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

Day 3 : Friday, 18 October 2019


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

KEYNOTE PANEL: The new Chinese travellers

The spending power of Chinese travellers is no secret, and many global travel brands have been targeting this group for a number of years. However, the next 5 years are going to see a rapid shift not only in the number of travellers, but also in the range of destinations they visit and the products they buy, opening up opportunities for wider variety of businesses, brands and retailers.


  • Zhu Lei, Chief Revenue Officer, OYO China
  • Steven Paalman, Director of Strategic Growth - China, Booking.com
  • Warren Wang, CFO, Tujia, CEO, Mayi.com


  • George Cao, CEO & Co-Founder, Dragon Trail Interactive

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Mistakes made and lessons learnt: Marketing independent hotels in the complex China online world

No matter how big your brand is, you can get all sorts of things wrong in China. It’s a minefield. Why companies still may not be visible in China even with a Chinese website? Why your effort in SEO even on Baidu (Chinese Google) does not yield results? Why WeChat is not the silver bullet for China? What are the misconceptions about getting direct bookings from China? Why are the key metrics to measure China online success so different from the West? A former hotelier, who has made it her passion in helping overseas hotels for the China Outbound market, shares her perspectives and insights in this session.

Anita Chan, CEO, Compass Edge

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Beyond shopping: How cultural and adventure tourism is a new mantra for Chinese individual travellers

Adventure and cultural tourism have strong appeal for emerging and sophisticated Chinese international travellers. This presentation will cover adventure tourism's emergence, explain its appeal, explore how destinations can benefit and push understanding of practice. Well-suited for tourism bureaus and service providers, this presentation is a great starting point to strengthen your relevance with China's international travellers.

Claudia Verbost, Managing Director, AgencyChina

12:00 PM - 12:20 PM

Happiness Lunch Talk Four ways to choose happiness

Happiness is not a pre-determined state of being. In fact, research shows that we are each able to enhance our experience of happiness, and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits that come with greater contentment. Kim Forrester shares four simple ways you can choose greater happiness; four opportunities you have to adjust your daily practices, habits and behaviours and potentially live a happier, healthier life.

Kim Forrester, Holistic Wellbeing Advocate, Educator, Award-Winning Author & Kindness Enthusiast

12:20 PM - 12:40 PM

Happiness Lunch Talk Staying motivated to succeed during times of change and challenges

Emotions are the driving forces behind human excellence — and experiencing change and challenges in life can sometimes lead to feeling demotivated, demoralised, and frustrated. In this empowering and thought-provoking talk, motivational strategist Jit Puru shares how emotions have the power to influence our results, and the simple things we can do to stay motivated to create breakthroughs during the times we need it most.

Jit Puru, Motivational Strategist & Author

12:40 PM - 13:00 PM

Happiness Lunch Talk The secret hack that helps travel companies to sell more!

What do the words TRAVEL and HAPPINESS have in common?

The common denominator is MEMORIES, not just any memories but HAPPY MEMORIES! 

When it comes to travel, is your company guilty of relying solely on traditional methods such as the 4Ps (i.e. product, price, place & promotion) to stand out?

Did you know that customers buy more when they are happy?

What can any company do to help your customers learn and come back happy at the end of their travels? 

If you are in the travel business, the good news is, there is a formula for happiness and companies should capitalise on this hack to make the unconscious pursuit of happiness a mindful one for key clients and watch how sales expand though repetition, renewals and better yet, referrals!

Come hear from Eileen on her discovery of happiness and simple happiness hacks that have helped to grow her business and pleasant memories for your customers.

Eileen Seah, an Organisational Psychologist, Executive Coach and HR Consultant. Founder & Director of The Art Of Career

Future Leaders 2019 

12:30 PM - 13:40 PM

ITB Asia Exhibition Hall Guided Tour

13:40 PM - 13:50 PM

Opening Remarks

Philip Pang, Marketing & Events Manager, PCMA

14:50 PM - 14:10 PM

Quality Tourism and the future of work

What does Quality Tourism mean for Singapore? How is the industry evolving and what type of skills are needed as we navigate the next phase of growth for tourism? Join us as we look at how you can prepare yourself for a career in the industry!

Jeannie Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board

14:10 PM - 14:30 PM

Debunking workforce myths of the hospitality industry

Unprepared to face the ugly reality of the hospitality industry? Well.. You won’t have to if they are all just a myth. Buckle up as this session explores the reality of the industry.

Danny Li, Co-Founder, AsiaHospitalityCareers

14:30 PM - 14:50 PM

Dare to be different: Creating a career of your own in the industry

Be inspired by our entrepreneurial speaker in the journey to create a career of his/her own in the tourism industry.

