Agenda Day 1 | Agenda Day 2 | Agenda Day 3

Day 1 : 17 OCT 2018


Level 3 | Room 3010A/B

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Get to the heart of today’s complex travel issues with the expertise and vision that only industry leaders can provide. Join us for keynote presentations and panel discussion, where leaders of major travel industry companies and related partners outline what it takes to succeed, and how they are planning to keep succeeding as the industry continues to move forward. Find out their thoughts on what the major game changers will be, how they are continuing to innovate their business models to remain competitive and their plans for the future of the travel industry.

09:00 - 09:15: Future Unpacked: What will disrupt and change the way we travel and do business? 

Shane O'Flaherty, Global Director of Travel and Transportation, Microsoft 

09:15 - 09:30: The Digital Traveller

How has technology changed the travel experience for consumers in Asia Pacific? With travellers increasingly empowered by the computing capabilities of their mobile devices, they are demanding more from businesses to serve their needs seamlessly. In particular, Asia Pacific is a unique region. It is the largest and fastest growing travel region globally and many users are coming online rapidly. It leads the world globally in mobile engagement. Traveller profiles are younger and localization is key. How can travel businesses be more relevant to these travellers and win them over?

Hermione Joye, Head of Industry, Travel APAC, Google

09:30 - 10:00: Keynote Panel


  • Shane O'Flaherty, Global Director of Travel and Transportation, Microsoft 
  • Hermione Joye, Head of Industry, Travel APAC, Google


  • Karishma Vaswani, Asia Business Correspondent, BBC News

10:00 AM – 10:20 AM 

Challenging the International Travel Market

With rising customer expectations and rapidly-changing technology, how can we as an industry evolve to meet these challenges? Join Ctrip to find the answers as he shares his insights on how travel is changing, what are some of the future trends and new technologies that his company is watching, and what global growth strategies that Ctrip is pursuing.

Victor Tseng, Chief Communications Officer, Ctrip

10:20 AM - 10:30 AM

ITB Asia 2018: Buyer's Briefing

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Hear from the C-Suite | Interview: Reinventing Thomas Cook to win over the Chinese travellers

Thomas Cook China (Thomas Cook 托迈酷客) is a joint venture company between Thomas Cook Group, one of the world's leading travel groups, and Fosun, a leading Chinese investment group with operations globally. 

Positioned as a premium, lifestyle brand targeted at a younger, digitally savvy Chinese customers; Thomas Cook China has grown into a fully digital tour operator with a wide range of travel products and services across multiple distribution channels, combining its own web platform with digital stores on key Chinese marketplaces such as Alibaba.

This interview will explore how Thomas Cook China is becoming a major brand in the China travel market, leveraging the existing technology and destination resources to reach a size that is comparable with other key source markets in Europe.

Interview Guest: Alessandro Dassi, CEO & General Manager, Thomas Cook Greater China and Far East

Interviewer: Allan Tan, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Ying Communications, now part of Finn Partners

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Hear from the C-Suite | Interview: Which technologies will truly transform travel?

Interview Guest: Sumesh Patel, President - Asia Pacific, SITA

Interviewer: Mike Ghasemi, Founder & Chief Analyst, Mike Ghasemi Research

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Hear from the C-Suite | Interview with Meituan Travel

Interview Guest: Steven Shu, CMO, Meituan Platform

Interviewer: Michael Norris, Consumer Research Manager, Resonance China

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Hear from the C-Suite | The Future of Corporate Travel Products and Services in an age of AI, Big Data, and ML

Interview Guests:

  • Ken Kuguru, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Egencia 
  • Samantha Williams, Regional Director, Account Management Asia Pacific, Travelport 


  • Brett Henry, CEO, Travel Daily Media 

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Hear from the C-Suite | Interview: The Business of FUN! Fueling Asia tourism growth with theme park expansion

Interview Guest: David McKillips, President – International Development, Six Flags

Interviewer: Allan Tan, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Ying Communications, now part of Finn Partners

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

Commercial trends in Asia Pacific: Connecting the dots

Saurabh Prakash, Vice President, Commercial, Asia Pacific, Radisson Hotel Group

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

Hear from the C-Suite | Your photos are your product: Visual Intelligence is the future

The visual language has evolved and now photography is a critical asset for every business. 

With the rise of rich visuals, it’s harder than ever to concentrate our attention, so it is strategically important for businesses to learn how to capture appropriate attention of their customers. 

Photography is truly a universal language. When combined with big data, it can offer deep insights as to what we, as humans, react to. 

Drawing from 14 years of building 500px into premier photo platform, Evgeny Tchebotarev will share what businesses can learn from the “big data” findings, and how to structure their campaigns and prepare assets for optimal response. 

Lastly, the world is a global village, and yet the cultural differences are only getting stronger, more pronounced. We will touch as to how operating in different markets requires careful studying of patterns and tastes to adjust the brand’s visual message.

