2019 Agenda: Wednesday, 16 October 2019 | Thursday, 17 October 2019 | Friday, 18 October 2019

Day 2 : Thursday, 17 October 2019


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

KEYNOTE PANEL: The future of travel distribution

Travel distribution players are facing multiple challenges. New technologies are reshaping nearly every aspect of travel. Hotels, airlines and tour operators grapple with implementing diverse distribution strategies to optimise their spend, reach and results. Emerging trends around channel development and how consumers interact with direct and indirect channels are adding new dimensions to the challenge.

At the time of great challenges for industry upon industry and the world itself, we gather senior executives from some of the world’s leading OTAs and travel intermediaries to answer a simple – yet not easy – question: Where to next?


  • Craig Hewett, Co-Founder, Wego
  • Timothy Hughes, Vice President, Corporate Development, Agoda
  • Demi Kavaratzis, Partner Marketing Director, Commercial Strategy and Services, Expedia Group
  • Laura-Marie Arens, Head of Travel Vertical Search APAC, Google
  • Baidi Li, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, TripAdvisor Experiences, TripAdvisor


  • Duncan Horton, CEO, Jacobs Media Group

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

C-Suite Talk | Hotel inventory distribution is fundamentally broken: How hotels and suppliers are changing the game for everyone


  • Bjorn Harvold, CTO & Co-Founder, IKO.TRAVEL and Traveliko.com


  • Fabian Bartnick, Founder, Infinito
  • Kevin Rautenbach, Co-Founder, WebConnection
  • Matthew Faull, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of E-Commerce, Distribution and IT, Swiss-Belhotel International

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

C-Suite Talk | Launching a 46-year-old travel startup

Luis Cabrera, President & CEO, Lonely Planet

12:00 PM - 12:20 PM

Happiness Lunch Talk We must increase our happiness but it’s not for the reasons you think

Come and discover why finding more happiness in our lives has become an imperative in today’s world.

Many of us feel disconnected and long to get back in touch with that part of ourselves that feels good. 

I will share with you what I have learnt about finding (and losing touch with) happiness in our lives from the experts in the fields of positive psychology, emotional intelligence neuroscience, mindfulness, transformational coaching and different body practices, and through my own personal journey.

We all have happiness built into us and we can definitely access more of it if we are willing to go on a journey of self-exploration and healing which requires curiosity, commitment, perseverance and connection to others.

Celine Fontaine, Regional Head of L&D, expert in Adult Learning, Trainer, Facilitator & Coach

12:20 PM - 12:40 PM

Happiness Lunch Talk Happiness inside equals happiness outside

Discovery and experience of blissful happiness begins with compassion for oneself. This happiness amplifies when this compassion for self is projected outwards to everyone and everything around you.

Wilson Ang, Dhamma-Lifestyle Advocate and Compassion Ambassador from Compassion Multiplies

12:40 PM - 13:00 PM

Happiness Lunch Talk How to stay happy at work?

Jayan Warrier, a doctoral candidate of Organizatonal Psychology in Happiness and a student of positive psychology. He consults with organizations, coaches executives, designs leadership workshops and facilitates retreats.

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

C-Suite TalkLunch Actually: How dating & travel can be a big happy business

In today's era of globalization, more and more working professionals are spending a lot of their time traveling for work as well as leisure. Lunch Actually's CEO and Co-Founder Violet Lim whose business spans across 5 major Asian cities will share how the love and travel industry can work together to leverage on this growing trend and unlock this barely tapped business opportunities.

Violet Lim, CEO & Co-Founder, Lunch Actually

13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

C-Suite Talk | The growth of sustainable experience rich travel

James Thornton, CEO, Intrepid Travel

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

C-Suite Talk | Revolutionizing the traditional sightseeing experience through technology, virtual reality, live performers and storytelling

Technology has revolutionized every industry it’s touched – and sightseeing will be no exception. How do you take a sightseeing tour, grounded in the history and infrastructure of a destination, and innovate with evolving technologies without just being gimmicky? Can you achieve the ultimate goal of being authentic, immersive and an experience that consumers love, that populates social media and drives word of mouth recommendation? Is it even possible to #RevolutionizeSightseeing? Learn how to successfully identify and integrate the different components that create an experience that resonates with consumers – spoiler alert, it’s not just adding a couple of still photos or audio to your tour. Learn from THE RIDE, the global leader in experiential entertainment and hit experience in NYC!

Dan Rogoski, President / Partner, THE RIDE LLC

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

C-Suite TalkWeChat marketing strategies for global travel brands

Chinese outbound trips are expected to double in the next 5 years, making it the biggest opportunity for global travel brands. Every one of these travelers’ daily life revolve around China’s Everything APP – WeChat. Just like the tastes and behaviors of Chinese travelers, WeChat evolves at lightning speed. In this session, Jiang Ting, who has been working with global hospitality and retail brands on China marketing for 16 years, will bring you up to speed on what’s going on, help you to grasp the gravity of this eco-system far beyond social. She will also share high-level strategies on how to leverage WeChat to generate not only brand awareness but also results and revenue for hotel groups, individual hotels, retailers


  • Jiang Ting, Founder, Bridge86 & WeChat4Travel
  • Gijs Waverijn, Managing Director, Bridge86 & WeChat4Travel
15:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Halal in Travel Asia Summit 2019


15:00-15:10: Opening Remarks
Nurul Ain, Business Development Executive, CrescentRating


15:10-15:30: Launch of the Muslim Women in Travel (MWIT) Report by CrescentRating and Mastercard  
The Muslim Women in Travel Report is the latest report from Mastercard and CrescentRating that is launching in this summit. Discover key insights of this growing sub-segment in this session.


