ASEANTA launches virtual show platform

PETALING JAYA, 16 August 2021: ASEAN Tourism Association will power up promotions through quarterly virtual travel exhibitions that present the travel content of the 10-country region to travel buyers worldwide through a partnership with AI and Big Data technology firm Fusionex.

In a media statement released, 12 August, ASEANTA confirmed the alliance with Fusionexlaunch ASEANTA Travel Exchange (ATEX) virtual events with different host countries and themes.

Photo Credit: ASEANTA. Eddy Krismeidi Soemawilaga.

Together they will present the ASEANTA Travel Exchange (ATEX)  a comprehensive virtual exhibition and engagement platform to help drive inclusive business and provide greater access to new markets for thousands of travel and hospitality providers across the ASEAN region.

The Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted unprecedented disruption on the travel and tourism sector, closing borders and ending large gatherings, including traditional trade shows.

ASEANTA said ATEX would “pivot from physical to virtual space.” to improve accessibility, connection and engagement… removing restrictions of time and space by deploying virtual exhibitions, webinars and digital marketing campaigns.

“This collaboration between ASEANTA and Fusionex is a historical event – a true ASEAN partnership bringing together the combined resources of ASEAN member states, in both the public and private sector, to take tourism in the region to new levels and to firmly establish ASEAN as one of the most viable and attractive tourist destinations in the world,” explained ASEANTA president Eddy Krismeidi Soemawilaga.

Powered by Fusionex technologies, ATEX offers a suite of innovative solutions to empower ASEANTA in organizing virtual events while driving meaningful and measurable online interactions.

The platform delivers an intelligent B2B matchmaking feature that connects local enterprises with global businesses, thereby expanding market reach. Travel and tourism players can also leverage the platform’s global distribution system to conduct secure and uninterrupted business transactions.

Participants can showcase their offerings via virtual booths, facilitate pitching sessions through live streaming while the platform provides real-time reporting capabilities as well as performance monitoring and measurement features.

“Covid-19 has brought the travel and tourism sector to a halt, (but) ASEANTA demonstrates dedication to the industry by embracing digitalization to bring new avenues of progress to pave the way for the future of travel, hospitality and tourism,” said Fusionex Group CEO Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh.

“We are proud to be joining forces with ASEANTA to introduce ATEX to the region as it will play a crucial role in empowering all industry players to innovate, share, collaborate and do business — helping enterprises to cope with the pandemic and new norm for continued sustainability,”

ASEANTA’s president noted that The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) and the ASEANTA Travel Exchange (ATEX), were two separate events and platforms, each with their own focus.

“ATEX, being fully digital, is designed to be more flexible, thus allowing the industry to be more nimble in responding and adapting to the ever-changing tourism landscape, especially during these trying times. In the future we hope that ATEX will be used to support the various regional tourism initiatives,” the president explained.

While ATEX and ATF will run in parallel, plans to host the ATF 2022 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, next January remain fluid, with the host country Cambodia evaluating a possible hybrid format to run in tandem with the physical show. A final decision has yet to be made on the role of a virtual component at ATF, but if Covid-19 restrictions continue to discourage cross-border travel in ASEAN or discourage attendance by international buyers adopting a hybrid format could save the show from further postponements.

About ASEANTA

The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) is a non-profit tourism association comprising 35 members from both public and private tourism sector organizations, such as national travel associations, national hotel associations, airlines and National Tourism Organizations from ASEAN Countries. To learn more about ASEANTA, visit www.aseanta.org.