Evgeny Tchebotarev, Founder, 500px & Vice President of Growth Asia, Skylum

13:30 PM – 14:00 PM

Overtourism: Managing growth, reacting before it’s too late, and bringing your destination back into balance 

PwC will lead a discussion with destination representatives on key topics in tourism management 

  • Overcrowded destinations: Measures & lessons learned from Asian destinations 
  • Tackling “overtousim” in destinations: Proactive & reactive approaches to managing rapid tourism growth 
  • Numbers versus profit: Planning & monitoring of overtourism at destinations


  • Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director, Mekong Tourism
  • Gerry Romanescu, Director – Centre of Excellence for Hospitality and Tourism for EMEA, PwC
  • John Fong, CEO & Head of Campus (Singapore), S P Jain School of Global Management


  • David Ermen, Independent Consultant

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

The State of Corporate Travel and why it matters 

Hosted by Mastercard

Modern business travelers want flexibility, predictability, and above all, productivity when they are on the road. In these uncertain times, they also need reassurance and their personal safety.
Keeping pace with the changing needs of these diverse and demanding travelers – while delivering the objectives of the travel program is not small challenge. 

In this session, we look at how travel managers are growing into this role, leveraging sophisticated strategies to both facilitate the traveler and shape their needs and behaviours.

Whitepaper readout
Christopher Tang, Specialist, Commercial Products (Asia Pacific), Mastercard

Megatrends & evolution of T&E

  • Christopher Tang, Specialist, Commercial Products (Asia Pacific), Mastercard


  • Jennifer Merli, Vice President, Global Commercial Products, Mastercard
  • Amit Sharma, Managing Director Head of Cross Currency Product and Commercial Cards, Asia Pacific Head of Treasury Products, Southeast Asia Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Michael T. Molloy, Category Leader - Travel and Expense Management Procurement, Rio Tinto

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

Hear from the C-Suite | Fireside chat: Hospitality as a creative act

While we sometimes focus our adulation in other spheres such as startups and their founders, members of the hospitality industry need to be recognized for the hidden creativity that goes into doing their jobs well. The act of hospitality is both noble, and a much-needed solution to the strains of a hyper productive, and digitally fragmented society. This talk, consisting of a presentation and a short panel discussion with hospitality luminaries, will unpack the elements of creating incredible experiences, citing vivid examples of the travel profession at its best. The discussion will not be of interest just for hoteliers, but also anyone who can benefit from adding the values of empathy, anticipation, problem solving and attention to detail in their personal or work lives.


  • Colin Nagy, Head of Strategy, FRED & FARID, Hospitality & Innovation Columnist, Skift
  • Bernhard Bohnenberger, President, Six Senses

16:00 PM - 16:30 PM

Hear from the C-Suite | Hot on the running shoes: Ironman and the rise of ‘experiential’ travel

Geoff Meyer, Managing Director, IRONMAN Asia

16:30 PM - 17:00 PM

Fireside Chat: The business of loyalty: Moments that earn you customers for life


  • Clay Springer, President, The Rossch Group and RosschTech 
  • Additional speaker to be announced 

21:00 PM - 00:00 PM

Late Night Function

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Private sector involvement in environmental protection for sustainable diving, marine, and sports tourism in the Philippines

With the closure of Boracay early this year, the Philippine government and tourism stakeholders have placed efforts to protect biodiversity in the country.

Considering that diving, marine, and sports tourism is one of the main components of the Philippine National Tourism Development Plan, this is one area where we the Philippine Travel Agencies Association will continuously be involved.

Marlene Dado Jante, President, Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA)

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Creating a festive atmosphere at events

Creating a festive atmosphere at events is becoming ever more popular. 

  • How can a previously unknown format succeed? 
  • How does the new format different from a current one? 
  • What challenges does it pose? 
  • What tools, technologies and strategies are used to plan and organise an outstanding event?

Main speaker & Moderator: 

  • Nina Gomez, Head of Operations – Singapore, CWT Meetings & Events 

Panel speakers:

  • Alfred Lin, Managing Director, Lavish Catering
  • Ryan Kho, Senior Sales Manager, Lavish Catering
  • Adriel Chua, Project Director, Paper Carpenter
  • Nicholas Tan, Director, Senses AVL
  • Noel Goh, Director, The Events Store


11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

Fireside chat: Online bookings for small meetings

Technology has disrupted the orthodox way meetings are booked. Join Venuerific,, as they gather a firechat to delve further into the challenges of online bookings for small meetings.

  • How is the industry changing through tech disruption? 
  • What specific changes have you seen at the venue you manage and how are you and your team adopting to the change? 
  • Any strategies and change of direction it has brought to you for 2019?
  • Do you feel that this is an important transformation and why?
  • What challenge does this bring about?


  • Cynthia Jee Yoon Kim, CMO, Venuerific


  • Sulbi Lee, General Manager, M Social at Millennium Hotels & Resorts
  • Riduan Zabah, Venue Owner, The Villa at Botanic Garden

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

How Technology and Innovation Help in the F&B Sector to Reach Customer “Expectation”

The term “expectation” is a complex issue in MICE, hospitality and F&B industries - as each customer has a personal evaluation based on their previous experiences; while innovation is a critical factor for growth in the F&B industry; and a tool to get closer to the customer and in turn go beyond expectations.  

Nowadays, in the F&B sector, use of Technology and Innovation is no longer limited to improving food quality but also to turn around business models to stay on top of changing customer patterns and needs, understanding millennial preferences, leveraging new packaging, and using key technology.   The industry needs to innovate to keep up with recent trends.

Innovative solutions are the only way forward – to beat the competition as well.  A significant factor for sustainability in the F&B industry which is in critical need of innovative solutions is upgrading and retaining talent in the F&B industry.   All of these lead back to customer “expectation”.

