Abhinav Sinha

Chief Operating Officer, OYO

Abhinav Sinha is the Chief Operating Officer at OYO, India’s largest branded network of hotels.

Abhinav joined OYO in August 2014 to build the organization and supervise growth across India and overseas while maintaining strong focus on great customer experience.

Abhinav has proven expertise in strategy, project management, analytics and operations. He started his career at ITC Limited. In 2009 he joined The Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant in Dallas. He has worked extensively across airline, telecom, IT & hospitality sectors. After four years in BCG where he became a Principal, he returned to India to join Ritesh in building OYO Rooms

Abhinav received his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur and MBA from Harvard Business School.


Adrian Currie

Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Priceline Group

Adrian Currie is a Senior Vice President in the Corporate Development team at The Priceline Group that evaluates and completes strategic acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures and/or investments. His focus within the Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN), the world’s leading group of online travel brands, is the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, Adrian has held a number of roles within the group over 12 years including Chief Financial Officer Booking.com, Chairman Agoda, Member of Group Management Board, Director Rentalcars.com and Managing Director APAC Booking.com.  He is an FCA and MBA (London Business School).


Alex Shen

Strategic Partnership Manager, China, GetYourGuide

Alex Shen is responsible for building GetYourGuide’s presence in China. GetYourGuide is the leading travel marketplace with the world’s largest collection of over 25,000 travel activities in more than 2000 destinations worldwide. Founded in 2009, the company is backed by KKR, Spark Capital, Highland Capital, Kees Koolen and Fritz Demopoulos.

Prior to GetYourGuide, Alex has worked in a variety of China related roles in travel industry including co-founding zhuyouyou.com, an online tours and activities booking platform for Chinese tourist traveling to Europe. Alex holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Imperial College London.


Anand Nadathur

Chairman and CEO, SilverNeedle Hospitality

Anands vision of combining scale with customisation in hotels to create a leading hospitality company was the blueprint for SilverNeedle® Hospitality.
Anand led the acquisition of Ativa Hospitality, a Bangkok-based boutique hotel management company, and Constellation Hotels. Anand has created several successful start-ups including Cades Digitech, Agency.com, iXL and Apex technologies as well as co-founding Medi-Assist.

As a Director of the family-owned Nadathur Group – the family office and private investment arm of N.S.Raghavan, co-founder of Infosys Technologies – he is responsible for the wealth management and strategic direction of group assets. A philanthropist with a strong moral compass, Anand also founded the Nadathur Trust that actively supports companies investing in wildlife conservation and the strengthening of India’s social eco-system.

Aya Aso

President & CEO, AGORA Hospitalities

She founded AGORA in 2007 with a strong vision to establish “A Collection of Beautiful Japan”, a collection of boutique hotels and Japanese traditional ryokans in unique destinations throughout Japan.  She has been actively expanding its portfolio to include 12 boutique hotels and traditional Japanese ryokans.

Aya has a well-established career in the hospitality industry with prior career in Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Japan Group, and then PricewaterhouseCoopers BPO Japan K.K. as a financial accountant.

She was born in Japan, raised in Brazil and studied in the States.   She graduated from University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music, with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, and later from University of Wales with a Master of Business Administration. 


Aya Yamoto

Manager, Travel Investment, Recruit

Based in Tokyo, Aya is a leader of the travel investment team for Recruit. She has 7 years of business development experience in the travel industry.

With Recruit, she has worked for their domestic services under “Jalan.net”, their outbound services, their OTAs- “ Mytour" ”Travel Book"in SEA, and their global investment team covering Europe, the USA and APAC.

Aya started her career with Recruit in 2004. She graduated from The University of Tokyo in 2002 and The University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics in 2004, qualified as a master of International Politics.


Blanca Menchaca

COO & Co-founder, BeMyGuest

Blanca Menchaca is the co-founder and chief operating officer of one of the fastest growing travel start-ups in Asia, BeMyGuest.

In her role as COO, Blanca is responsible for managing a highly multicultural Asian operation with teams spread out across Singapore, Philippines, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and currently expanding to India.

Prior to BeMyGuest, Blanca was the Global Head of Online Marketing at Wego.com, another successful Asian travel start-up at the time. She helped the company build teams across Singapore, Indonesia, India and Middle East.

Blanca was born in Mexico but has gained most of her travel and e-commerce experience abroad, with 6 years in Australia and 7 years in Asia so far. 


Bobby Healy

CTO, CarTrawler

Bobby Healy is an experienced inventor and technology entrepreneur specialising in booking engine software. He joined CarTrawler in 2005 having begun his career building computer games for Nintendo at 16 years of age.

Prior to joining CarTrawler, Bobby founded Eland Technologies which he later sold to airline technology giant SITA and remained as CTO until 2005. His booking solutions are now in use by 80% of the world's top 20 airlines.