  • Raudha Zaini, Marketing Manager, HalalTrip
  • Aisha Islam, Vice President of Consumer Products (Southeast Asia), Mastercard


15:30-16:00: Panel Discussion: Marketing to Muslim Women Travelers    
The rise of Muslim female travelers is a trend that is real and happening around the globe. Are Muslim female travelers any different than their non-Muslim counterparts? How are they any different from other Muslims in terms of their needs, digital and travel behavior? What are the services they seek and how should travel businesses and destinations cater to this subsegment?


  • Aisha Islam, Vice President of Consumer Products (Southeast Asia), Mastercard
  • Q Akashah, Director, Islamic Marketing PR & Influence, Social, Ogilvy
  • Belkhir Housna (Hasna B), Content Creator, @withhasna


  • Barkathunnisha D/O Abu Bakar, Founder and Principal Consultant, Elevated Consultancy


16:00-16:20: Spilling the Tea on Gen Z Report Insights    
Spilling the Tea on Gen Z examines the travel behavior, needs and attitudes of Gen Z Muslim Travelers. Discover key insights of this up and coming generation in this session.
Nur Hazirah Jamaluddin, Content Manager, HalalTrip


16:20-16:50: Panel Discussion: Next Wave: The Rise of Gen Z Muslim Travelers    
Gen Z Muslim Travelers will be at the forefront of shaping the future of the Halal Travel ecosystem. How are they similar or different to Muslim Millennials? What are their needs and wants when traveling? What travel experiences and services do they seek? How should travel businesses and destinations market and appeal to this generation?


  • Nur Hazirah Jamaluddin, Content Manager, HalalTrip
  • Muhammad Azlan, Urban Photographer & Co-Founder, RXQN
  • Wan Murni Binte Wan Iskandar, Production Designer


  • Fazal Bahardeen, Founder & CEO, CrescentRating & HalalTrip


16:50-17:00: Closing Remarks
Nurul Ain, Business Development Executive, CrescentRating

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

The future of corporate travel - Optimal user experience for business travel managers, travel bookers and travellers

How to ride on the challenge for overall trading and travel industry from now to 2020 and win through creating optimal user experience for business travel? Concrete showcase sharing to provide optimal user experience and cost-saving solution through innovative technologies and personalized customer services.


  • Tom Clark, Director, Global Accounts, Sabre Travel Network
  • Natalie Benson, COO, Corporate Travel Management Asia
  • Wilson Yong, Senior Manager Corporate Sales, Singapore Airlines


  • Ben Wedlock, Regional Head of Sales & Client Management, Corporate Travel Management Asia
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

How innovations in payments drive the future of global travel

The travel payments landscape in Asia Pacific is evolving at a rapid pace, with the region accounting for two-thirds of global transactions. Driven by innovations in payments, travelers today are demanding for a seamless end-to-end experience. 

Faced with intense competition, increasing passenger demands, innovation and digitalization are essential. As the travel industry continues to evolve, how can companies keep pace with disruption and meet their customers’ needs? This session offers you insights into the future of travel, and how the key trends and innovations in payments are driving the travel industry.

Anke Zeller, Vice President Group Strategy, Wirecard

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

NDC, AI & the evolution of TMC

NDC and AI are finally becoming a reality. How will these new technologies affect corporate travel buyers and the systems that they use to book travel?

Kenji Mirassou, Director, Global Sales Asia-Pacific, Egencia

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

Can you really have it all? Balancing company needs with traveller experience

Is it possible to have travel program compliance AND a wonderful experience for your travellers? The answer might surprise you! Come explore how to redesign a programme to balance the experience your travellers look for and what the company needs.

Koby Brice Senior, Director, Program Management, APAC, CWT

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

The Buyers' Panel | Asia Pacific Business Travel Market Outlook

As the next global financial crisis is expected to strike in 2020, learn how travel managers are facing the challenge of managing tightening travel budgets, and how they are keeping their costs under control while increasing efficiency.


  • Hor Siew Yee, SVP, T&O - Group Procurement & Services, DBS Bank
  • Kelvin Li, Regional Procurement and Travel Lead, Asia Pacific, AECOM
  • Kevin Zhang, Senior Director, Procurement Projects – Asia, Lagardère Sports
  • Eleanor Misa, HR Head, PH, Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc.
  • Christoph Schewe, Managing Director, International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA)


  • David Hughes, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, UNIGLOBE Travel International

13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

Managing ancillary spend while maintaining stakeholders’ satisfaction

Travel ancillary revenue – both air and non-air combined - is growing year after year (from $22.6 billion in 2010 to $92.9 billion in 2018). What are the behaviours driving demand for ancillary products? How do travel managers get a handle on managing it and keep it aligned with the companies’ priorities? Would the measures affect stakeholder satisfaction? How can you get a handle on ancillary spend and not affect – perhaps even enhance – the travel experience?


