IT&CMA 2018 will debut the region’s first-ever Asian MICE Cruise Conference on 18 September as part of the show’s 3-day business, education and networking programme.
Confirmed key opinion leaders taking the stage include Dream Cruises’ President and Crystal Cruises Asia’s Managing Director, Thatcher Brown; Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Managing Director Angie Stephen; Worldwide Cruise Associates’ Co-founder and President, Steve Bloss; Genting Cruise Lines’ Senior Vice President – International Sales, Michael Goh; Silversea Cruises’ Vice President, Corporate & Incentive sales, Freddy Muller; and Princess Cruises’ Southeast Asia Director, Farriek Tawfik.
Kicking off IT&CMA’s education highlights on its first day, this half-day event that will run from 0830 to 1430hrs at the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld will feature a CEO Cruise panel discussion and an experts’ exchange on making the case for MICE cruises, among other sessions, as well as networking opportunities at its hosted breakfast, coffee break and luncheon.
Organisers therefore expect 400 regional MICE stakeholders relevant to the cruise sector to attend, with at least half of attendees comprising of buyers covering corporate incentive, meetings and events, incentive trips, luxury travel, associations and academics. Hotels, resorts, airlines, destination management companies, government representatives from national tourism organisations, convention visitor bureaus and ports, and media professionals will form the remaining audience profile.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) 2017 Asia Cruise Trends, cruise capacity across all metrics (number of ships, voyages, operating days and passengers) has increased significantly since 2013 with greater uptrend expected in the foreseeable future. Asia remains at the heart of this growth with passengers from this region quadrupling over 5 years. Last year, passenger capacity was estimated at 4.24 million.
Bloss of Worldwide Cruise Associates echoes the perspective that greater exposure is needed for MICE cruises, he said, “As a collective, we strive to foster understanding of what a modern cruise ship is, and make purchasers aware of how to buy cruises while embracing cruises’ different terms and requirements. Today, there are over 55 cruise lines, some 400 ships plus 100 new ships in the pipeline. It is possible to have an unbiased all-in-one cruise shopping experience with options that extend globally.” In addition to being part of the inaugural conference’s panel, the organisation is also exhibiting under IT&CMA’s cruise cluster.
IT&CMA 2018 will be held from 18 – 20 September 2018 at the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. It is co-located with the CTW Asia-Pacific – The Leading Corporate Travel Management Conference for the Asia-Pacific.