Bobby continues to be an avid computer programmer and is a frequent speaker on the international circuit on subjects related to technology in the airline industry, ancillary revenue and online distribution.


Chetan Kapoor

Research Analyst, Asia Pacific, Phocuswright

Mr. Kapoor joined the Phocuswright research team in February 2010 to fulfill his desire to track online travel trends firsthand. Prior to joining Phocuswright, Chetan reported on various aspects of the industry for nearly three years, including attending a number of local and international trade shows, conferences and interviewing key people of the trade, and was a journalist for Express TravelWorld, a leading Indian travel trade publication. A Bachelor of Mass Media graduate from the University of Mumbai (Bombay), Chetan enjoys jogging and has participated in the Mumbai Half Marathon since 2008. His other interests include meeting new people, discovering new cultures and cuisines, photography, reading up on social media and new technologies, treks and, of course, traveling.


Chris Ong

Founder & Owner

Investment banker turned international hotelier Chris Ong, first ventured into the hospitality business when he moved to Sri Lanka in 2003. His first hotel “Galle Fort Hotel" had won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award of Distinction in 2007, it was than later sold back to the Sri Lankans, yet to this day it remains as one of Sri Lanka’s top hotels.

Since returning from Sri Lanka at 2007, he had built six boutique hotels, although Glove Hall and Noordin Mews had been sold off as they were outside the zone.

The 4 heritage boutique properties Muntri Mews, Seven Terraces, Muntri Grove and Jawi Peranakan Mansion is now under the umbrella of George Town Heritage Hotels. Each hotel showcases a range of 19th century architecture in the world heritage site. They encompass Penang’s unique history and heritage, in stylish and comfortable settings for today’s discerning travellers.


Clement Wong

CEO & Founder, BeMyGuest

Clement Wong has worked with the top travel companies in the world, airlines, hotels, online travel agencies, tour operators, car rental companies, helping them with their strategies and market research. He has also advised blue chip banks and venture capital firms on their acquisitions in the travel space. Previously at Phocuswright, he was the head of research for the EMEA region. Prior to that, he was with Travelport, both in Marketing Solutions, working closely with airlines on their advertising and marketing strategies, and as a Strategy Analyst heading up global hospitality, car hire, travel agencies and tour operators research. At Euromonitor, he was in charge of travel and tourism research for the EMEA region, managing research, clients, research analysts and budget. He has also produced industry strategic analysis for the various media and blue chip clients.


Deep Kalra

Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip

As Group CEO, Deep focuses on Strategy, M&A and international businesses.

Deep has been President of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) Delhi Board since 2013. He served on the NASSCOM Executive Council from 2010-2013 and is an active Angel Investor .

Deep is a founding member of “I am Gurgaon” and is closely involved with Udayan Care. He has won several awards such as E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year - Business Transformation (2011 and Most Powerful Digital influencer in India- KPMG India.

Prior to MakeMyTrip, Deep worked with GE Capital, AMF Bowling Inc. and ABN AMRO Bank.

Deep holds an MBA (PGDM) degree from IIM, Ahmedabad and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.


Douglas Khoo

Co-founder, Qunar

Douglas began his professional career in Ogilvy & Mather in Malaysia. After O&M, he joined J. Walter Thompson in Beijing, followed by managing MindShare in Hong Kong.

While in Beijing, he co-founded a number of internet start-ups. The first being Shawei.com, a sports portal (acquired by Lee Ka-Shing controlled Tom.com in 2000). His last venture was a meta-search engine, Qunar.com, which Baidu acquired a major stake in 2010. The company has since been listed on the Nasdaq (QUNR) and has been a phenomenal success.

These days, Douglas spends most of his time travelling, piloting planes, racing classical cars and photography. He occasionally spends time mentoring start-ups, at least the ones that he thinks has a modicum of chance to succeed.


Eric Zimmerman

Director, Google Travel

Eric oversees product management of a number of Google Travel's products, including Google Flights and QPX. Eric joined Google when it acquired ITA Software in 2011. Eric joined ITA in 2000 as its first Engineering Manager, and held a number of VP roles at ITA.

Eric earned a bachelor's degree in History and Political Philosophy from Williams College, where he graduated with honors


Fabian Bartnik

Vice President, Asia Pacific, LodgIQ


Feargal Mooney

CEO, Hostelworld Group

Feargal has been Chief Executive Officer of Hostelworld Group since February 2008, having first joined the Group as COO/CFO in 2002.

Feargal has led the Group’s expansion into London, Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney.

Prior to joining Hostelworld Group, Feargal was responsible for financial planning and analysis at Baltimore Technologies and previously held the position of Financial Analyst at Pfizer Inc. in New York.