Zelia Leong, Co-Founder, Anywhr

14:50 PM - 15:30 PM

Fireside Chat: Confessions of a HR Manager

Curious about what goes behind a Human Resource manager’s job? Find out what Human Resource managers seek for during recruitment!


  • Andrew Chan, Founder & CEO, ACI HR Solutions
  • Sharon Pock, Head of HR, APAC, Hotelbeds
  • Eileen Seah, Founder, Art of Career


  • Jaren Lee, Intern, Development Planning & Performance, InterContinental Hotels Group
15:30 PM - 16:10 PM

Panel: Wonder what comes after graduation?

Come hear from past Tourism & Hospitality students on their first steps into the industry!


  • Amar Koul, Account Manager, Experiences, TripAdvisor
  • Phua Boon Kiat, Manager, Airport Operations Planning & Strategy, Changi Airport Group 
  • Azahar Zainuddin, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Anymind Group
  • Chloe Pang, Investment Analyst, InterContinental Hotels Group


  • Skye Tan, Sales Manager, Corporate & Social Events, InterContinental Hotels Group
16:10 PM - 16:20 PM

Closing Address

Philip Pang, Marketing & Events Manager, PCMA

16:20 PM - 17:30 PM

Breakout for Networking & Refreshment

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Panel: Commercial travel payments landscape

With the developments of IATA’s Transparency in Payments (TIP), Automated Transfer Method (ATM) initiatives, including various updates to governing resolutions, this panel of experts will discuss the changes to current payment practices and challenges as well as opportunities they may bring for both travel agencies and Travel Management companies (TMC’s) and their corporate customers.  

James Alba-Duignan, Head of Commercial Payments APAC for Diners Club International will be joined by Simon Hague, Partner with HN Consulting and one other corporate travel expert to discuss this and other payment trends in today’s ever evolving corporate travel world. Join the session for both lively debate and Q&A session.


  • Jonathon Gould, Regional Managing Director, Global Acceptance, Asia Pacific, Discover Financial Services
  • James Alba-Duignan, Vice President – Commercial Payment Solutions, Asia Pacific, Discover Financial Services
  • Simon Hague, Partner, HN Consulting

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Travel market in LatAm: Landscape, challenges and opportunities

  • The travel industry in Latin America: Where it stands and where it is heading
  • The current scenario, total addressable market and main players of the three main markets in the region: Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina
  • Consumer behaviors and general characteristics of the travel buying journey, including motivations, values, and the decision-making process (average duration of trips, how much do they search before purchasing, popular booking periods, etc.)
  • What is the main challenge faced by customers and how international businesses could use this gap to their advantage and tap into the market
  • Most popular payment methods for the purchase of flight tickets, accommodation, and tour attractions

Wade Pylka, VP Channel Management, EBANX

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

The future of incentives and commissions in the world of multi-booking systems

How the world of airline commissions and incentives will look like in the world of NDC, Direct Connect, GDSs, and Aggregators. Avian is a software company allowing travel agencies to manage back-end incentive agreements with no manual work, all based on smart technology - on-line.


  • Mickey Haslavsky, CEO, Avian
  • Steven Borukhin, Chief Business Development Officer, Downtown Travel

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Corporate travel in Myanmar: Complexities & opportunities

In the recent past, the travel market in Myanmar (be it corporate or personal travel) has always been largely prepaid transactions (paying in advance). With the market rapidly transforming & expanding corporate travel is fast evolving a complex channel with opportunities. The corporate channel is redefining itself by empowering employees, embracing tech innovations & constantly pushing for cost optimization. Oway Group is aligning to this potential and front leading digital transformation in Myanmar.

Alok Kumar, CEO, Oway

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM


Tourism and hospitality is a dynamic industry that is larger than what it seem and technology constantly plays a part of its evolution. Travel is evolving with the help of technology and the future of the industry depends on how you are able to spot the "travelution".

Victor Chua, Founding & Managing Partner, Vynn Capital

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

New & unthinkable technologies: The hotel’s automated future

Automation is already a big part of how many travel management companies operate, and it is set to disrupt hotel operations. Join us to reimagine the hotel of the future and its guest experience.


  • Sujin Lee, CEO & Founder, Yanolja
  • Jong Yoon Kim, CEO, Online Business & Corporate Strategy, Yanolja
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

TravelMole Best Web Awards

The 11th TravelMole Asia Pacific Web Awards, in association with ITB Asia, is the main award event for the Asia Pacific travel industry to recognize excellence in web, social, mobile and travel technology deployments. Hundreds of nominations received for the 21 award categories and shortlisted. Voting by TravelMole’s 65,000 Australia and Asia Pacific travel trade readers determine the final winners.