  • Paul Er, Regional Director, Global Sales, South East Asia, Marriott International
  • Kishore Rames, Travel Manager, Asia Pacific and Middle East, National Oilwell Varco

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

International Mobility – A key pillar of Corporate Travel

Regardless of your company size, there are times you need to move your people with the appropriate talents abroad or expand new business ventures in different countries.  The duration may range from a short 6 months’ stint to a stay of 2 years.

While International Mobility (sometimes known as Global Mobility or simply International Assignment) is being managed as a core Human Resources function, there is a need to consider the Corporate Travel elements such as flights, accommodation, traveller’s security and the often-overlooked component, taxation and immigration implications.

Come learn the core of managing International Mobility and how tools may be leveraged to manage overall corporate travels. 


  • Timothy Tan, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Travel Management, UOB Travel
  • Brian Cheah, Head of Commercial, Singapore Division, International SOS
  • Jason Lim, Director, KPMG Singapore

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

What is Virtual and mobile payments for corporate travel?

Corporate Travel programs need to balance payment security and control with ease of use for the traveller on the road. The form of payment must integrate to your travel booking tool and provider AND collect data for expense management and reconciliation. How do you incorporate Lodge, virtual and physical cards with your traveler’s preferred payment on NFC and QR code apps? We’ll explore some customer experiences, detail Best Practice, and work through some common mistakes and problems. Bring your payment questions and I’ll answer with examples from the region.

David Newington, Commercial Director APAC, AirPlus International

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

Insights & Ideas: Destination services for corporate clients

Planning a corporate event in a city that you are not familiar with may create a lot of challenges. The reason for this is that you may not have the required extensive local expertise, experience and resources. A destination management company specializes in designing and executing your event objectives from logistics to exclusive high-end programs with the extra add-on of creativity. DMCs are often referred to as the corporate meeting planner’s guardian angel, ensuring the highest standards of delivery and critical planning for success. People and relationships are in the DNA of a professional DMC. They make your event vision a reality and make it happen whilst you can have your full attention to your participants!

Hugo Slimbrouck, Director of Strategic Partnerships & SITE Past President, Ovation Global DMC

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Personalization in the age of Machine Learning and AI

How can we leverage machine learning and AI to personalize the customer experience and enhance ancillary revenues?

Vijay Anand, Worldwide Sales & Distribution, VP Travel, Transportation & Hospitality - Asia Pacific, G.China, Japan, IBM

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Insights into AI, personalisation, digital marketing, conversion techniques and trends in hotel booking

Customer experience is a well-coined phrase. But what does it actually mean when you’re booking a hotel room? And why do bookers continue to use the OTAs over the direct channel? Industry expert Frank Reeves explores the journey that hotels should be using to shift booker intent to their own website through revolutionary technology and move the focus on from ‘direct bookings’ to ‘direct relationships’. This session will explore the changes in buyer booking behaviours, and how a customer-centric approach along with the adoption of emerging technology can revolutionise guest experience from the start.

Frank Reeves, Co-Founder & CEO, Avvio

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Frictionless Conversations

Customer expectations of sales & service is rapidly changing and business need to start addressing this shift. The future to customer conversations lies in moving to digital and offer business messaging apps – These apps offer the ability to converse and utilise mobile features such as visualizations and will digitally address disruption, ancillary sales and service.

Ben Eichler, Senior Manager, Australia Lead for Travel and Hospitality Industry, Accenture 

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

A world on the watch: Chinese travellers and hotel technology in the Asian century

The rise of Asian residents travelling outbound is like nothing the world has seen before and one group, in particular, has captured everyone’s attention. “Chinese travellers” now ranks among movements as significant as mobile and artificial intelligence, but what does its emergence mean for hoteliers across Asia – or for travel and hotel technology providers, alike? SiteMinder’s regional vice president of Asia Pacific, Bradley Haines, explores the landscape alongside two of the region’s biggest names in travel technology. This is the session you won’t want to miss.


  • Bradley Haines, Regional Vice President of Asia Pacific, SiteMinder
  • Tomeu Gili, Regional Director Retail AMEA, Bedsonline
  • Asa Yang, Associate Director, Global Hotel Chains, Ctrip

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

SuperApps for Travel

WeChat, LINE, Grab, Gojek, Kakao, Paytm - Asia's unique and innovative "SuperApps" are starting to disrupt many verticals, including travel. 

As the Co-founder & CEO of Venture Republic, Kei entered into a strategic partnership with LINE Corporation (Asia's leading mobile messaging and technology platform) to create LINE TRAVEL jp. LINE TRAVEL jp now has over 18 million LINE Friends and 22 million monthly visits on the web at www.travel.co.jp
Kei will address some of the key questions around SuperApps and Travel -- What are the SuperApps? Who are the Superapps? How disruptive are they in travel space? How can SuperApps shape the future of travel? And more.