Feargal has an MSc in Investment & Treasury from Dublin City University and a Bachelor of Commerce from University College Galway, Ireland. He is a graduate of the Leadership 4 Growth Management Program at Stanford Graduate School of Business, an Associate of the Society of Investment Analysts in Ireland and a member of the CFA Institute.


Filip Filipov

Director, B2B, Skyscanner

Filip is Director of Skyscanner for Business. Filip leads a division of 40 employees from Sofia with his wider team spread across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Miami and Singapore. Filip is responsible for overseeing the planning, growth and development of the affiliate and data analytic products. Filip joined Skyscanner in 2013 as a strategist in the Edinburgh office.

Previously, Filip held a variety of senior management positions in a wide range of industries and areas, including Travel Capitalist Ventures where he was responsible for evaluating start-up opportunities in the travel industry and Everbread Limited, where he was Deputy COO of the business’s airfare pricing engine. He has also held roles within business strategy and supply chain management in both New York and London.


Fritz Demopoulos

CEO, Queen’s Road Capital

In 2005 Frederick “Fritz” Demopoulos co-founded and was the CEO of Qunar. Qunar was acquired by Baidu in 2011.

Fritz also co-founded and was the CEO of Shawei. Shawei was acquired by Tom.com in 2000.

Fritz held senior management positions at various online and traditional media companies in China including Netease, Hai Run Media Group and News Corporation.

Fritz currently coordinates his personal investment and entrepreneurial activities through Queen’s Road Capital.

A native of Los Angeles, Fritz was educated at UCLA, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Karls-Ruprecht University in Heidelberg. He has lectured on entrepreneurship and the Chinese Internet at Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, Tsinghua, Beijing University, Singapore Management University and the Communist Party College in Nanjing.


Gary Fritz

Chief Growth Officer & President APAC, TripAdvisor

Gary Fritz is the President of Asia Pacific for TripAdvisor, leading the company’s operations and strategy through the region. Previously, Gary founded the advisory and investment group Amanogawa, LLC. His relationship with TripAdvisor spans more than a decade having held several senior executive roles at Expedia, Inc. from 2003-2012 when TripAdvisor was part of Expedia. Part of this tenure saw him lead Expedia’s commercial activity and strategy on a global basis. Before Expedia, Gary worked for McKinsey & Company. Gary currently serves on the board of advisors for Button, Darkstore and Kwibon, and he also chairs the University of Washington’s campaign for inclusive education. He holds a Master’s degree from MIT and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.


Greg Schulze

Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy and Services, Expedia Group

Greg Schulze serves as Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Services for Expedia group. Greg is currently based in Singapore.

He is also responsible for Expedia’s relationships with airlines, car rental companies and cruise lines, in addition to partnerships for connectivity, insurance, rail and tour operator packages. His team spans five continents and works closely with supply partners to help them efficiently reach the millions of consumers.
 
Greg joined Expedia in 2005 to lead its air reporting and analysis practices. He subsequently assumed responsibility for package pricing and revenue management, building on his days at American Airlines, where he worked on the airline’s Internet pricing strategy. Most recently at Expedia, he served as the Vice President of Tour and Transport for supply partnerships throughout North and South America.

Greg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina.


Guillaume de Marcillac

Co-CEO, FASTBOOKING

Guillaume is the co-CEO of FASTBOOKING. A digital and business services specialist for more than 15 years, Guillaume de Marcillac began his consulting career at Bain & Company before joining Disneyland Paris, where he was responsible for strategic planning. In 2000, Guillaume participated in the creation of Egencia, an online business travel agency which was purchased several years later by the Expedia group. He served as FASTBOOKING’s Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer from 2008 to 2012 and subsequently rejoined the company in May 2015 as co-CEO. Guillaume is a graduate of ESCP Europe and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).


Hichame Assi

CEO, HotelsCombined.com

Hichame Assi is CEO of HotelsCombined, the world’s leading hotel comparison platform. He joined the HotelsCombined team in 2010, bringing over 15 years of experience in ecommerce and online travel across Europe, the Middle East and APAC to the Sydney-based start-up. Now a multinational with a lean team of 130 high-performers, Hichame has led HotelsCombined through its journey from start-up to scale-up and continues to lead the company’s growth and global expansion.
 
Hichame has an MSc in Ecommerce from the University of London, and in his spare time (?) can invariably be found reading about the fields of Open & Social Innovation, mentoring entrepreneurs in MENA and negotiating with his 6 year old son.

 


Hugo Burge

Chief Executive Officer, Momondo Group

Hugo Burge became Chief Executive Officer of Cheapflights Media, now Momondo Group, in May 2011.

Hugo was part of the investor group that bought Cheapflights UK in March 2000. He has held a variety of roles at the Group, including leading the 2003 launch of Cheapflights US which has become the company’s largest business. In March 2011 he also led the acquisition of the much-praised Danish meta-search site network, momondo.

