SINGAPORE - 2009 is being tipped as the Year of the Deal and the year that online travel in Asia will come into its own.
Online Travel Agencies operating in the region are still reporting growth in transaction volumes albeit yields are down. Low cost carriers, taking advantage of the economic downturn and trading down of consumers, are expanding and aggressively promoting cheap fares on their websites. Premium airlines such as Singapore Airlines are also pushing special fares online.
Hotel groups have joined in the fray, with exclusive online sales, group-wide discounts and value offers on their branded websites.
The depressed market conditions are forcing suppliers to become more creative and adventurous in their distribution and marketing, and all are seeking to increase their presence in the electronic channels while maintaining traditional ones.
It is against this background that WIT-Web In Travel 2009 will be held. From Oct 20-23, leaders in the travel distribution, marketing and technology industry will gather to discuss the latest trends and debate the hottest topics that are driving change in this dynamic environment.
“It will be the highest profile and most diverse gathering of experts in this field,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, Producer of WIT. “To date, we have gathered an impressive list of speakers from Japan’s Rakuten Travel and Australia’s Webjet to regional names such as Wotif, Agoda and Asiarooms and global brands like Expedia and Travelocity.
“We also have CEOs of global companies such as Banyan Tree, Accor Asia Pacific, Travelport, Abacus and Sabre represented. If you’ve got an interest in what’s new in the online travel space, WIT’s the event to be at this year.”
Held in conjunction with ITB Asia, WIT, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, will bring a touch of “Tough Love” to its programme which will cover issues such as management and leadership in difficult times and branding and marketing in the digital age and hot-button topics such as social media, search, rate parity, content, branding and mobile.
A ticket to WIT, The Main Event, also represents real value – it includes free admission to the WIT Ideas Lab at ITB Asia; ITB Asia itself; “Asia Connect” workshops by HSMAI Asia Pacific and a Business Events Forum.
Following its tradition of being innovative and interactive, WIT will embrace new technology and tools to ensure the dialogue is not one-way but multi-way.