Thank you for your input into creating this year's conference programme.
October 18-19, 2011
Ballroom 2, Suntec Convention Centre
Oct 18, 2011
9-9.20 Opening Groove
It’s been quite a year. So much has happened. New partnerships. Bold expansion. Fresh players. Asia’s hot. Travel’s hot. Online groove even hotter. The curtain will open on a sizzling note that captures the dynamism of the market.
9.20-10.00 Headline Act
An opening session that is sure to make even more headlines and help you find the groove that matters, now and for the future.
Azran Osman Rani, CEO, AirAsiaX
Dhruv Shringi, CEO, Yatra, India
Rod Cuthbert, Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Viator Inc
Richard Wiegmann, Managing Director, Trust International
Interviewer: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Founder, Web In Travel
10.00-10.40 Get Into The Groove – Mobile Moves
To get into the groove, you got to know your groove. And we kick off with the hottest groove going on – the smartphone revolution.
Mobile X-Factor: What are the X-factors that will truly move your company's mobile strategy ahead of your competitors'? This presentation will look at some of the big ideas that are shaping and driving mobile. – Gerry Samuels, Founder and Executive Director, MTT
Followed by a panel that will look at different applications across the industry, regional payment trends and challenges, and how these will impact on mobile commerce, and the battle for the customer.
Anil Damodaran, Director Marketing, Mobile, Consumer Solutions and Customer Enablement, Abacus International
Lim Wee Khee, Deputy Director, Marketing Activation and Innovation, Singapore Tourism Board
Joseph Chan, CEO, AsiaPay Payment Technology, Singapore/AsiaPay Limited, Hong Kong
Mike Bezer, Vice President, Global Sales, Asia Pacific, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Singapore
Moderator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Founder, Web In Travel
10.40-11.00 Get Into The Groove with Customer Lover, Stephan Ekbergh, CEO, Travelstart, South Africa
11.00-11.30 Coffee + Chatter
11.30-12.10 Marriages Made In Heaven Or Hell: Stories of Dream or Dangerous Liaisons?
Everyone knows you need the right partner to get by in life. And this year, quite a few partnerships have been forged in the bid by companies to expand into the region, and deepen their penetration in their respective grooves. WIT 2011 puts the spotlight on some of the partnerships and asks the question, will they live happily ever after?
Marriage 1: Wotif and Buffalo Tours, Vietnam
Robbie Cooke, Managing Director & Group CEO, Wotif Group
Tran Trong Kien, Founder & CEO, Buffalo Tours
Marriage 2: Wego + Holiday IQ
Martin Symes, CEO, Wego
Hari Nair, CEO, Holiday IQ
Priestess: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Founder, Web In Travel
12.10-12.40 The WIT Groove Debate 1
Search is the most cost effective form of digital marketing there is. It's measurable and clickable. Social media's fun but all it does is leave warm, fuzzy feelings with no real benefits to the bottomline. Plus, what does social have to do to get to where search is. A debate combined with a panel discussion to get to the heart of search and social in the marketing mix.
Ali Yilmaz, Head of Travel, Google South-east Asia
Joe Nguyen, Vice President, South-east Asia, comScore Inc
Morris Sim, CEO & Co-Founder, Circos Brand Karma
David Yang, Director Sales, Facebook
Moderator: Robert Rosenstein, CEO, Agoda
12.40-13.00 The first two presentations of the inaugural WITovation Awards 2011, presented by Amadeus Asia
14.00-14.20 The Matching Game
14.20-14.30 Thack Day at WIT Showcase – Kevin May, Editor, Tnooz
14.30-15.00 I Dream Of An Open World
With the influx of capital back into the travel industry, new entrants into the marketplace are at an all-time high, spurring innovation and change. But many new to the industry are stymied by a lack of access to data - product information, availability, pricing - from suppliers and their major distribution partners. Could an open world bring the sexy back to travel and keep innovation coming in an industry that is increasingly being dominated by the big and getting bigger players? A session that looks at the arguments for an open travel world and that openness could truly make the World Wide Travel Web a reality.