We believe a key factor to reach customer “expectation” resides in communication, personalizing customer need, professional and organized team work, as well as, offering updated event facilities. 


  • Kim Steppe, CEO, Europe & Asia, Blue Elephant International Group
  • Thanate Kienpotiramard, Founder, BIC Event Group

13:30 PM – 14:00 PM

Successful Integration of Teambuilding into MICE Events 

An interactive presentation sharing the speaker’s extensive experience in creating total engagement and delegate satisfaction in Meeting, Incentive and Conference groups. Top tips and case studies will be shared detailing the successful, seamless inclusion of sophisticated onsite team activities into meeting and incentive agendas. A focus will be on customisation and theming of team activities while avoiding potential pitfalls. Experience in just a few minutes the level of energy a well-designed and facilitated teambuilding experience can create. A unique opportunity to learn some of the secrets of the Successful Integration of Teambuilding into MICE Events from one of the true masters of teambuilding in Asia. 

David Fotheringham, Director, Catalyst Asia Team Building

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

Real-time In-house guest engagement: Disrupting the Industry

Don’t miss it! The next real game changer for hotel guest engagement is real-time interaction. 

Imagine if you could get real-time feedback while your guest is in house and you can actually do something about it – from alerting staff to monitoring resolutions and sending customized email follow-ups based on each guest’s experience. 

Hear from GuestScores to understand how you can develop a communication channel with your in house guests that is simple, easy, unobtrusive and really works. Deliver ‘Review’, ‘Upsell’, ‘Information’ or ‘Participation’ campaigns. One solution does it all. It’s fully automated and return on investment is achieved in just a few hours!

Rob Fleischer, Director of Sales and Marketing, GuestScores

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

Don't just learn something - change something

Traditional conferences invite the audience to listen and learn. That's not enough to engage and provide an experience that sticks. You need to challenge your audience. That's what Slush Singapore does - and this talk will show you exactly how.

Anna Ratala, Head of Slush Singapore, Slush

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

The Future of MICE: The automation of meeting venue discovery and reservations

Ciaran will discuss his journey since 2010 building into the global leader in online bookings. He will unveil the key statistics and trends around the automation of meeting room reservations. Finally, he will outline the new online distribution landscape emerging in this rapidly growing sector. 

Ciaran Delaney, CEO, MeetingsBooker

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

Digitising the Meetings and Events industry to keep up with the demands of today's buyer

We now live in the instant era, yet within the hospitality realm specifically, industry professionals are continually faced with a notorious gap in the booking process for groups and events. During her presentation, Lauren explores the impact the traditional RFP has on a hotel's relationship with prospective buyers and why there is such a need for integrated systems that provide the modern planner with the answers they seek immediately. Throughout her presentation, Lauren will demonstrate the potential venues have to optimise revenue by digitising their assets and providing real-time data to their customers. Lauren will then explore the direct correlation between live inventory and an increase in conversions, as well as the impact this element of automation has on the entire life cycle of the industry, for both the event planner and venue operator.

Lauren Hall, Founder & CEO, iVvy

16:00 PM - 16:30 PM

Customer behaviour and trends of booking meetings & events online

Booking meeting rooms online is a growing trend but why isn't it already a standard? During the presentation Joonas will present the key findings of how customers are booking their offsite meeting rooms and event spaces online. What are the main obstacles of online booking? How to avoid the typical pitfalls as a customer? During the presentation, Joewin Tan will give her feedback of how Huone Singapore is pushing online bookings through their own channels and what have been their biggest learnings so far. During the presentation we want to take away the possible fear or any obstacle you may have towards online booking.


  • Joonas Ahola, Founder & CEO, 
  • Joewin Tan, CEO, Huone Singapore 

16:30 PM - 17:00 PM

Panel: Event Planning: Taking It A Notch Higher. How to reinvent the event experience in today's crowded marketplace

It is said that event attendees of today demand more immersive, authentic and unique experiences that resonate with them professionally and personally.

Today’s big trend in events is convergence. We are now seeing that the attendee experience involves multidisciplinary programming and a kinetic hybridization - marrying online and offline omni-channel engagement, themes linking commerce and creativity, and content integrating education and entertainment — helps attendees plug into an organization’s messaging in more ways at more times in more

From TED, C2 to South by South West, and in Asia, conferences like RISE Conference, InnovFest Unbound or Wonderfruit in Bangkok, all event experiences are now morphing together into the festivalization of events.

Concerts now accompany conferences, meetings are now conducted to encourage new styles of collaboration, trade shows are looking to add new consumer elements. Training conferences are like going to Lollapalooza. In a competition for our attention, event organizers are engaging all the senses. This panel will explore how brands can engage their customers through events and the emerging trends in the industry.


  • Natasha Damodaran, Marketing Director at Indochine Media, Publishers of Buro 24/7 Singapore, Esquire Singapore and Robb Report
  • Michelle Leong, Marketing Manager, Peatix Asia 
  • Daren Goh, Regional Marketing Director, Southeast Asia, WeWork


  • Melissa Lou, Co-Founder, Delegate

21:00 PM - 00:00 PM

Late Night Function

10:30 AM - 10:50 PM

Teleporting MICE Organisers into the 21st Century

Technology can erode the human element in its rapid progress, and the human touch is a crucial element for organizing events. Charlie Teo, Founder of EventiseCo, will share his views on how we can find the right balance between getting the human touch and infusing technology when organising events.