Kei Shibata, Co-Founder & CEO, Venture Republic - LINE TRAVEL jp & Trip101

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

The ancillaries challenge in online travel booking

The technology behind ancillaries is evolving. Hear from leading OTAs and travel brands about how they are leveraging this shift to increase their bottom line.


  • Josh Ziegler, CEO, Zumata
  • Felix Shpilman, CEO, Emerging Travel Group
  • Munekatsu Ota (Kazu), CEO, Rakuten Lifull Stay
  • Ernst Hemmer, Senior Director Global Business Development & Statutory Director, Agoda
13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

The best time to book: How AI and Big Data can help optimise the accommodation booking process for travellers

Many travellers wonder how they can truly get the best deals on their travels. Using Big Data and AI, atta helps travellers get the best deals by predicting future prices and suggesting the best time to book. In July 2019, atta launched its Android and iOS app after a year of development. Join us as we share our story and the technological innovations that are driving our startup forward in this competitive industry. We will also share the hotel pricing trends in the main cities in Asia that we have observed from the data.


  • Yoshihisa Haruyama, CEO & President, atta Inc.
  • Gerard Andrew James, Director, Business Development, SEA, atta Inc.

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

The limitless opportunities of voice in tours and activities

Personalisation is the new driver in traveller behaviour. Holidaymakers, tiring of the same old tours and activities, want to encounter something new, so are increasingly demanding rare and unique experiences that engage them with their destination and the local people. In the process, they are rejecting traditional excursions, perhaps because these conjure-up negative images of over-organisation and over-tourism, and are instead making decisions based on being able to better and more flexibly control their experiences. 

The $150 billion turnover of the excursions and activities sector implies operators are successfully addressing the needs of many independent travellers, but equally a race to the bottom on price hints that many have not yet found a way to de-commoditise. 
There is a potential magic bullet, however. Application technology can now deliver thoughtfully created insights from multi-lingual storytellers, interwoven into geo-tagged itineraries and linked with triggers at experiences and attractions. This innovation creates strong differentiation and has the power to transform the value proposition of a product. 

I predict 2020 will be the year of voice and I’ll share my insights at ITB Asia.

John Boulding, CMO, Vox Group

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

The payment’s adoption curve in MENA and APAC

Online payments relating to the travel industry are complex by nature and require a thorough understanding of the industry, consumer habits, and trends.

Checkout.com has spent several years within the MENA and recently in the APAC region. We investigated travel habits, online payment insights, local trends and global tendencies. These insights include the impact of millennials on the travel market, local and expat populations and the rise of digital payments.

Checkout.com researched industry challenges such as approval rates, the effect of 3D Secure and chargebacks, and the popularity of varying payment methods. This data delivers a comprehensive understanding of both the MENA and the APAC region.

Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo, Vice President, Business Development MENA, Checkout.com

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

Convergence point: Managing disruption in travel & tourism in ASEAN

The fourth industrial revolution is already upon us and the travel and tourism industry is changing at an almost unmanageable pace especially in ASEAN. Both public and private sectors must learn how to manage disruption to key regional service sectors (i.e. tour services, transportation and accommodation) in order to ensure local tourism and service sector businesses remain globally competitive. ASEAN is close to reaching a point of convergence; governments, trade organizations and leading businesses play a pivotal role in driving a smooth yet rapid transition into the digital age.

Nigel Wong, Honorary Secretary General, MATTA - Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

AI and Hotel Operations Innovation

One of the operations that is manpower intensive in a hotel is check-in. It could take a guest an average of 5 minutes to complete the process. The time it takes could vary depending on how long it takes at each step from identifying the guest, retrieving booking information, to processing security deposit. One way to innovate in this area using technology is to automatically process some of the steps ahead of time so guest experience upon arrival is seamless. In this session, we will share about innovative methods such as online check-in, and pre-processing guest information required for check-in using AI to verify guest identity and automate repetitive manual tasks such as data entry into Property Management Systems.

Maxim Thaw Tint, Co-Founder & CEO, GTRIIP 

16:00 PM - 16:30 PM

Decoding the Guestprint

Your guests are unique. Their passions, journeys and personality traits supersede demographic categories. In the age of “customer-first” and machine learning, guests expect hotels to service and communicate based on subtle nuances and details, in the channels they prefer and away from the ones they don’t. Each guest profile is like a fingerprint, leaving behind a trail of favorites, likes, dislikes, hotel stay choices and destination offers swiped away. Today’s MarTech can intelligently recognize guest preferences with startling precision. Technology is at its best when it simply disappears to the user, but that requires a blueprint to identify core personalization tracks, and how to combine them, to match perfectly, nurturing loyalty and repeat purchases. In today’s session, we cover the 7 keys to designing acquisition and engagement programs that treat your guests as individuals, not a marketing segment.