Prior to joining Cheapflights, Hugo was an entrepreneur with a background in property investment. In 2007, Hugo founded the internet investment fund HOWZAT Media. Investments include trivago, academia.edu and AlexandAlexa.com. In 2008, Hugo won Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Travel Industry Hall of Fame.

Hugo holds a Degree in geography from Cambridge University and is a keen traveler.


Hyun Soo

Co-founder, Allstay

Allstay is a 2 year old accommodation meta-search service aiming Korean and east Asian market.
Hyun Soo graduated from KAIST MBA majoring in IT media and has 3 years of work experiences in the finance department of Hyundai construction and engineering.
His expertise is in business development and localization strategy.
Allstay's goal is to be the No.1 meta-search company in Korea covering hotel to private accommodations.


Jason Nash

Head of Global Marketing & Product Incubation, Travelport

Jason leads Global Marketing and Product Incubation at Travelport, responsible for the brand, customer segment marketing, market intelligence and Travelport Labs. Jason started at Travelport in 2009, as Director of Commerce Portfolio, responsible for Travelport’s Point of Sale(PoS) solutions, including desktop applications, e-commerce and corporate solutions.

23 years’ experience in the IT industry has taken Jason to the USA, where he worked for Powerway Inc. Prior to Travelport, he had 5 years at Microsoft. It was at Microsoft while presenting to the UK’s Institute of Directors with Bill Gates that gave Jason the speaker circuit appetite.  He has presented at Institute of Sales & Marketing Management seminars, Microsoft’s EMEA and USA Convergence and Worldwide Partner Conferences and presented extensively at Travelport’s events over the last 7 years.


Jenny Wu

Chief Strategy Officer, Ctrip.com

Jenny Wu has been Chief Strategy Officer of Ctrip.com since November 2013.  
Prior to that, she served as the Chief Financial Officer after a stint as Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining Ctrip, Ms. Wu was an equity research analyst covering China Internet and Media industries in Morgan Stanley Asia and Citigroup Global Markets Asia.

Before that, Ms. Wu worked in the Department of Enterprises Operations and Management in China Merchants Holdings (International).

Ms. Wu holds a Ph.D. degree in finance from the University of Hong Kong, a Master’s degree in philosophy in finance from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and both a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Nan Kai University, China. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and serves as an independent director of Kingsoft Corporation, as well as an independent director of Xunlei Limited.


Jens Wohltorf

CEO & Co-founder, Blacklane

Dr. Jens Wohltorf is the CEO and co-founder of the global professional driver service Blacklane. Blacklane conveniently connects passengers with commercially licensed, regulated and insured professional drivers in 50 countries around the world. Blacklane guarantees low and all-inclusive fixed rates at the time of the booking and provides real-time service control for tens of thousands of quality cars.

Prior to founding Blacklane, Jens Wohltorf worked as Principal at the Boston Consulting Group. Wohltorf studied industrial engineering at the Technical University of Berlin with research residencies at the University of California, Berkeley, and MIT, where he studied urban traffic patterns. In 2005 he completed his PhD in Telecommunications at the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Technical University of Berlin.


Kaneswaran Avili

CEO & Co-founder, NIDA Rooms

Kaneswaran Avili is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of NIDA Rooms. NIDA Rooms, under its parent company, Global Rooms Ltd is the largest virtual hotel operator in Asia with an established portfolio of over 4,300 hotel partners in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand. Prior to NIDA Rooms, Kaneswaran was the Chief Commercial Officer of Spicejet India. He started his career in the aviation industry as one of the prominent team members in AirAsia and oversaw its expansion in various countries. As an experienced airline executive, Kaneswaran was then entrusted to set up TuneHotels and TuneMoney before holding senior management positions in Viva Macau, Citilink and TigerAir. Under Kaneswaran’s leadership, NIDA Rooms is set to be the innovator and leader in the hospitality industry.


Kathleen Urquhart

Head of Talent, Skyscanner, Asia Pacific

Based in Singapore, Kathleen oversees the development and management of talent for Skyscanner in Asia Pacific. The global travel meta search engine currently employs over 750 people from 50 nationalities in its Edinburgh, Singapore, Beijing, Shenzhen, Miami, Barcelona, Glasgow, London, Sofia and Budapest offices. As one the fastest growing and most innovative online travel companies globally, Skyscanner challenges itself to continuously deliver innovation in its products, and develops talent to match its fast-paced, dynamic and creative culture. 

In addition to her work at Skyscanner, Kathleen has over 20 years of senior management and operational experience in Hospitality and Retail, including running a multi-million dollar business with a team of more than 400.

She is also a professionally trained executive coach and has worked with individuals and groups from multinationals, regional SMEs, the government sector and non-profits, as well as entrepreneurs, in leadership development.