Charlie Teo, Founder & Chief Happening Officer, EventiseCo

11:00 AM - 11:20 AM

Tech Showcase: Zipevent: How digital platform helps enhance MICE ecosystem

Digital platform can be beneficial not only to organizers, but also to visitors and exhibitors. Viewing from every party's perspective, let's see how their experience can be enhanced.

Jay Parote Denskoon, CEO & Co-Founder, Zipevent

11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Observations on the Future of Mobile Learning in the MICE Industry

Mobile phones are an integral part of our daily lives and take up increasing amounts of our daily digital time. During this session Nigel will present how organisations can leverage the reliance on our phones to deliver impactful mobile learning programmes to their stakeholders. He will paint a picture on how this technology can be applied across our industry from both a supplier and buyer perspective. Furthermore, he will discuss case studies of organisations who have adopted this technology in their Learning and Development.

Nigel Brown, Director - Co Founder, Jugo Consultancy

12:00 PM - 12:20 PM

Revolutionising how group experiences happen with TAB

New tools and technologies are empowering business travellers throughout the entire travel journey, yet few have addressed the challenge of organising business dining and group entertaining. 

How can business travellers and meeting planners utilise technology to host exceptional client experiences and group events? 

In this session, gain insights and trends of how to seamlessly plan and personalise experiences to create lasting business connections.

Greg Yap, Founder, TAB

14:30 PM - 14:50 PM

The Future of Art Events: How Digital and Physical Fusion elevates bespoke experiences

Internet connectivity allows quick search on activities interests people in nearest distance from them. There are plenty of virtual platforms hosting providers for F&B, lessons and classes, shopping malls, clinics and all you can think of. 

Juz Art Studio was a traditional art experience provider when it was first incorporated, today, Juz Group enbracing tech and becomes a Digital-Physical Platform for Unique Experiences. Under the help of tech, resource integration and sharing are made easier. We are well-connected with business partners who are in all rounds of areas of enrichment services, e.g. beer making, perfume making, belly dance and painting and drawing etc. Communication and bookings are a click away. By engaging with social media, online booking platforms and online scheduler, marketing and administration are done cost and time efficiently and effectively. 

With our avengers, we are here to provide a new level of hassle free and highly personalised experience for travellers. From booking a flight to having a localised afternoon tea, 95% of administration work are done via tech, leave our avengers more time to bring travellers through an unique Singapore experience, hope to have travellers bring their own tastes, touches, smells, visual and sound of Singapore back home.

Gwen Wang, CEO of Juz Group of Companies, Juz Art Studio Pte Ltd

15:00 PM - 15:20 PM

Maximising audience engagement with mobile event app

The success of an event is largely determined by attendee satisfaction. How might we better understand delegates' expectations to address them in highly personalised and contextual ways, so they get the most out of the event experiences?

By integrating mobile application into their overall event strategy, discover how planners can not only improve the experience for attendees and exhibitors, but also generate compelling data to better demonstrate ROI.

Tan Jie Hao, Co-Founder & CEO, Micepad


15:30 PM - 15:50 PM

How Blockchain can reinvent the events industry

Melissa Lou, Co-Founder, Delegate


16:00 PM - 16:20 PM

Event technology trends

Mervyn Tan, The Seraph & Chief Strategy Officer, Aavii Worldwide Sdn Bhd


21:00 PM - 00:00 PM

Late Night Function


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Impact of new age technology on tourism: Role of AI, Robotics, Blockchain on various stakeholders

The presentation will explore the case studies in tourism and beyond on the use cases of AI, blockchain and robotics in the Industry

Sanjay Singh, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Navigating Digital Transformation in Hospitality

The hospitality industry is undergoing fundamental and huge change. Increased connectivity, adoption of new technologies and uncompromising customer expectations have resulted in numerous challenges and opportunities. Transitioning and survival in the wired world will require an aligned transformation strategy, proven execution and a responsive support structure for your properties.  
Some hoteliers endeavor to navigate unchartered waters by developing their own digital or transformation teams; while others may decide to focus on their core mission, which is the business of delighting customers… true hospitality. Regardless of the approach, the solutions hoteliers adopt must possess the flexibility to meet diverse and changing needs, and the shortest time to market. 
In this session, we will look at how hoteliers may embark on the journey of transformation, and the considerations that follows in building transformation capability inhouse or to partner with a technology provider.

Ben Castro, Head of Operations, Sabre Hospitality APAC

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Future of Tech Panel

The whole tech industry is changing at a phenomenal pace right now. We invite IT Leaders in MICE, Corporate, Leisure and travel-related partners to share insights on what impact the digital revolution will continue to have in the travel industry, how to move fast and think big.

  • What are the tech trends that we can tap on to make a big difference? 
  • How much should we digitise our business? What’s at stake if we don’t? 
  • If the benefits of digitising the travel business are clear, how should we execute it? What are the holdbacks? What are the key areas we need to focus on? 
  • Overcoming legacy systems and legacy mindsets 
  • What will be the travel’s next big things? How should we prepare for the next disruptions coming from new emerging technologies, such as AI, robotics, VR? 