Valyn Perini, CEO, Open Travel Alliance
Alex Kremer, Chief Operating Officer & Co-founder, Flextrip
Moderator: Kevin May, Editor, Tnooz
15.00-15.45 The WIT Groove Debate 2 + Panel
Debate: Deals + Yields: For Sure, Not A Marriage Made In Heaven. In Other Words, Deals Are Bad for Yields, Hell On Brands and a Nightmare for Rate Parity
For: Patrick Andres, Vice President, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Asia Pacific
Against: Timothy Hughes, CEO, Getaway Lounge, Australia
Panel: Group deals, Private Sale, Flash Sale – however you define them, they are changing the way customers book travel and the way suppliers distribute. How can suppliers work with these sites, without allowing them to erode yields and damage established relationships?
Bryan Lewis, Chief Commercial Officer, Agoda
Patrick Linden, Co-founder and CEO, Dealguru Holdings, Singapore
Remy Merckx, VP e-Commerce Sales & Distribution, Accor
Steven Gong, CEO & Founder, ImpulseFlyer
Tom Gallagher, Executive Vice President, Revenue Generation, Pegasus Solutions
Mohamed Yusof, Director of Business Strategies, Royal Plaza on Scotts, Singapore
Moderator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Founder, Web In Travel
15.45-16.00 Getting Your Asian Online Strategy Right
So you want to enter the world’s fastest growing and changing market and are wondering how? Or you are already in the region but want to grow your market share and dig deeper into specific markets or niches? Clement Wong, director, research, PhoCusWright will share insights behind the numbers and suggest ideas on how to do it right.
16.00-16.30 Coffee + Chatter
16.30-17.10 Masters of the Search Groove
Search remains the most contested space in travel. UK-based Skyscanner has moved into Asia. The giants have entered the space – Google and ITA Software, and Baidu has invested in Qunar. Niche search sites are gaining traction from Australia to Japan. What’s up in the topsy-turvy world of search? And how is the battle being fought on mobile? A panel that will probe the search groove and ask the hard questions.
Barry Smith, Director of Global Data Services and Mobile & Co-Founder, Skyscanner, UK
Ian Cumming, Founder, GetFlight, Australia
Kei Shibata, CEO and Co-Founder, Venture Republic (travel.jp and hotel.jp)
Hichame Assi, Head of International Strategy and Online Marketing, Hotelscombined.com, Australia
Niklas Andreen, Group Vice President, Hospitality and Partner Marketing, Travelport GDS
Moderator: Fritz Demopoulos (Former CEO, Qunar)
17.10-17.50 Dream of The Red Hot Groove
The battle for China intensifies. Everyone’s after a slice of the pie, which is fragmenting, as the Chinese travel market matures. In this session, we look at what the established players are doing, and introduce new players that could make the China play more interesting and groovier.
Frank Lin, CEO & Co-Founder, myALN.com, Affordable Luxury Network
Vincent Gong, Vice President, Lashou
Joseph Xia, Director of Sales & Marketing, Jin Jiang International E-Commerce
Charlie Li, Founder, Travel Daily, China
Moderator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Founder, Web In Travel
Provocateur: Fritz Demopoulos (Former CEO, Qunar)
17.50 Close of Day One
From 18.00 Appy Hour, Co-hosted by WIT + Tnooz, Sponsored by Abacus International, Tawandang, Suntec Convention Centre (limited capacity, first come first served). Co-sponsors: Expedia Affiliate Network + BCD Travel
Day 2, Oct 19
9.00-9.20 Opening and Finding Your Leadership Groove
An opening conversation Greg Webb, President, Sabre Travel Network
9.20-9.40 The Pitch From The Top: This Is My Groove
Patrick Andres, Vice President Asia Pacific, Sabre Hospitality Solutions
Sascha Hausmann, CEO, eRevMax
Jason Nash, VP Product Innovation, Travelport GDS
Facilitator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor, Web In Travel
We challenge our panel of leaders to pick a groove they think will change travel and that they feel most passionate about and argue for it, all in 3 minutes each. You choose who gives the most convincing argument.
9.40-10.40 The Marketing Groove
Marketing is being revolutionized with the explosion of different channels and intense media fragmentation. Is there a risk that there could be too many players in the orchestra and that the harmony and overall message – the groove – of your brand, could get lost amid all the changing channels? How do you keep your storyline intact while engaging with all these different channels? And where will the bulk of marketing dollars go to in the future – search, social or mobile?