  • Steve Stearns, General Manager – APAC, Cendyn
  • Isaac Gerstenzang, Director of Marketing Planning & Operations, Minor Hotels

16:30 PM - 17:00 PM

DIY Tech: Self-disinfecting and cleaning rooms that promote wellness and CSR efforts while reducing costs

At ACT.Global we want to actively save lives by protecting humans and animals from harmful microbes and help our planet by saving toxic chemicals, water, and plastic.

Hotels are now able to implement a solution that offers “self-disinfecting” surfaces, while delivering substantial savings in water, chemicals usage and plastic consumption, as well as reduction in housekeeping labor. The solution creates a healthier indoor environment by removing airborne contaminants for employees and guests alike! Come and learn first-hand via testimonials how wellness and CSR can work hand in hand.

Mark Selawry, Vice President, Hospitality Segment, ACT.Global

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

The motivations and aspirations of the APAC globetrotters in an ever-evolving travel landscape

Hilton Honors, Hilton’s award-winning loyalty program, recently commissioned a research study looking at the motivations and aspirations of APAC travelers. Sarah Somerville, Senior Director, Customer Engagement, Loyalty and Partnerships, Asia Pacific at Hilton – who has over 20 years of loyalty and customer engagement experience in Europe and Asia – will delve into the key insights from the study, as well as share how Hilton has been navigating these trends in the evolving travel landscape. The main themes of the research are: travel and the role it plays in identity; technology and the future of travel; and the importance of experiential travel.

Sarah Somerville, Senior Director, Customer Engagement, Loyalty and Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Hilton

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

How vacation photography is impacting the travel industry

A picture tells a thousand words and the world is more visual than ever. Over 350 million photos are uploaded to fb and 80 million uploaded to Instagram every day. Travelers are telling their stories and seeking inspiration in new ways and vacation photography is a major force in this new visual narrative. 

Learn how brands, travel advisors and destinations can tap into emerging trends in vacation photography to better tell your story, engage and acquire new customers, and take advantage of the power of authentic, thumb stopping images to connect with your customers.

Nicole Smith, Founder & CEO, Flytographer

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Virtual tourism

Laura Aalto, CEO, Helsinki Marketing

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

This is not a food tour: Eating our way into cultural engagement

The future sustainability of food tourism is less about consumption and more about designing moments for cultural engagement. It’s not just about where to eat, the number of stops on the itinerary and what dishes to savour, but a conduit to introduce wider concepts of nationhood, our environment and ethnicity. Kitchens of Singapore and Pacific World talk about the benefits and challenges of combining food and storytelling, and why the mainstream concept of food tours is not enough to satisfy a new breed of seasoned food-loving travellers.


  • Sarah Tan, Founder, Kitchens of Singapore
  • Glenn Tan Yu Xin, Account and Product Manager, Pacific World Meetings & Events Singapore

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

Emotional marketing: Capturing the heart of Chinese consumers

Chinese travelers are seeking more unique and personalized experiences making it essential for destinations to evolve their storytelling efforts in China. Are you ready to advance and localize your content strategy in China?

  • Understand what drives Chinese traveler segments
  • Discover emotional branding strategies and techniques
  • Future Forecast: How new digital platforms impact the consumer's path to purchase


  • Alina Xiang, President & CEO, East West Marketing
  • Denny Xia, Executive Vice President, East West Marketing
  • Tamer Attia, Senior Director, Business Development, East West Marketing

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

The value of content and an independent, trustworthy voice

Andrew Hinshelwood, Vice President, Client Solutions, Lonely Planet

13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

Know what travelers want, before they do

travel audience’s unique position - embedded in the heart of the travel advertising industry – means we can uncover a traveler‘s booking behavior. Today, Tiago will show how big data can be used to provide timely and actionable insights, which is then used by some of the world’s leading destination marketing organizations, airlines, online travel agencies and other global travel brands in order to better target their customers. Once destinations are able to identify the visitors with the biggest potential, they can harness the power of big data and data-driven advertising to work against seasonaility and towards becoming sustainable tourism destinations.

Tiago Relvao, Head of Asia Pacific, travel audience GmbH - an Amadeus Company

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

City branding and city marketing: What’s the difference?

In a world where social and personal influencing dictate our choices and behaviours, old school ad campaigns are out the door. We also know that digital marketing tactics alone won't bring you sustainable destination success. What you need is a focused and attractive destination branding strategy and seductive leadership to make sure all mice march to your tune - without losing their soul. Learn from one of the creators of Amsterdam's sustainable destination success how to design, build and maintain a pervasive destination brand.

Edo van Dijk, Co-Founder, Edenspiekermann, CEO Singapore

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

One event, 192 participating countries, 25m visits. How to drive visitors to your mega event

The world’s oldest and longest mega event, the World Expo, comes to the MEASA region for the first time in 168 years of its history. This session will explore how Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo in history to drive 70% international visitation, is planning on driving 25m visits from across the globe. Discover the key components of creating, curating and marketing the visitor experience through a multi-channel approach across key international source markets.