  • Ender Shutao Jiang, Founder, Hiverlab 
  • Mohit Saxena, Founder & COO, Rizort
  • Sahba Saint-Claire, Co-Founder & CEO, Touché 
  • Tien Nguyen, CTO, Wego 
  • Swami Sekar, Co-Founder & CEO, Winimy.Ai


  • Mike Ghasemi, Founder & Chief Analyst, Mike Ghasemi Research

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

New Digital KPIs for Tourism Boards

Real-time data opens the door to a new understanding about how people are traveling in 2018. The more that Tourism Boards embrace data and new measurements, the more opportunity there is to increase marketing budgets and improve the travel experience for visitors.


  • Jonathan Hardy, Vice President, APAC, ADARA
  • Matthew Zatto, Vice President of Tourism, APAC, ADARA 

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

Travel Associations – Gatekeepers to the Digital Highway to ASEAN

The hands-on involvement of travel associations in today’s highly digitalised tourism seascape has become increasingly crucial in determining both the immediate and long-term outcome of the travel and tourism industry in the ASEAN region. NGOs can no longer stand back and ‘let things develop’ but must now take a more vigorous approach in crafting a digital strategy to ensure a level playing field. 

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

13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

Influencing the Traveller Path to Purchase

Did you know that 74% of global travellers who book accommodations make TripAdvisor a part of their online journey? In an increasingly competitive marketplace, hotels are looking for new ways to engage with travellers, differentiate their brands and increase conversions. In this session, you'll hear insights from the 2018 "Path to Purchase" study conducted by comScore analysing activity on more than 325 transactional sites globally, and get exclusive data-driven insights about traveller behaviour and purchase patterns. 

At this session, find out how to leverage this knowledge to influence booking decisions on TripAdvisor, and the steps you can take to maximise your reach to potential guests.

Leon Chan, Manager, Business Development, APAC, TripAdvisor

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

The Direct Booking Bermuda Triangle: Why are your guests lost in the customer journey?

Kristian Valk, CEO of Hotelchamp, will talk about how guests experience hotels' websites and why people are leaving without making a booking. He will share insights to understand how hotels can fix their websites using techniques mastered by OTAs, to keep people on site and make a booking.

Kristian Valk, Founder & CEO, Hotelchamp

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

Introduction to Virtual Payments for the Travel Industry

Supplier relationships are critical to success for a travel company, and at the heart of that relationship is payments. Virtual payments technology has allowed companies to quickly expand their geographic reach and build stronger relationships with suppliers around the world. Hear from the pioneers of virtual payments how use of this technology has grown over the years and how it continues to improve security and simplify supplier payments in the travel industry.

Daniel Yao, Strategic Sales Manager, WEX Asia

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

From offline market to online: Digitizing the supply in tours and activities space

  • Overview on the fragmented and complex supply: Rising demand in a comprehensive and personalized way 
  • How technology can fill the gap: The value of technology, the challenges, and Klook's forecast on the trends including AI / machine learning. 
  • Case studies 

Chuan Sheng (C.S.) Soong, General Manager, SEA Region, Klook

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

Beyond apps: Chinese Mini-Programs and implications for global Chinese travelers

While companies all over the world seek to leverage mobile technologies to better reach potential tourists, often times these companies are not technology companies themselves – resulting in sizable spends and consequent headaches in developing apps that fail to reach eyeballs. This problem is amplified by user fatigue in downloading, managing, and ultimately deleting a range of apps with limited long-term and repeat usage. However, this is changing in China, where mobile mini-programs can supplement – or even replace – mobile apps altogether, resulting in lower investments by the developer yet a better on-demand experience for users. This session will cover how global companies and organizations in the tourism and retail sectors leverage mobile mini-programs to serve China’s 150 million annual outbound tourists.

Benny Ho, Senior Director, Tencent

16:00 PM - 16:30 PM

Innovation in hospitality – Transforming the guest experience and cultivating brand loyalty 
With technology being incorporated into more aspects of travel and hospitality, there is no doubt that it is playing an increasingly critical role in the guest experience. During this session, Ben George, Senior Vice President and Commercial Director, Hilton, Asia Pacific, explores how the world’s most hospitable company leverages technology to facilitate, but not replace, the guest experience, delving deeper into Hilton’s key innovations, which reimagine the travel experience, personalize it, and make it smarter, easier and more enjoyable for guests

Ben George, Senior Vice President & Commercial Director, APAC, Hilton

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

The journey towards establishing a winning destination marketing strategy 

Destinations are not built overnight and require careful curation and the delicate balancing of a range of hardware and software components that all need to work together through a thoughtful and dynamic commercial and marketing approach.  This presentation explores the key success factors required to develop and market a new destination with lessons learned and insights gained on the journey of establishing a ‘greenfield’ destination and Malaysia’s first integrated premium destination resort, Desaru Coast.  

Philip Whittaker, CCO & CEO, Integrated Theme Parks & Attractions (ITPA)

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Revolutionising customer experience of tours & activities by influencing supply

An OTA is not just about being the middle man, it's about asking the question "How do we WOW customers?”

Abhinav Kumar, Regional Manager – SEA & India, GetYourGuide

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Oman Aviation Group: Unlocking Oman’s tourism, logistics and aviation potentials

With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history and traditions, and diverse cultural tapestry, the Sultanate of Oman is known as a truly distinct destination in the Middle East. With year-on-year growth in visitors—total international tourism arrivals are expected to increase by 12.7% in 2018—the government is investing heavily in airport infrastructure and other economic drivers to meet the Sultanate’s National Tourism Strategy of 11.7 million visitors per year by 2040. Supporting this growth is Oman Aviation Group, a government holding tasked with enabling Oman’s aviation, tourism and logistics sectors through its Group companies Oman Air, Oman Airports, and Oman Aviation services.