The New Communication Groove: Some Ideas For Travel
A presentation by Kensuke Joji, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc, Chief Technical Media Producer
The Underground Groove: Some Ideas For Travel: A presentation by Siva Ganeshanandan, Director, Online Marketing Suite, Asia Pacific and Japan, Adobe Systems
All of us use data to drive decisions, on everything we do. Being the online industry, this is our specialty, our biggest asset and differentiator hen it comes to producing marketing and selling travel. That's why all of us look at our customer data, across owned, earned and bought media and look for patterns to identify behavior and segments, that define not only how we market, but the products we offer – looking for that hidden, underground groove…don't we ? This session covers some examples of how looking beyond 'unique visitors', impressions, conversions and 'like's can uncover not just more sales but new opportunities.
Braydon Holland, Vice President-Sales, Star Cruises
Siva Ganeshanandan, Director, Online Marketing Suite, Asia Pacific and Japan, Adobe Systems
Moderator: Morris Sim, CEO & Co-Founder, Circos Brand Karma
10.40-11.10 WITovation Awards 2011, presented by Amadeus Asia
11.10-11.40 Coffee + Chatter
11.40-12.10 Spotlight on India + Indonesia
Two huge markets but a big world of difference between the two. One is maturing, yet still seeing explosive growth. The other is emerging and about to see explosive growth. Two different perspectives but a common goal - how can you tap the opportunities in these two markets?
Amit Saberwal, Director, International Market Development, Makemytrip, India
Rajeev Kumar, CEO + Managing Director, Mystifly Consulting, India
Danny Oei Wirianto, CEO, Mindtalk, Indonesia
Graham Hills, General Manager, Wego, Indonesia
Moderator: Brett Henry, Vice President Marketing and Vice President India, Abacus International
12.10-12.30 Best of The WIT Bootcamp: Hot Ideas in Start-Ups & Grooviest Start-Up
A summary from our panel of judges and mentors from the WIT Start-Up Gallery, showcasing and announcing the finalists and winner of the Grooviest Start-Up, as part of the inaugural WITovation Awards 2011.
Chairs: Don Birch + Timothy O'Neil-Dunne, Managing Partner, T2Impact
12.30-13.00 Riding The Revenue Revolution
The smartphone is changing guest behaviour in how they book their hotels. Then there are new channels like Facebook-embedded booking engines, and group purchasing, private sale and deal sites, and location-based check-in deals. How do you manage revenues in this tidal wave of change and surely, isn’t it time for revolution, not more evolution?
Jack Tan, Chief Strategic Marketing and Technology Officer, Solare Hotels and Resorts, Japan
Siv Forlie, Head of Revenue Management, Shangri-La International Hotel Management, Hong Kong
Sean Seah, Director E-Commerce, Langham Hospitality Group, Hong Kong
Moderator: Grahame Tate, Managing Director, IDeaS Asia Pacific
14.00-14.10 The WIT Groove Debate 3
I will never ever hire a social media expert, and here’s why. – Luke Clark, Launch Editor, Discovery Channel Magazine, Novus Media Solutions Asia
And here’s why you should hire a social media expert – Loh Lik Peng, CEO, KMC Holdings, Singapore
Adjudicator: Carmen Roberts, Travel Writer, Television Presenter, BBC Fast Track
14.10-14.20 Content in Context: A Traveller's Perspective – An Interview with Carmen Roberts, Travel Writer, Television Presenter, BBC Fast Track
14.20-15.00 Putting The Groove Back Into Content
Content is everywhere, and it’s free. And if it’s not free, it’s cheap. Are there parallels between the music business and travel? In music, authoritative content and point of purchase have largely been decoupled – remember those days when record stores were the authoritative content sources? Is travel decoupling in a similar way? Are we seeing the end of quality content that’s curated and that truly inspires travellers? Or will the fragmentation of devices put the groove back into content?