  • Charles Kao, Publisher, TravelMole
  • Tim Hentschel, CEO, HotelPlanner and Meetings.com
  • Rajeev Kumar, CEO, Mystifly
12:30 PM - 14:30 PM

2019 Travel Startups Asia Forum @ ITB Asia

Hosted by Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)
12:15-12:30: Registration
12:30-12:40: Keynote: Mekong Tourism: Supporting innovation in sustainable travel & social enterprises
Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO)
12:40-13:00: Keynote: State of travel startups in Southeast Asia
Jason Lusk
, Communications & Innovation Consultant, ADB Ventures

2019 MIST Showcase @ ITB Asia

13:00-13:15: Startup stories: Showcase of 2019 MIST Winner
Wichartbhol Surapolbhichet
, CPO & Co-Founder, Golfdigg (Thailand)

13:15-13:30: Startup stories: Showcase of 2019 MIST Runner-up 
Souliyo Vongdala
, CTO, Loca (Laos)

13:30-13:45: Startup stories: Showcase of 2019 Mekong Startup
Jeff Pan
, CEO, FlyMya (Myanmar)

13:45-14:05: Panel: Key success factors for successful startups


  • Gerrit Krueger, Managing Director, Chameleon Strategies


  • Wichartbhol Surapolbhichet, CPO & Co-Founder, Golfdigg (Thailand)
  • Souliyo Vongdala, CTO, Loca (Laos)
  • Jeff Pan, CEO, FlyMya (Myanmar)

14:05-14:25: Case studies: Development of startup eco-systems In Southeast Asia 

1. Travel Lab Asia:  Jason Lusk, Communications & Innovation Consultant, ADB Ventures
2. Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST): Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO)
14:20-14.:30: Closing remarks
Jens Thraenhart
, Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO)

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

How to build a successful product & commercial strategy in Southeast Asia

Jeff Pan is the CEO of Flymya, an online travel agency based in Myanmar. Learn how each facet of scaling an e-commerce in Southeast Asia - from UX/UI design, to commercial negotiations, to customer data - differs from running a global OTA, and how you can use these learnings for your own company.

Jeff Pan, CEO, Flymya

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

How technological innovations are shaping the future for group travel

Technological development has been mainly focused on FIT travel in recent times, with group travel widely neglected but today, the direction of travel is changing. As technological innovation shifts to include group travel, the present is bright and the future brighter. With speed, accuracy and operational flexibility as key areas in the groups market, how is the latest technology making the difference?

Phil Napleton, SVP, Products, Open Destinations

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

Experiential travel app for Fully-Independent-Travellers (FITs)

More and more global travellers are moving away from group tours to become fully-independent-travellers (FITs). But being FITs are not always fun, since travellers can easily lose their way, encounter language barriers and have difficulties understanding cultural nuances in foreign lands. What solutions can we provide for the FIT travellers who are seeking for a deeper experience? Join us to discover what we have done here in Singapore as well as in several other countries through a live demo of our award-winning app (Locomole).

Png Bee Hin, CEO & Founder, LDR Technology

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

How to design win-win influencer marketing campaigns

Learn how to successfully design an influencer marketing campaign following best practices and avoiding common pitfalls from industry experts and bloggers. We will guide you through all the stages of a campaign from talent selection and campaign launch to amplification and tracking, through real case studies and examples from the hotel, cruising and airline industries.


  • Mar Pages, Founder & Partner Consultant, Once In A Lifetime Journey
  • Helga Solares, PR Consultant, Unscripted Story
  • Daphne Ting, Interactive Marketing Manager, HPL Hotels & Resorts
  • Cecilia Cebada, Client Services Director, In Marketing We Trust
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Marketing to Millennials: What works and what doesn’t

Youth travel is no longer a niche. Globally, this fast-growing segment of tourism has exceeded 300 million international arrivals, with market value hitting over US$250bn.

International students represent its most valuable cohort in economic terms, with Asia being the largest source market. Yet, can Asia compete also as a host region? The recent numbers indicate that Asian inbound mobility is now growing more rapidly than outbound mobility.

Join Samuel Vetrak, CEO of BONARD, a renowned industry strategist advising governments, destinations and operators, who will provide the latest trends of global youth travel market, with closer look at Asia, as well as practical tips and tricks on marketing & recruitment.