Mustafa al Hinai, Group CEO, Oman Aviation Group

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

The growth and future of eSports tourism

By 2020, the global Esports market is expected to generate USD 1.5 billion in annual revenues, primarily from sponsorships and advertising to an estimated global audience of 600 million fans according to the latest “Digital Media Trends Survey” released by Deloitte. There are a lot of reasons why Esports events are unique and tremendous experiences. Spectators, fans and gamer have the chance to watch the world best players compete at the highest level, meet their favorite players and share their passion and experience with thousands of other fans. For these reasons and more, fans are willing to travel thousands of miles to attend major Esports events like The International or the ESL One Series. In 2018 more than 150 of these major Esports events will open its door to its community. 

There is huge potential for a new type of tourism to grow: Esports tourism. Destinations, event halls, hotels and travel organizations around the world should understand the undeniable profitability of this new emerging market. 
You cannot put Esports in a box and create normal expectations. 

It’s rowdy, creative and unconventional.

Frank Sliwka, COO, Asia, ESL Gaming

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

Disruptive ways to reach travellers of the future 

Traditional online travel agents lead with the booking. Customers are encouraged to select and book their flights and hotels before they conceptualise what they will do when they are in their destination. However, today's media savvy millennials are seeking inspiration and authentic cultural experiences which speak to them directly. Disruptor brands are providing a richer, full funnel experience for their customers, using innovative technology and data to provide hyper-local, personalised content on a global scale to inspire and engage their audience. This creative, diversified content is the key to reaching a new generation of travellers, creating moments that matter and building loyalty back to the brand.

Kris Naudts, Founder & CEO, Culture Trip

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

Why it matters to make your destinations crypto-friendly

Blockchain will transform the travel industry of the future and allowing for faster, deeper, more meaningful interactions between travel service industry providers—the hotels, tour companies, booking agents and all represented here at the ITB Asia travel forum. Triip attends the ITB Asia travel forum as an advocate for a deeper relationship between travel and cryptocurrencies. With our history pioneering innovations and empowering a world accelerating toward sustainable travel, count on us as your partner and guide in this uncertain but exciting future. 

Come hear our talk to learn more about:

  • How blockchain adoption can court the traveller of the future
  • The challenges of incorporating cryptocurrency in to your existing economic policies and regulatory frameworks
  • How Triip can work with your organization to realize your goals by activating it as a blockchain ally

Hai Ho, CEO, Triip

13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

LaLiga: The Football Pilgrimage

Join the Managing Director SEA, Japan, South Korea and Australia, Ivan Codina, as he shares about ‘the football pilgrimage’, with the understanding of how football fans do not just want to travel, but they need to travel. Come understand the impact of football and how deeply entrenched into our daily lives it is, to be able to not just inspire, but drive fans to travel to their favourite football cities and stadiums where their teams play. Hear examples of what LaLiga, with this knowledge, has been doing to help position Spain as an ideal destination for all football fans.

Ivan Codina, Managing Director SEA, Japan, South Korea and Australia, LaLiga

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

The rise of healthcare tourism

Malaysia has a long-term vision to be the leading global healthcare destination with its offering of easily accessible, competitively affordable, world-class quality healthcare. These critical components are reinforced with everything else Malaysia has to offer, primarily Ease of Communication, Global Halal Hub and other salient features such as socio-cultural similarities, religious affinities etc. Malaysia’s thriving healthcare travel industry also benefits from strong public-private partnerships which further maximise the impact for global marketing, fortify Malaysia Healthcare’s value propositions, and create higher degrees of accessibility.  

Join us to hear how Malaysia Healthcare’s unique end-to-end seamless healthcare travel service sets it apart from regional competitors. It is a promise that quality care is placed along every point of the way from pre-treatment right up to post-care ensuring the healthcare travellers’ peace of mind. 

Sherene Azli, CEO, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC)

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

Who cares about your brand!

Whether you are buying on TV or digital, understanding your objective is key to getting the most out of your media plan. With more people using more devices at the same time than ever before, the traditional rules for capturing and understanding audience engagement no longer apply. For marketers, this means crafting innovative campaigns that complement rather than compete in order to further your business objective. Join Kishore Parthasarathy and James Foreman from Facebook Marketing science team as they share how travel marketers can respond to shifts in consumer behavior and plan accordingly to drive brand performance across platforms and channels.


  • Kishore Parthasarathy, Head of Marketing Science, South East Asia, Facebook
  • James Foreman, DR Lead, South East Asia, Marketing Science, Facebook

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

May we have your attention: Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are amongst the top 3 traveler segments across all large APAC markets – understanding their behavior is critical to future-proofing our businesses. While we all accept that this generation is mobile first, we often underestimate the change in underlying behavior this causes – these consumers are defined by their smartphone experience, especially in Asia.
We will look at how mobile is empowering millennial travelers exponentially (even compared to 2 years ago) and how that empowerment leads to higher expectations across the Dream, Plan, Book and Experience phases. We will also discuss practical actions Travel companies can take to address these behavior changes, along with a deep dive on Video - the new battleground for Travel marketers in APAC.

