This coming March the Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2007 is returning to Singapore. A selection of the most highly qualified speakers from the most trusted worldwide travel brands, will meet to discuss the opportunities and challenges of this evolving market. Companies represented include: Expedia, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Blue, Shangri La Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Continental Airlines, MakeMyTrip.com, Abacus, Travelport, Europcar, Yahoo!, Zuji, SpiceJet and many more.

It is widely accepted that the Asia Pacific region is the world’s most dynamic travel market, growing by an impressive 31.4% in 2005. The freeing up of travel regulations which had previously hindered the region’s growth, is moving the industry forward at an unprecedented rate. Greater consumer buying power has given rise to a huge increase in the number of travel suppliers and choices offered. Major travel solution providers, aware of the enormous potential, are acting swiftly to ensure that they are first in to stake their claim on the market. This surge in competition has meant the importance of a well packaged, distributed and marketed product is essential to remaining competitive.

The first day opens with an essential look at the changing face of distribution in Asia. Most of the region’s major players will be there, including Travelport, Abacus, and Sabre. If previous years are anything to go by, this promises to be an informative cross-section of opinions with an in-depth insight into the future direction of product distribution.

Continuing on throughout the day the focus shifts to low cost carriers and the impact this influential phenomenon has had in Asia this past year. The speed at which the market is developing can be attributed in part to the rise in penetration of budget carriers, where a 4% increase in market share last year speaks for itself. Sharing their views on the opportunities and threats this creates are some of the more successful new entrants in the industry, including GoAir, Nok Air and SpiceJet.

The second day sees a detailed evaluation of the changing relationship between intermediary sales, and the increasingly popular use of direct sales. The Asian market has been handicapped by the difficulty of prying consumers away from trusted traditional booking methods, to online systems. Until now progress has been slow, however things are rapidly changing as suppliers find new and innovative ways of encouraging online adoption. Hear the developing trends and future predictions from industry leaders Expedia, Millennium Copthorne, and Continental Airlines.

Although learning from its predecessors Europe and North America, Asia has its own very unique set of hurdles to overcome to fulfill its massive potential. ‘Asia’ has become the current travel buzz word, and the high level of Asia-focused discussion at the recent WTM is proof of this. To close out the two days of the conference, other topics being covered include sales and marketing, revenue management and new market studies focusing on the huge emerging markets of China and India.

Related Link: Travel Distribution Summit Asia 2007