  • Sumathi Ramanathan, Director of Destination Marketing, Expo 2020 Dubai
  • Dr. Mohd Nor Azman Hassan, Deputy Secretary General (Science, Technology and Innovation), Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Deputy Commissioner General Malaysia Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai
15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

Wildlife tourism: How to offer what your customers want whilst taking leadership in protecting wildlife

The session will showcase the key role the travel industry plays in tackling wildlife exploitation for tourism entertainment, whilst at the same time securing meaningful travellers experiences and livelihoods of those who depend on tourism.  

World Animal Protection will share market research showing changing global tourist attitudes and behaviours toward wildlife tourism and set out an industry pathway that will both meet customer demands and create a wildlife-friendly future.     

A short film will be featured, telling the story of ChangChill, the first elephant riding camp transformed into an elephant friendly business with the support of key travel industry stakeholders. 


  • James Thornton, CEO, Intrepid Travel
  • Julie Middelkoop, Global Campaign Lead, Wildlife, World Animal Protection


  • Yu Zheng, Wildlife Campaign Manager, World Animal Protection
15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

“Destination for All” strategy to increase destination marketing competitiveness

Destination marketing is a type of marketing that promotes a destination (town, city, region, country) with a purpose to increase the number of visitors. In other words, destination marketing is tourism advertising for a specific location. Unlike product marketing, where the products are delivered to customers through distribution channels, in destination marketing consumers travel to the destinations, which brings some peculiarities to the ways of promotion. 

“Destination for All” strategy applies the principle of tourism for all to provide quality services to clients, meeting their needs and expectations, regardless of their health condition from the destination perspective. This session will present several case studies from Europe to Asia to illustrate how the strategy is implemented with collaboration of local authorities and tourism supply chain.

Mingkwan Metmowlee (Mink), President, Federation of Asean Travel Associations (FATA)

16:00 PM - 16:20 PM

From a memorable brand to memorable experiences

There is a drastic change in the travel industry as customers divert their attention to online products and services to ease their bookings and travel trips. While travel agencies don’t just offer mere services, the challenge of new travel platforms evolve with the tech advancements in an effort to keep up with travelers’ perceptions. This talk would shed light on the value of travel agencies, the relationships they establish with different destinations, airlines, and how they safeguard their customers above and beyond by embracing new challenges brought by the digital shift. From destination marketing to destination branding.

Ritchie Tuano, President, Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA)

16:20 PM - 16:40 PM

Conference session by OTOAI

Mahendra Vakharia, President, OTOAI - Outbound Tour Operators Association of India

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

How can good User Experience (UX) and big data define the new era of Travel?

User Experience (UX), traditionally known exclusively as an online term, is now seeping into the offline vocabulary of everyone from airline operators, hotel managers to cafe owners. User experience is about how a user interacts with and experiences a product. With more than 90% of people in SEA connected to the internet via mobile, companies need to know the why, what and how their users are using and experiencing their products. How does one stand out from the competition? And what is considered a great user experience in the travel industry? Muslim Pro, the world's most popular Muslim app, explores how good online UX could translates to great offline ones, and vice versa.


  • Zahariah Jupary, Project Manager, Bitsmedia Muslim Pro
  • Sofina Abdul Mulok, Business Development Manager, Bitsmedia Muslim Pro
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Muslim Destination Spotlight: Pakistan

Aslamulakum! and welcome to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan meaning land of the pure or sacred land is the sixth most populated country in the world. It is the only country which was made in the name of Islam. Pakistan was formed with the division of the subcontinent on 14 August 1947. Come and join me as I take you on a journey from K2, the second highest peak in the world and the Himalayan mountains to the desert and the ruins of the Indus valley civilizations in south Pakistan is not only a destination for Muslims but a must visit for Sikhs and Buddhist as well. 

Pakistan welcomes everyone!

Yousaf Rizvi, CEO & Founder, Checkin.pk

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Why & how should a city promote Halal tourism

ARBA Travel will provide insights on why & how to promote a city for halal tourism. This session is especially beneficial for tourism authority bodies and national / city tourism organisation.

Three main topics will be covered: 

  • Decentralization of Tourism 
  • Open API 
  • The indispensable needs of Muslim travellers.

Insights will be tailored with real experiences on the ground.


  • Ammar Roslizar, CEO, ARBA Travel
  • Dr Wan Mohd Aizuddin bin Wan Mohamad, CTO, ARBA Travel
  • Abdurrahiim Khamaruzaman, Head of Customer Support, ARBA Travel
  • Muhammad Hussaini bin Khairudin, Head of Sales & Consultant, ARBA Travel
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Muslim Destination Spotlight: Australia

Ava Ang, Country Manager, Singapore/ Malaysia, Tourism Western Australia

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

The changing face of Umrah Travel

Saurabh Mehta, Founder & CEO, TravelCarma

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

Visit Muslim Friendly Malaysia 2020

Muslim Friendly Malaysia: Sustaining the Muslim traveller market
Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud
, Director General, Islamic Tourism Centre

Visit Malaysia 2020 – Promotional efforts through conventional and digital marketing
Zulkifly Md Said, Deputy Director General (Planning), Tourism Malaysia