Rohan Dhanuka, Principal Analyst, APAC Travel (Strategy and Insights), Google

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

Best ways to user Twitter for tourism and destination marketing

If Twitter was a country, it would be the 4th largest in the world. With over 330 million users, Twitter is one of the world’s top influential social marketing channels that CVBs, DMOs, and tourism partners can’t miss.

Yet, admit it. Twitter is a noisy social channel, especially during breaking news events. You need strategies to get your messages across and have your customers engaged.

Here we bring you the tips straight from the insider.

Arvinder Gujral, Managing Director, Southeast Asia & Senior Director, Business Development, Asia Pacific, Twitter

16:00 PM - 16:30 PM

Fall in love with the world

In a global world that takes us across continents through our laptop screens and allows us to enjoy the same uniform Starbucks latte from Canada to Cambodia, the reasons people travel and the people that travel have completely transformed.

BBC Travel and BBC StoryWorks looks to tap into the heart of the motivations of the new traveller,to move past lists and itineraries into creating truly memorable moments and experiences that will shape the way they feel about the world.

In this presentation, we will share with you our insight into how we talk to our audiences, and how we seek to make them fall in love with the world through our stories by amazing them, immersing them, and inspiring them to connect into their next travel adventure.

Nicola Eliot, Director, BBC StoryWorks APAC, BBC Global News

16:30 PM - 17:00 PM

Live and Let Live: How Travel Providers, Big and Small, Can Thrive in a Platform Economy

The travel industry is at the forefront of digital disruption with businesses being reinvented through the creation of a platform economy. But while Uber, AirBnb, Grab, NetJets and Go-Jek are great examples of platforms that have used digital to cut through inefficiencies and create powerful travel ecosystems, much of the industry remains off-line. The question now is how these travel providers can succeed in a platform economy and avoid falling through the cracks.

Tina DiCicco, CEO & Co-Founder, LARGA.PH

17:00 PM - 17:30 PM

Love at the first bite: Do you really know how to market your destinations as food tourism havens?

Local food is the favourite thing in common among all travellers during their trip, especially in Thailand. The classic all-time favourites like Pad Thai and Tom Yum Kung have put Thailand on the world culinary map & among the world’s most popular food destinations. The challenge is how do we spread the impact of tourism economy & tourist distribution outside the major cities, or to put it simply, to the less "touristy" cities. In this session, TakeMeTour will share a case study from Thailand on a campaign that aims to solve this problem.


  • Taro Amornched, CEO & Co-Founder, TakeMeTour 
  • Noppon Anukunwithaya, COO & Co-Founder, TakeMeTour 

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Inside the travel habits of Muslim Millennials

The Middle East. With a population of over 400milion people that features some of the richest countries on Earth, the Middle East is a key focus area for economic and geopolitical issues. On the business side of things, with both online commerce and tourism growing rapidly, online travel has taken off with consumers getting increasingly sophisticated. The Middle East also features one of the youngest demographics worldwide- practically everyone is a millennial... or younger. In this session, we'll cover some of the salient characteristics of the Middle East consumers including travel patterns, key socio-economic factors, mobile usage, and, last but certainly not least, the importance of social networks. Presenting on stage is Ned Terziev, VP Strategy & Planning at Wego. Singapore-based travel metasearch company Wego was among the first international players to target the Middle East market and has grown rapidly ever since.

Nedyalko Terziev, Vice President, Strategy & Planning, Wego

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Next Wave: Rise in Digital Muslim Travelers 

Hosted by Halal Trip


  • Ali Akbar Sahiwala, Creative Director and Founder, Rehla Design
  • Sujimy Mohamad, Marketing Consultant & Content Creator, Screenbox Pte Ltd


  • Shinjan Sarangi, COO, CrescentRating

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

12:30 PM - 13:00 PM

13:00 PM - 13:30 PM

Understanding the Muslim Travellers and their spending habits

It has been so many talks and discussions about Muslim travellers for the past few years that it’s amazing to see the growth of the Muslim travel industry. Muslim friendly or Halal tourism is one of the developing segments in the world of tourism as it offers destinations that are particularly designed specifically to cater for Muslim travellers, having considered and addressed Muslim needs. In this panel discussion, we would like to share and discuss further about this unique and niche segment of target market on how their needs and concerns when travelling can be met and most importantly, understanding the Muslim travellers’ spending habits and anxieties.


  • Erica Annuar, Head of Content & Offline Marketing, Tripfez
  • Hannah Pearson, Founding partner, Pear Anderson
  • Ahmad Dzuhri Abdul Wahab, Managing Director, HW LIMA Sdn. Bhd.
  • Rosemarie Wong Lu Yi, Group Director, Trio Tower Sdn. Bhd.

13:30 PM - 14:00 PM

14:00 PM - 14:30 PM

Muslim Travel Market – Shift Towards The Experience Economy by Have Halal, Will Travel

14:00-14:20: The Next Shift In Muslim Travel Market

The movement towards the experience economy where Muslim travellers are increasing looking for unique local experiences when they travel and visit a new destination. Covering the latest travel trends and patterns for the modern Muslim traveller.

Mikhail Melvin Goh, CEO & Co-Founder, Have Halal, Will Travel

14:20-14:50: Fireside Chat: Attracting Muslim Travellers - A Governmental Effort

This panel takes a look at two main governmental bodies that have been actively attracting the Muslim segment in recent years - their efforts and what’s required on a governmental level in order to prepare for this audience. Panelists will be sharing more on their strategies, insights and also challenges. 


