a focus on Asia.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), STB and ITB Asia also joined hands for an inaugural panel debate on the future growth of tourism in Asia. Titled ‘Looking into Tourism in Asia in 2030’, the debate focused on tourism trends towards 2030. According to UNWTO’s findings, international tourist arrivals will reach 1.8 billion in 2030, with Asia Pacific accounting for 535 million, about 30 per cent of total arrivals. The panel saw leaders exchanging knowledge and expertise, providing useful insights that enabled businesses to take advantage of the long term trends identified, and understand the implications of technology on travel behaviour.
The expected rise in intra-regional travel will continue to shape the face of the evolving consumer profile in Asia, presenting new opportunities for organisations in terms of employee diversity. CNBC’s Travel Business Leader Award Asia Pacific 2012 recipient, Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, highlighted that the highly diverse Asian market would prompt businesses to adapt their operational models and service solutions to cater to the emerging class of Asian consumers.
Deepak Ohri, CEO of Lebua Hotels, added, “It has been a fruitful week. I learnt a lot, particularly from the Asian-focused insights that were shared across the various TravelRave events. I believe that TravelRave will continue to grow into the leading travel trade festival for the region.”
Tourism investment opportunities in Asia
At the Tourism Destination Investment Conference Asia (TDI Asia), the hosted country dialogue series helped businesses explore opportunities in the growth markets of China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Each session featured a panel of country experts to provide up-to-date information and insights on key areas affecting investment decisions, as well as successful cases and experiences.
Cruise tourism was repeatedly identified as a segment with growing potential. With the opening of the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS), which will provide the region a much needed boost on the infrastructure front, the Asian cruising market looks set for a bright future. At a seminar and workshop organised by the Asia Cruise Association (ACA) at ITB Asia, Carolyn Kremins, Vice President & Publisher for Conde Nast Traveler, shared key learnings from the North American cruise industry boom, and how the entire industry worked together in a concerted effort to enhance the perception of cruising over the long term. The session also provided tourism enterprises useful tips on growing their business in the Asian cruise industry, including the sharing of top motivators to cruising and other insights on cruise travel behaviour.
A celebration of achievements and industry camaraderie
Singapore also managed to clinch several accolades at Thursday night’s World Travel Awards Asia, Australasia & Indian Ocean Ceremony. Held for the first time as part of TravelRave, the World Travel Awards honoured Destination Singapore with two awards: Asia's Leading City Break Destination and Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination.
In addition, Singapore’s leading brands in the travel and tourism sector took home 15 regional awards this year, almost twice the number of awards last year. Changi Airport was named Asia's Leading Airport and Singapore Airlines was named Asia’s Leading Airline” and “Asia’s Leading Airline Business Class”.
Amidst the serious conversations and conferences throughout the week, TravelRave delegates also found time to relax. The Rave On! TravelRave Party saw more than 400 delegates and industry partners networking and enjoying themselves at the annual function, hosted at Singapore’s newest attraction, Gardens by the Bay. The event brought the industry closer together and provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to forge more contacts in an informal and fun setting.
Mr Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook India, summed up his experience at TravelRave. “This is my first TravelRave experience and it was very enlightening. The challenges we face are similar, and I was able to see different perspectives, the broader global issues, and alignment on the challenges we are facing. You can’t figure it out on your own and it helps to come together to meet and learn from people who are in similar situations.”
Leveraging the continued and robust growth of the leisure and business travel industry in Asia, TravelRave, Asia's most influential travel trade festival, provides a prime platform for business leaders and professionals in the travel and tourism industry to convene, network, share knowledge and insights, discover new business opportunities and celebrate Asian tourism at its best. With world-class events, top speakers, and valuable networking opportunities, TravelRave sets the stage for collaboration and enables the industry to better harness the vast growth potential presented in the region. For more information, please visit www.travelrave.sg
About the Singapore Tourism Board
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. We aim 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