Comprehensive infrastructure and services for the Muslim traveler to Malaysia
Khairiah Mohd Talha
, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Culture, Arts, Sports & Tourism, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)

Addressing the trends on the mushrooming of Muslim friendly hotels
Hj. Ismail Hisham Ahmad Zamri
, Group General Manager, Attana Hotels & Resorts (previously known as PNB Management Services)

Session Moderator:

  • Faeez Fadhlillah, CEO & Co-Founder, Tripfez / Salam Standard

Session Hosts:

  • Fitra Mohd Ali, Islamic Tourism Centre
  • Zain Azrai Rashid, Islamic Tourism Centre
13:30 PM - 14:00 PM
14:00 PM - 14:30 PM
14:30 PM - 15:00 PM
15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

Frankfurt as tourist destination

Updates about Frankfurt as tourist destination in Germany: Discover urban glamour and lifestyle!

Frankfurt is a metropolis at the heart of Europe defined by stimulating contrasts of tradition and modernity, trade and culture, business and tranquility. 

Asian travelers are important for Frankfurt and halal tourism is a growing market sector as well.

International hotel chains e.g. the Diaoyutai Group, Jumeirah, Rocco Forte or Capri by Fraser are located in Frankfurt. 

Getting the spirit of Frankfurt during the presentation of Annette, representative of Frankfurt Tourist and Congress Board.

Dr. Annette S. Biener, Manager Tourism Marketing, Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

Conference session by Airy

Airy, Indonesia’s #1 Accommodation Network Operator is a hospitality technology company that offers best value budget hotel to travelers across the nation. Since it was started in 2015, Airy has been growing significantly, from 3 employees to more than 300 employees, where most are millennials. 

Now, Airy has become one of the most recognized hospitality players in Indonesia. Having partnered with more than 2,000 properties across Indonesia, more than 300s are Sharia Hotels and making Airy as the hotel with the biggest collection of Muslim friendly hotels in Indonesia.

Viko Gara, VP Commercial, Airy

16:00 PM - 16:30 PM

Pilgrim tourism opportunities in Uzbekistan

Said Komil Holhojayev, Head of Islamic Tourism Division, State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development

16:30 PM - 17:00 PM

Muslim travel: The perspective and experience from a Muslim travel agency

Muslim travel. Halal tourism call it what you like but it’s the same thing. Many people don’t understand or misunderstand the meaning of these terms. Questions regarding what these terms mean in correlation with the Muslim world and if there are strict procedures that must be followed in order for it to be considered legitimate Muslim Travel. Many different sources have different definitions for it.  

But Muslim travel is not that complicated. It is simply traveling with people’s needs in mind. With modern technology it is easier to prepare for Muslim travel as communication is much more reliable and information is readily available.

Ahmad Mahadzir Shaffirin Md Som, Executive Director, KSB Travel & Tours

17:00 PM - 17:30 PM

Marketing to the Indonesian Muslim market

Nowadays, businesses cannot afford not to targeting the Indonesian Muslim market, a market of more than 200 million people. However, the Indonesian Muslim community is very diverse, with differing values, practices and preferences amongst its various groups. When you want to tap into this market, you will need to know the difference and use the right marketing strategy. 

This presentation will talk about this demographic, how to understand them, and some useful strategies to enter this market, based on our experience in this market.


  • Pauline Suharno, Director, Elok Tour, Secretary General, ASTINDO
  • Indra Nugraha, Managing Director, Inmarc – International Marketing & Communications

PCMA's Sessions (Level 3, Begonia 3101AB)

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

PCMA Knowledge Exchange: Designing Inclusive Event Experiences for Muslim Audiences

Designing meetings and events with the needs of Muslim participants in mind goes beyond simply ensuring Halal food is served during meal functions. You must also consider things like event programming to venue facilities to create a truly inclusive experience. At this informative session, experts will share insights on faith-based service needs important to destinations, venues, and event professionals in providing Muslim-friendly experiences and services.

Learn to identify the changing profile of Muslim customers in the Business Events industry, recognize and understand needs and requirements catering to faith-based service needs to exceed service expectations at Muslim-friendly venues and destinations. 


  • Fazal Bahardeen, Founder & CEO, CrescentRating & HalalTrip
  • Barkathunnisha D/O Abu Bakar, Founder and Principal Consultant, Elevated Consultancy
14:30 PM - 17:30 PM

PCMA Knowledge Exchange: Travel truths for business events: Corporate incentive travel

The Asia Pacific business events sector is currently worth more than US$200 billion and growing rapidly. Built upon the PCMA commissioned research project that focused on the Asian corporate incentive travel (CIT) market, this session maps global macro trends against the research to provide a comprehensive view into the challenges and opportunities surrounding this segment. Hear recommendations on how you can tap into this growth and the key elements to designing CIT experiences that wow participants.