  • Elaine Tee, Business Development Manager & Co-Founder, Have Halal, Will Travel


  • Ava Ang, Country Manager, Singapore/ Malaysia, Tourism Western Australia
  • Mohamed Firhan Abdul Salam, Area Director, Indonesia (Surabaya Office), Singapore Tourism Board

14:50-15:20: Creating Meaningful Experiences and Services For Muslim Travellers

Muslim travellers like everyone else, are increasingly stepping out of their countries to head to further destinations in search of unique experiences. Panelists will be sharing their insights on this and what it means to cater for this market.


  • James Sundram, CEO, The Right Company
  • Ustaz Saif-ur- Rahman, Director, Alchemy of Travel Pte Ltd
  • Marcus Yong, Head of Marketing, Southeast Asia, Klook Travel Technology
  • Spencer Lee, CEO, Travel 360

15:20-15:50: Catering to Muslim Travellers at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics - Changing Tastebuds and Food Preferences

Shinsegae Mamee shares their expertise on the catering, preparation and distribution of Halal food for over 1,700 delegates and 20,000 meals every day during the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics. Apart from that, the talk will also cover the changing tastebuds and food preferences of modern Muslims and how Mamee has partnered Shinsegae to develop a line of authentic Halal Korean products to meet the rising demand. 

Vuitton Pang Hee Cheah, CEO, Shinsegae Mamee Sdn. Bhd.

15:50-16:00: Break

16:00-16:30: Travel Fiqh - The Needs of A Muslim Traveller

How exactly does Islam play a part when a Muslim travels? An Ustad (religious teacher) will be covering two of the most important aspects for Muslim travellers when they’re on a trip - halal food and solat (prayers), and how brands can better cater to these needs.

Saif-ur-Rahman, Director, Alchemy of Travel Pte Ltd

16:30-16:50: What Muslim Travellers Want - Hearing From Real Travellers 

Inviting travellers from different segments, solo travellers, family travellers, budget, adventure, etc, we take a look at how actual Muslim travellers plan out their trips. Deep-diving and exploring their decision making process - the duration it takes for them before heading off on a trip and the factors influencing this decision.

Moderator: Tengku Suzana, Chief Marketing Officer, Have Halal, Will Travel

  • Awa Ketty Camara, Singapore Operations Manager & Asia Pacific Regional Head of Operations Governance
  • Amalia Nadhirah, Student
  • Nora Ahmad Sulhan, Regional Project Manager APAC
  • Ibrahim Bin Rajab, Operation Executive

14:30 PM - 15:00 PM

15:00 PM - 15:30 PM

15:30 PM - 16:00 PM

16:00 PM - 16:30 PM

16:30 PM - 17:00 PM

10:30 AM - 12:30 AM

TravelDaily China-ITB Asia Session

China remains as the largest source market for outbound travel with over 71.31 million Chinese traveling to overseas in first half of 2018, a 15% growth on a year-over-year basis. “Connect & Empower” is the main theme of TravelDaily China-ITB Asia Session to underscore the travel companies need to leverage the latest technology innovations to connect with consumers and improve the travel experience and operation efficiency.

TravelDaily China-ITB Asia Session is set to be a gathering of senior executives from China and world's leading travel and travel technology companies to discuss the opportunities, strategies and tactics while they are expanding and investing in China’s booming travel sector.

Anyone who is looking at expanding and investing in China’s travel sector or attracting the Chinese travelers should participate in this 2-hour event. Besides listening to the experts from China’s leading travel and technology companies, you will also get the chance to network with the Chinese business partners and develop the potential partnership.

TravelDaily China-ITB Asia Session’s Moderator: Charlie Li, CEO, TravelDaily China

10:30-10:55: Keynote: Unique, Fragmented, and Dynamic : The Emerging Media Channels in China's Travel Industry
Joseph Wang, CCO, TravelDaily China

10:55-11:20: Keynote
Aaron Zhi, General Manager of Meituan Travel Marketing Center, Meituan-Dianping

11:20-11:45: Keynote: What’s next for WeChat marketing in travel?
Saxon Booth, Director of Business Development, Dragon Trail Interactive

11:45-12:30: Panel: Embracing the New Digital Media Wave
As the new media platforms are becoming the significant force to challenge traditional media giants in terms of competing for the marketing budget of advertisers, the travel brands also need to learn how to better leverage new digital media tools to engage with millennials and enhance the brand awareness. What are the dos and don'ts in this sector?


  • Steven Pang, Vice President of Product, Skyscanner
  • Philip Liu, General Manager, North Asia, Sabre Hospitality Solutions
  • Roger QIU, General Manager of EMEA Destination Marketing, Ctrip
  • Chris Jones, Regional Marketing Manager APAC, Hotelbeds Group


  • Joseph Xia, Founder & CEO, Yearth Group
14:00 PM - 16:00 PM

Making global travel local by Airbnb

Companies and business travelers continue to evolve the way they work (and travel for work). How can companies help professionals foster engagement, growth, and belonging? Learn about how companies from different sizes can improve the ways their employees collaborate, create and grow whether they are traveling for work, planning team-building experiences, organizing offsites and meetings, or relocating to a new city.

Alvan Aiau Yong, Regional Lead, Airbnb for Work, APAC, Airbnb


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