Samuel Vetrak, CEO, BONARD (formerly StudentMarketing)

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Cruise in Asia - A consumer’s perspective (By Cruise Lines International Association, CLIA)

Asia’s cruise passenger source market hit a new high in 2018 with 4.24 million people taking an ocean cruise. This number is set to increase in the longer term as we see more than 120 new cruise ships launched in the next decade. Cruises range from smaller vessels with fewer than 200 berths to ships capable of carrying more than 5,000 passengers, serving the diverse needs and desires of our customers. 
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its cruise line members will discuss ships of all sizes and help you understand what’s best for your customer.  You’ll hear about the latest trends and get tips on how to increase your cruise profits. 
CLIA is joined by eight cruise brands – Costa Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, PONANT, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. 
This session is suitable for all travel professionals keen to grow their cruise business.

Sharing of latest Cruise trends and tips by CLIA
Jiali Wong
, Regional Manager Asia, CLIA
The Increasing Choice and Diversity Offered by Major Cruise Lines 


  • Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises 
  • Felix Chan, Vice President & General Manager Asia, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 
  • Rudy Wiratno, Sales Manager, Costa Cruises 

The Evolution of Small Ship Cruising

  • Felix Chan, Vice President & General Manager Asia, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings 
  • Henry Yu, Director, Asia, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection & U River Cruises
  • Senior representative, PONANT
12:30 PM - 13:00 PM
13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

Why sustainable tourism is simply good for business

Many people in the tourism industry assume that sustainability is a (short-term) cost.
Marc is the founder of an SME that is living proof that sustainability is not a cost, but a money spinner. His resort in Indonesia, LooLa Adventure Resort, may well be the most decorated eco resort in the world. 

In this brief talk and discussion session, Marc will share that many of the policies that brought Loola this professional acclaim (as well as popular acclaim as TripAdvisor world top 1% family resort) can be adopted by any tourism operator – easily and cheaply – and he hopes to inspire the audience to do exactly that. 

Tess Wong, Director of Program Development, LooLa Adventure Group

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

Fireside chat with Earth Changers: Transforming travel: Can you have a successful business and create a positive impact?


  • Vicky Smith, Founder, Earth Changers
  • Manisha Pande, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Village Ways

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

Impact tourism: The future of travel

Impact Tourism is a form of community based travel experience where a traveler not only gets to experience the rich cultural and heritage of the region but also contributes tangibly to these communities in form of infrastructure, thereby leaving behind a legacy of their journey and directly impacting these communities located in the most beautiful and pristine locations of the world.


  • Paras Loomba, Founder & CEO, Global Himalayan Expedition
  • Gaurav Gaur, Director – Partnerships, Mountain Homestays

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

Resilience through tourism

During a time of unprecedented global change, it is imperative that people and the planet are adaptive and resilient. This talk explores the opportunity and necessity of the tourism sector to support the resilience of natural and cultural heritage upon which it often depends. We must embrace change as the one constant, and move towards a more holistic approach to business in society. Case studies illustrate the value of the partnership, participation and stewardship necessary to support long term resilience to both natural and man-induced change, while connecting travellers to destinations.

Dr. Steve Newman, Assistant Vice President / Group Sustainability Director, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

How to accelerate your digital growth: Effective influencer partnerships and growth hacking tools for beginners

The term “growth hacking” is (mis)used a lot these days, but seldom explained. In this session award-winning travel blogger and digital agency CEO Matt Gibson provide a clear definition and framework for approaching growth hacking before moderating a panel of experienced experts who will share their favorite tools and most successful strategies for accelerating growth and expanding reach with minimal effort and investment, including tried-and-true influencer marketing approaches.


  • Matt Gibson, CEO, UpThink
  • Alvin Lim, Director, AM Collective
  • Florence Shih, Founder, Yoga, Wine & Travel
  • Venkatraman Dhamodaran, Co-Founder, Trip101
16:00 PM - 16:30 PM
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Muslim tourism: Is it all about halal food and praying?

We know that Muslim tourism has been growing strong over the past 10 years, and halal food as well as prayer room are almost on top of everyone’s mind when it comes to a Muslim travel package. Yet, is Muslim tourism all about halal food and praying rooms?

We know that Bali and Phuket are some of most popular destinations in the world, but we don’t see many tourists from Middle East and Muslim countries coming there, even when restaurants and tourist sites in these areas are serving halal food and Muslim-related services. 

Something is not right.

We need to understand Muslim travelers beyond the mere services. Join us in this session as we explore what Muslim travelers truly want to experience in a trip.