Kei Shibata

CEO, Venture Republic

Kei co-founded Venture Republic Inc. As CEO, he took the company public in 2008 after 7 years of operation. Over the last 13 years, Kei has built the various online vertical media including “Travel.jp,” “Hotel.jp,” and “coneco.net” (online comparison shopping engine).

Kei also serves as an active investor and board member of various startups including Telunjuk (Indonesia) and Trip101 (Singapore).

With his extensive knowledge of online travel, e-commerce and his strong entrepreneurship, Kei is responsible for driving the company by shaping its strategy, making commercialization efforts and building organization.

Previously, Kei worked at Mitsubishi Corporation for 11 years,  playing a key role in company’s largest M&A deal to acquire the Lawson Inc., one of the largest convenience store chains in Japan.

Kei received a BA of Law from Keio University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.


Ken Mishima

Vice President, Ecommerce Strategy, iJTB

Joined i.JTB in 2016, a group company of JTB providing OTA services with 3 brands, to support and develop online vision as VP of ecommerce strategy.  Prior to i.JTB, served both corporate and B2B online travel agency including HRS - German based global hotel solution provider to large enterprises - to develop foundation of business as managing director & president of Japan office, and Expedia as North Asia general manager. Online career started at eBay in 2008 to introduce and launch cross boarder trade. He's based in Tokyo with his family.


Kuo-Yi Lim

Managing Partner, Monk’s Hill Ventures

Kuo-Yi Lim is a Managing Partner at Monk's Hill Ventures, a tech venture fund investing in post-seed stage startups in Southeast Asia. Prior to Monk's Hill Ventures, Kuo-Yi was the CEO of Infocomm Investments, a $200M venture fund based in Singapore, investing in technology startups globally.

Kuo-Yi started his career at the Boston Consulting Group, working with clients in the automotive, telecom and financial services industries. He went on to hold senior sales positions at Encentuate (acquired by IBM) and Reputation Technologies (acquired by Security Sources). He also co-founded SportsHook, a sports-focused SaaS platform. Currently Kuo-Yi sits on the board of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, Ninja Van Logistics, Playlab Games, and ZipMatch.

Kuo-Yi graduated from MIT with B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering.


Lara Hernandez

VP, Sales & Distribution, Asia, Middle East & Africa, IHG

Lara Hernandez is Vice President, Sales & Distribution for IHG in the Asia, Middle East and Africa region. She is responsible for enhancing IHG’s global distribution scale, web and digital capabilities, while growing sales in the region

Lara has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles across marketing, sales, business development and operations in the hotel industry and commands a comprehensive understanding of the digital landscape, loyalty programs, consumer marketing and B2B direct sales.

Prior to her current role, Lara was Vice President of Digital, Loyalty & Partner Marketing for IHG in the Americas. Lara has held several roles in IHG since 2006.

Lara holds a Bachelor of Science from West Virginia University and has held a Board member position with the College of Business & Economics Hospitality, West Virginia University since 2012.


Loh Lik Peng

Founder, Unlisted Collection

Dynamic hotelier and restaurateur, Loh Lik Peng was born in Dublin, Ireland to Singapore parents He attended Law school in England, University of Sheffield and Postgraduate at London School of Economics followed by bar exams in London before returning to Singapore in 1997. Loh became a corporate litigator upon his return before leaving the profession to step into the hospitality industry. Since then, Loh has started ventures across Singapore, Shanghai and London.

Loh is a member of Singapore Tourism Board’s Tourism Consultative Council as well as the 2nd Vice President of Singapore Hotel Association and Vice Chairman of Shatec Institutes. Loh has been given several awards by the Singapore Tourism Board for his work in transforming the hotel industry in Singapore.


Lorraine Sileo

Senior Vice President, Research, Phocuswright

Lorraine Sileo launched the research division of Phocuswright Inc. in 1998. She is quoted frequently in consumer and trade media and has authored numerous publications (including Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview reports). Lorraine has testified at hearings held by the National Commission to Ensure Consumer Information and Choice in the Airline Industry, charged by Congress to examine the impact of online distribution on the travel industry. She was previously an adjunct professor at New York University's Graduate Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. She has analyzed the business and consumer electronics marketplace for various publications and media companies for over 20 years.


Maggie Rauch

Senior Research Analyst, Phocuswright

Contributing to syndicated reports, Special Projects and custom research, Ms. Rauch’s reporting background, writing ability, industry knowledge and international experience are great assets to Phocuswright’s global research. Among her projects are overseeing the research and writing of Phocuswright’s flagship reports on the US and Asia-Pacific online travel markets. Maggie spends a quarter of the year working from China, where she lived prior to joining Phocuswright, when she contributed to China TravelDaily’s publications and conferences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.