Bikram S Sohal, Vice President & General Manager, CNNGo, Turner International, Hong Kong
Giles Longhurst, Director, Frommer’s Unlimited, UK
Daniel Quadt, Founder & CEO, GuideGecko, Singapore
Luke Clark, Launch Editor, Discovery Channel Magazine, Novus Media Solutions Asia
Sean Simmons, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Wotif Group
15.00-15.40 Sugoi* Japan (*awesome)
Despite its troubles, Japan remains an awesome destination and an attractive outbound travel market for destinations around the world. Indeed, where would we all be without the Japanese traveller who first visited our shores in the 70s and 80s? In this session, we peel the layers back on the changing customer in Japan, look at a new and interesting space in hospitality, the ryokans, and look at what’s new in the digital travel space as Japanese brands look to expand overseas, and travel suppliers seek to enter The Land of the Rising Sun.
Naoaki Takayanagi, Senior Manager Consumer Sales & Marketing, All Nippon Airways
Hiroyuki Kamata, Senior Executive Officer, General Manager, Business Strategy Dept, Rakuten Travel, Inc.
Yoshiharu Hoshino, President and Managing Director, Hoshino Resorts Inc
Co-moderators: Aya Aso, CEO, Agora Hospitalities and Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic
15.40-16.10 Coffee + Chatter
16.10-16.40 Get Into The Groove – The Future of Social
What's the future of social? Is it a state of mind or is it just something you do? Will it be Google+ or Facebook – how are these two networks changing search, social and travel? Will the future of sharing be one sign-in for all, or curated social networks where you can sort out your “real” friends from your “friends”? And how are smartphones changing the way people share?
Kristof Roemer, EVP Sales, TrustYou, Germany
Danny Oei Wirianto, CEO, Mindtalk, Indonesia
Margery Lynn, Dachis Group South-east Asia
Abrar Ahmad, Partner, Travel Capitalist Ventures
Moderator: Timothy Hughes, CEO, Getaway Lounge, Australia + Blogger, BOOT
16.40-17.00 Coffee with Dan Lynn, Managing Director, Expedia AirAsia
It was the most talked about “marriage” of the year – the bonding of the world's largest OTA and Asia's leading low cost airline brand. Months into the consummation, what's happening and how is the union being executed? What's the customer proposition? This interview with Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Founder of Web In Travel, will get to the bottom of the affair between the two brands.
17.00-17.45 The OTA & Hotel Relationship – Time For a Revolution or Reconciliation?
It’s an uneasy marriage, the OTA and the hotel. The hotels need the OTA but they wish they didn’t need it so much and they complain about the 25% commissions some of them have to pay. Some even call the OTAs “web vampires”.
The OTAs – the big ones anyway – know they’ve got the hotels where they want them because of their scale, ability to aggregate demand and drive bookings and besides, often they are better than hotels at owning the customer. But with new distribution alternatives emerging – Google and its various tools, social media channels, smartphone apps – is it the right time for hotels to wrestle back control of inventory and customer or is it time for hotels to accept what the OTAs can do, and indeed do better than them, and see them as true partners rather than blood-sucking vampires?
Opening Salvo: Remy Merckx, VP e-Commerce Sales & Distribution, Accor
Dan Lynn, CEO, Expedia AirAsia
Roshan Mendis, CEO, ZUJI/Travelocity
Matthew Varley, General Manager, South-east Asia, Wotif Group
Paulo Salvador, Global Vice President of Marketing and Sales And Vice President for EMEA Region, Worldhotels
Clare Chiu, Director of Business Development, Warwick International Hotels, Hong Kong
Moderator: Maunik Thacker, Vice President, Revenue Optimisation, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
17.45-17.55 The WIT Groove Debate 4: The Future Belongs to Self-Service, Full Service Is Just, Well, So Yesterday.
For: Barry Smith, Co-Founder, Director of Global Data Services and Mobile, Skyscanner, UK
Against: Martin Symes, CEO, Wego
Adjudicator: Stephan Ekbergh, CEO, Travelstart, South Africa
So you’ve heard it all. Taken in the ideas. Heard the debates. Digested the discussions. This is what you walk away with.
18.30 Sugoi Japan Night at Takumi, Keppel Bay Marina
By invitation only, sponsored by Trust International and Worldhotels – a fund-raising event to raise funds for Living Dreams, for orphans of the March 11 tsunami
Buses leave from Suntec Convention Centre between 18.00 and 18.30
Note: Programme and timings subject to change