  • Bambang Hartono, Founder & General Manager, Smile Holiday
  • Widjaya, Consultant Manager, Smile Holiday
  • Theeraphat Chuanchom (Dew), Co-Founder & Product Manager, Phuket Dream Destination
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Halal tourism: A new goldmine for tourism

Halal tourism is a new product in the tourism industry market. This niche market offers a great prospective for Halal tourism. As the Muslim population has been growing swiftly across the world, there is a need to develop customized Halal tourism products and services to cater to this vigorous sector. Muslims all around the world will travel for their faith annually to pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina – a trend for pilgrimage packages to include an extended offer to visit other religious places. Holiday packages that comply with the Sharia – like Halal airlines, Halal hotels, Halal food, a room having a Qiblah pointing signage on the ceiling, a prayer rug or Sajadah, a bidet or an arch stretching somewhere in the room – are considered authentically within the Islamic culture. As Muslims contribute to one of the largest tourist markets in the world, a framework to present a Halal perspective is required to provide an overview of Halal tourism market. The concept is interesting but the market for it must be identified as in the absence of standardisation or certification, it would be tough to go mainstream.

Sheikh Awadh Sheikh Abdullah, Managing Director, Gotz Travel & Tours

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Getting Onboard Halal Travel 2.0

The Halal travel market has undergone significant changes in recent years. At the start of this decade, businesses, hotels and tour operators provided functional services that catered to the needs of Muslim tourists – Halal Travel 1.0. These offerings included Halal food options, water-friendly washrooms, and prayer facilities. Driven by the rapid pace of digital and technological transformation, a new phase of Muslim travel is emerging, one that is defined by experience and connectivity – Halal Travel 2.0. Halal Travel 2.0 leverages technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, to better engage Muslim travelers in the digital age. How should destinations and businesses get onboard this phase?


  • Fazal Bahardeen, Founder & CEO, CrescentRating & HalalTrip
  • Said Komil Holhojayev, Head of Islamic Tourism Division, State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Developme
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

Challenges faced by Muslim Travellers around the world

The presentation will highlight some of the key components and elements for facilitating Muslim travelers; from our experience of handling and managing their travels. We will further share key challenges, insights, and analytics on the Muslim travel market via our travel technology platform by analyzing real-time big data; that consists of global social media tracking, worldwide search trends and insights, global news and media monitoring, travel reviews monitoring, sentiment analysis and more.


  • Dato' Syed Mohd Razif Bin Syed Yasin, Group CEO, Sri Sutra Travel Sdn Bhd
  • Tabraiz Feham, Director, Technology, Sri Sutra Travel Sdn Bhd
13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

How Muslim Friendly Tourism Businesses shall react to stay ahead of the new trend of travellers and their demands?

The trends of world’s travellers indicate that the Muslim travellers are a new emerging segment within the global travel and tourism sector. According to Pew Research (*), one out of three people born between 1990 and 2030 will be Muslim. Globally, the growth of middle class and younger travellers are significant. Besides the challenge of digitalizing our tourism business and engagement into e-marketing tools that will revolutionize marketing, what shall we react to stay ahead of the new trend of demand to cater for Muslim Travellers, especially for none-Muslim business owners and destination management? 
(*) Pew Research Centre Forum on Religious and Public Life (2014); The Future of the Global Muslim Population; Washington, DC USA, Pew Research


  • Xinyi Fong, Managing Director, Triba-East Travel
  • Farish Husni Abdullah Fahim, Director, Musfits Sdn Bhd
13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

Creating the best experience for Muslim travelers

Muslim travel has become a very potential market nowadays. One of the opportunities to develop Muslim brand is through Muslim tourism and leisure. Muslim tourism products focus more on tourism elements and combined with a few elements of pilgrimage. The variety of Muslim products is expected to meet the special experience needed by consumers and of course, first of all, you need to give the products itself a brand / a name. By creating Muslim products, we can expand the targeted market segments. The question is, "How we can create and make a Muslim tourism product that gives more value to our customers?”


  • Cicilia Anwar, General Manager - Commercial & Product Development, PT Dayawisata Intiindah
  • Hidayat Syahputra, General Manager - Destination Product Development, Dwidaya Wisata Indonesia
14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

The Muslim travel market: A practical guide to getting started

More DMCs, DMOs, hotels and attractions are waking up to the fact that the Muslim travel market represents a huge, untapped opportunity. But how do you get started? What exactly is “Muslim travel”? And how can you assess how “Muslim friendly” you already are? 

In this practical presentation, you will learn more about the potential of the Muslim travel market - and get an idea of exactly how to get started.

Hannah Pearson, Founding Partner, Pear Anderson

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