Martin Symes

Chief Marketing Officer, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific

Martin Symes is Chief Marketing Officer of Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific, where he leads product development and content marketing for travel agencies and suppliers, as well as corporate and marketing communications.

Martin brings to the business more than 20 years of travel industry experience, starting with leading airlines and moving into the online travel space.

He was a key member of the team involved in bringing Priceline's buyer-driven e-commerce model to Asia. Martin then became the executive director, commercial at ZUJI, the Asia Pacific subsidiary of Travelocity.com. More recently, he was CEO of Wego.com, a leading travel metasearch engine.

Martin earned a master’s degree in Geography at Oxford University and gained an MBA from the London Business School.


Melissa Yang

Co-founder, Tujia Inc.

Melissa Yang is an experienced CTO and Engineering Manager in travel, ecommerce and search.
Melissa is co-founder at Tujia Inc. Prior to this, she was the Principal Group Manager at Microsoft where she was responsible for the Bing product, Microsoft’s search engine, for Asian markets.

Before that, she was CTO and VP of Engineering at Escapia. She built its consumer business from scratch, within a year – a vacation rental site (clearstay.com) and an open platform to serve transactions with partners. Escapia was acquired by HomeAway in 2010.

At Expedia from 2001 to 2006, she became Director of Development, Supply Services Group, where she was responsible for the backend of all online businesses at Expedia.


Michael Issenberg

Chairman and CEO Asia Pacific, AccorHotels

Mr Issenberg assumed his current position in February 2008. Based in Singapore, he is responsible for overseeing the company’s overall development and management activities and he is also a member of Accor’s Executive Committee. Mr Issenberg was previously Managing Director at AccorHotels Asia Pacific, a position he had occupied since 2003.

He played a pivotal role in the establishment and development of Accor Vacation Club, a points-based timeshare business.

Mr Issenberg joined AccorHotels in 1994 from Mirvac Limited where he was Chief Executive Officer of Mirvac Hotels. Prior to that, he worked for Westin Hotels & Resorts, Laventhol and Horwath, Horwath & Horwath Services Pty Limited and Merlin Properties in San Francisco and Sydney.


Min Yoon

CEO, TideSquare

Min Yoon is the CEO and founder of Tidesquare, one of South Korea’s leading OTAs. An online travel agency synonymous with premium travel, Tidesquare is partnered closely with one of the biggest credit card companies in South Korea.

Passionate about nurturing potential in the online travel industry, Min is also the majority shareholder of BnBHero and several other successful travel related start-ups in Korea.
 
Prior to Tidesquare, Min Yoon worked for international brands such as Samsung, Korean Air and Hyundai Card. He specializes in hospitality services of operations and marketing, premium marketing, new business development and new media marketing.


Morris Sim

CEO & Co-founder, Circos Brand Karma

Morris Sim is CEO and Co-founder of Circos Brand Karma. Circos's consultancy services help hoteliers sell more rooms and F&B covers directly, and its training services help hoteliers learn how to utilize digital marketing to maximize revenue.  Clients include Shangri-La, Starwood, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Jin Jiang, Hyatt, IHG, and Accor.

As Senior Director of Marketing at Microsoft, Morris developed communities and social networks from 2002-2005 to improve Microsoft’s brand perceptions and market share worldwide. Before that, he was CTO of PoloRalphLauren.com , the first e-commerce site from a major design/retail shop. Morris also serves as the Executive Director for Trisara and Boathouse on Kata Beach, both independent luxury resorts in Phuket, Thailand.  
 
Morris is a graduate of Stanford University.


Oliver Hua

Managing Director, APAC, Booking.com

In 2013, Oliver Hua became Managing Director Asia Pacific at Booking.com. He is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s business strategy in APAC.

Before Booking.com, Oliver was with eBay for over 8 years, holding a number of senior positions.

Before eBay, Oliver worked for 7 years as a senior executive at consulting firms, including McKinsey & Co, Booz & Co, and Stern Stewart & Co., working with local and global clients in Asia, Europe and the US.   
Oliver was also an entrepreneur and co-founder of technology startup Luban.com.

Oliver received his Bachelor degree in Economics from Beijing Foreign Studies Institute; he has a Master of Business Administration degree from China Europe International Business School in Shanghai and IESE in Spain.


Rajeev Kumar

Founder, Managing Director & CEO, Mystifly
 
Rajeev comes with over a decade of intensive experience in technology development, process management and CRM. With in-depth knowledge in the travel industry, he has consulted for several organizations of repute globally for cutting-edge innovation in travel technology. His work footprint are spread across the Americas, Europe and APAC.  He is a passionate technologist with a strong business acumen and a futuristic vision to disrupt the air travel industry.
 