  • Antonio Codinach, Regional Business Director APAC, PCMA 
  • Lisa Hopkins, Vice President, Industry Relations & Global Network, Asia Pacific, BCD Meetings and Events

Tencent's Sessions (Level 3, 3001AB)

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Tencent Solutions 2.0 for Travel Industry – Workshop

Ian Chan, Head of Business Development, Tencent

14:00 PM - 18:00 PM

Tencent Solutions 2.0 for Travel Industry – Meeting & Networking

Ian Chan, Head of Business Development, Tencent

ACTE Corporate Travel Day: Education Forum (Level 3, Begonia 3010A/B)

09:00 AM - 09:30 AM

Registration & Networking

09:30 AM - 09:45 AM

Welcome & Opening Remarks


  • Leigh Bochicchio, Executive Director, ACTE
  • John Holden, Regional Director, Asia, ACTE
09:45 AM - 10:00 AM

ACTE Latest Research

ACTE Research provides key insights into today's industry challenges and issues to position corporate travel programmes for success and to meet the needs of the modern business traveller. Join us to hear highlights and key takeaways from research published in the past year as well as a sneak peak of soon to be released projects!


  • Leigh Bochicchio, Executive Director, ACTE
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Sponsored by - American Express Global Business Travel 

Booking Tools and Technologies: One Size Does NOT Fit All In Corporate Travel

80% of trips are completed by 20% of travellers. Those 20% are the frequent modern business travellers. The majority of online booking tools and user experiences across platforms are built for the frequent business travellers wants and needs, leaving infrequent travellers in the dust in terms of a user experience that fits their needs.  This can impact adoption of online booking tools which in turn impacts travel programme compliance. Bottom line: one size does not fit all when it comes to online booking technologies and tools. But do travel mangers feel the same way?  What is the consensus in terms of what qualifies a traveller as “frequent”?  This session will explore the latest ACTE research conducted in collaboration with American Express Global Business Travel on the findings of the current state of booking tools and technologies and more.


  • Sanghamitra Bose, General Manager Singapore and Thailand, American Express Global Business Travel
  • Dr. Carl Jones, Vice President, Head of Travel Development, APAC and Greater China, SAP Concur
  • Peter Koh, Asia Strategic Sourcing Manager, Travel & Professional Services, Corning


  • John Holden, Regional Director Asia, ACTE
11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Sponsored by - ITB Asia

Coffee & Tea Break

11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Ignite Presentation, Japan Airlines

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM

Sponsored by - Amadeus 

Are You Ready for Destination X? How to Win Traveller Trust and Loyalty in the Post-booking Ancillary Game

Destination X is the largely untapped and dynamic destination services marketplace. The market for travel activities is set to reach $183 billion by 2020. At the same time, the number of travel bookings through mobile phone is increasing. Are corporate travellers prepared as they arrive in Destination X? Are their ancillary needs met? Learn how Travel Managers can provide a seamless and truly stress-free experience for their corporate travellers through mobile technology. This session will reveal:

  • 8 key trends related to the challenges and opportunities in the Destination X  marketplace;
  • Real traveller problems/challenges and possible solutions; and
  • Mobile technology’s role in ancillary destination services and how it can help meet employee travellers’ demands for personalised, easy and instant access to destination services.


  • Edgar Vega, Commercial Head of APAC - Mobile, Amadeus


  • Amarnath Lal Das, General Manager - India Travel, Accenture Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
  • Michaela Rousseau, Senior Vice President, APAC Travel Manager & Global Travel Management Company Strategy Lead, Citi
  • Kenji Soh, Executive Director, APAC Head of Travel, Goldman Sachs
12:45 PM - 13:45 PM

Sponsored by - American Express Global Business Travel and ITB Asia

Networking Luncheon

13:45 PM - 14:00 PM

Ignite Presentation, Millennium Hotels & Resorts


  • Yvonne Chia, Regional Director of Sales - Corporate, Millennium Hotels & Resorts
14:00 PM - 15:15 PM

Sponsored by - Airbnb for Work and Grab for Business

The Sharing Economy, Challenges and the Future

Airbnb for Work and Grab for Business shares insights into the challenges and the future of the business. They will answer questions raised from the forum participants, based on an online survey conducted before the event.


  • Alvan Aiau Yong, Regional Lead, Airbnb for Work
  • Dileep Kannan, Regional Director, Grab for Business


  • Pat Chua, Travel & Meetings APAC, Apple
15:15 PM - 15:30 PM

Sponsored by - ITB Asia

Coffee & Tea Break

15:30 PM - 16:45 PM

Sponsored by - oneworld

Enhancing Customer Experience through an alliance corporate program


  • Anthony Potts, oneworld Global Sales Manager, oneworld
  • Steve Smith, Vice President and Head of Global Sales, Japan Airlines
  • Belinda Sin, Sales Manager, American Airlines


  • Derek Ho, ACTE Board Member - Asia, Regional Vice President, Global Sales Asia Oceania, Japan Airlines 
16:45 PM - 17:00 PM

Closing Remarks


  • Leigh Bochicchio, Executive Director, ACTE
  • John Holden, Regional Director, Asia, ACTE
17:00 PM - 18:00 PM

Sponsored by - ITB Asia and Japan Airlines

Closing Reception

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