Further East 2023, an annual invited-only luxury travel trade event, has seen a 30 per cent growth in attendance as the Australasian travel market rebounds.
Now into its fourth year, the event in Bali’s Seminyak, Indonesia, welcomed 165 exhibitor stands, 75 per cent of which were repeat, and 185 international buyers, 40 per cent of which were new.
Serge Dive, founder and CEO of event owner This is Beyond, said: “It is a good demonstration of the resurgence of the Australasian market. In many ways 2023 (has been) the year the world finally opened and there is a huge desire to travel. There is also a huge desire among travel industry players to shape up.”
Dive noted that the industry has been “rebooting” themselves by evaluating the way they do business, and Further East has been able to provide a platform for them to elevate their brands and to see what the future holds for the luxury travel industry.
Participation interest in the exclusive event is up, but the organising team maintains high standards in the qualifying process, according to Dive.
Sophia Asghar, project manager of Further East, said she had received a lot more interest from industry members to join the event this year, thanks to the success of last year’s event, which was held just after borders started to reopen.
Dive said: “We need to make sure that Sophia and the team are finding only the very best buyers and sellers, and that we bring some new buyers and sellers to the show.”
Building on the success of last year’s edition, Further East 2023 birthed a new element – the Further East Leadership Summit together with NIHI Sumba. The three-day summit from November 10 to 13 brought together just 10 people, of which eight were Asia-Pacific’s most influential travel leaders. Behind closed doors, they discussed ideas to shape the future of travel in the region. Ideas generated will be shared with the wider Further Easy community early 2024.
Dive was confident that Further East will rise along with the uptrend in Asia-Pacific’s luxury travel, with participation likely to cross the 500 mark in the next five to six years.
Further East 2024 will return to Alila Seminyak on November 4 to 7.
Commenting on the Further East 2024 commitment, Christiane Ferger, general manager of Alila Seminyak, said: “(The hotel) has been home to Further East since its beginnings in 2018, and we are very grateful to be chosen. The show brings exhibitors, buyers and media together, and allows for open minds to exchange ideas.
“The event not only benefits our hotel and Seminyak as a global destination but also extends its impact by fostering exposure among exhibitors, buyers, media worldwide, beyond the event itself.”
Sabreena Jacob, general manager of Ta’aktana, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, which is set to open 1Q2024 in Labuan Bajo, said the event provided a timely platform for her to “start the conversation about our unique resort”.
First-timer Romy Strang, director of The Resort Villa, Rayong Thailand, added that the event helped her to connect with international buyers, allowing her to expand her sources beyond her dominant Scandinavian market.