Rajeev founded Mystifly, a B2B global airfare marketplace in 2009 from Bangalore, which has seen stellar growth within a short span of six years. His strong and inspiring leadership drives a robust team that has made a significant place for Mystifly on the global map.


Robert Meza

Director, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, ZUMATA

Robert Meza has 10+ years of Strategic Business Development and Digital Marketing experience and has worked in several regions, including the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe. He is currently ZUMATA’s Director of Business Development in Singapore. As head of Business Development, Robert spearheads the marketing and development of ZUMATA’s Hotel Distribution API, IBM Watson-powered solutions for natural language search, machine learning, and A.I. customer support. ZUMATA is an anchor travel technology partner of IBM Watson.

Robert holds a Masters degree in Economic Growth, Innovation and Spatial Dynamics from Lund University in Sweden as well as a Masters from IE Business School in Madrid.


Robin Yap

President, Asia, The Travel Corporation

Robin Yap, a ‘travel, hospitality and airlines veteran’ is currently the President of Asian Operations at The Travel Corporation, managing business development in 14 countries including China and Japan.

The family-owned company has over 30 award winning brands, all focused on enriching the travelling experience, ensuring its customers with exceptional service and quality.

Robin’s diverse background is undeniable as he was awarded a Public Service Medal by the President of Singapore in 2010, and founded the Singapore-Bhutan Foundation, facilitating cultural and educational interaction between the countries.


Rod Cuthbert

CEO & Co-founder, Rome2Rio

Rod is the CEO of multi-modal search specialists Rome2rio, and the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Viator, the leading online seller of sightseeing, tours and activities. He is a well-known figure in the online travel industry, a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and an advisor to several online travel startups. His book Vacation Rules, co-authored with psychologist Dr. Sebastian Filep, explores the complex relationship between travel and happiness.


Ross Veitch

CEO & Co-founder, Wego

Ross Veitch co-founded the travel metasearch site in 2005 with Craig Hewett to give Southeast Asia its first real-time, bookable tool.

It was at Yahoo! that he recognised the desire for travellers to research their flight and accommodation options independently and from live inventory. Veitch joined their Southeast Asia operations and kick-started a range of initiatives including successful search, media, commerce, communications, mobile and community platforms.

Veitch’s passion for travel and technology were combined as he became Chief Product Officer of Wego and assembled one of the strongest web development teams APAC today.

In his role, Veitch is leading the company through a period of rapid growth. Wego is headquartered in Singapore, with offices in India, Indonesia, UAE and Australia.


Shaizeen Contractor

Chief Revenue Officer, TFE Hotels

Shaizeen Contractor is a passionate and analytical hospitality professional, having grown up in hotels with a family run business. After completing her professional education in Australia, specializing in hospitality management, Shaizeen worked over 8 years in the USA moving from a Management Traineeship in Orlando to Area Director of Revenue in New York City, with Miami and Maine. Following which, Shaizeen moved back to Sydney Australia with Accor. Over the last 8 years, she took on the challenging role of Director of Revenue for Toga Hotels in 2008 and was promoted to the role of Group Director of Sales & Distribution for TFE Hotels in 2013. Shaizeen is now the Chief Revenue Officer for TFE Hotels. Her current role involves strategy for revenue, marketing, sales and distribution.


Stephan Ekbergh

CEO, Travelstart

Stephan Ekbergh, married father of 4, lives in Cape Town. Ex professional DJ for 10 years. Entrepreneur in Travel. Started the E-commerce revolution in Scandinavia 1999. Is now doing the same in Africa. Passion for releasing gifts and entrepreneurship with people. Writes and speaks about business, life and taking risks. Investor and active board member, also works with and finances non profits organization Thembalitscha foundation.


Steve Hafner

Co-Founder and CEO, KAYAK
 
Steve Hafner is the co-founder and CEO of KAYAK. A seasoned executive, Hafner brings extensive knowledge of marketing, e-commerce and online travel to his position at KAYAK.
 
Hafner helped found Orbitz Inc. in November 1999. Hafner helped develop and implement the company's business strategy. During his four-year stint with the company, he was executive vice president of consumer travel and led the company's business development, advertising sales, marketing and product marketing activities.
 
Previously, Hafner worked as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, where he managed case teams focusing primarily on healthcare, e-commerce and industrial goods. Hafner received a BA in economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.


Stuart Crighton

CEO & Co-founder, Cleartrip

As Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Crighton is responsible for the overall performance of Cleartrip, as well as setting the strategy and direction for the Company.  Prior to Cleartrip, Stuart worked with Abacus Distribution Systems, a leading GDS in Asia-Pacific as Head – South and West Asia and was responsible for operations and strategies across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & Nepal. Prior to Abacus, he worked with Indian and Multinational Oil and Gas companies both here in India and in the former Soviet Union.


Takanobu Yamamoto

Executive Officer, Travel Business, Rakuten Inc.

Takanobu Yamamoto is the Business Manager of Rakuten Travel, the leading service of online travel in Japan. He is also Executive Officer of Rakuten, Inc.

Takanobu started his carrier at NTT DoCoMo as Product Management team member in 1999. In 2006, he moved to Expedia Inc. to launch its Japanese service and transferred to its sister company TripAdvisor in 2008, where he mostly recently served as VP and General Manager, Japan, Korea and APAC Market Development.

He joined Rakuten in March 2013.


Timothy Hughes

Vice President Business Development, Agoda

Timothy Hughes is the Vice President Business Development of Agoda (a Priceline Company). Timothy is a “retired” blogger and pundit. Previously he was the editor and publisher of one of the top online travel industry blogs (the BOOT: the Business Of Online Travel) and a writer at Tnooz.

Tim is a former lawyer and venture capitalist. As a venture capitalist and consultant he helped a number of start-ups (inside and outside travel) secure funding, set up online media companies, managed investments in public companies and held regular client briefing sessions for a brokerage house. As lawyer he represented technology, new media, Internet, telecommunications and broadcasting clients in Australia, Europe and Hong Kong.  

He first joined the online travel industry in 1999 and has worked for top tier online travel companies in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Tim has a Bachelor of Commerce and Hons Law Degree from the Australian National University.


Timothy O’Neil-Dunne

Managing Partner, T2Impact & Co-founder, Air Black Box

Timothy O'Neil-Dunne is a long time Travel Industry Entrepreneur. He has been to every single WIT since its inception. He has two day jobs: managing partner at travel consultancy firm, T2Impact (1998) where he serves as the lead for airline practice. His is also co-founder of VaultPAD (2012) an accelerator devoted to travel-related startup businesses.

Timothy was a founding management team member of the Expedia team where he headed the international and ground transportation portfolios. He has worked in aviation and travel for more than 30 years.

Timothy is a permanent advisor to the WEF. He is a frequent speaker and frequently published author. He tweets and comments as Professor Sabena. He sits on a number of boards.


Tony Duan

Strategic & Partnership, General Manager, Alitrip


Turochas "T" Fuad

Founder, Spacemob

Turochas "T" Fuad likes building companies and he's finally getting quite good at it. Two of his previous startups were acquired and he's recently launched his 3rd - Spacemob.

T's first startup was WUF Networks - a software company based in Silicon Valley, acquired by Yahoo!, Inc in 2005. Most recently, T was the CEO and Founder of travelmob - an online marketplace for private accommodations and vacation rentals - headquartered in Singapore and acquired by HomeAway in 2013.

In between the two startups, T was Managing Director for Skype APAC, responsible for its business expansion across the region. Prior to Skype, T was managing Yahoo!’s Mobile division across Southeast Asia.

T’s background has spanned across various industries including enterprise software, e-commerce, mobile, travel and consumer internet services. Born in Indonesia, T currently resides in Singapore, plotting out his next adventure.


Vanessa Chen

Co-founder and Business Development Director, Tourego

Vanessa drives business development for the tourism finance start-up, Tourego. Her areas of responsibility include retailer acquisition and user acquisition, particularly PRC users. Vanessa developed her passion and expertise in the tech and finance space from working as investor relations officer in well-known Chinese tech companies listed in the US market including Weibo (Nasdaq: wb) and Momo (Nasdaq: momo). From where she moved on to her current start-up company Tourego, a travel start-up focusing on solving tourists pain-points during their travel and shopping experiences.Vanessa grew up in both China and the United States and is a actuarial science major graduate from State University of New York.


Yeoh Siew Hoon

Managing Director & Founder, WIT

Yeoh Siew Hoon is the founder of WIT, launching it in Singapore in 2005 and going on to launch WIT editions across Asia Pacific. In 2016, WIT Europe made its debut in London, days after the Brexit vote.

WIT has won several awards including Most Innovative Marketing Initiative and Trade Conference Of The Year from the Singapore Tourism Board and in 2014, Siew Hoon was recognised Tourism Entrepreneur of The Year. A journalist by profession and passion, she’s also a speaker and facilitator at events around the world.  

She’s also a published author of titles such as “Around Asia In One Hour: Tales of Condoms, Chillies & Curries” and children’s books such as “Adventures of Habibie The Turtle” and “The Story of Baitong and Boon”.


Yoshihiro Morii

Chief Commercial Officer & EVP Commercial, Peach Aviation

Born in Osaka, Yoshihiro Morii entered Dentsu Inc. in April 1989, serving in a number of important positions including the Director of P&G Japan account. In November 2014, he joined Akindo Sushiro Co., Ltd., serving as Director of Board & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). In August 2016, he moved to Peach Aviation Limited and assumed his current position.