Senior Director, Government & Corporate Affairs, & Managing Director, Asia
Ang Choo Pin
Choo Pin ANG is Expedia Group’s Senior Director for Government and Corporate Affairs for Asia. In this role, he spearheads the Group’s Asia governmental affairs and public policy strategy across its portfolio of brands such as Expedia, Hotels.com, and Homeaway. Through the engagement of public and quasi-public stakeholders in the region, Choo Pin helps the Group forge partnerships with governments, advocate on regulatory issues and identify business opportunities. He has also helped shape the debate surrounding travel, tech and e-commerce in Asia. He is the Chair of the Travel and Tourism Committee of the US ASEAN Business Council, and has provided training to senior Southeast Asian government officials on e-commerce under the Singapore-US Third Country Training Program.
Choo Pin has extensive experience in political and economic issues across Asia. He previously headed the China operations of a New-York based investment advisory firm conducting political and reputational risk analysis for a clientele of PE funds and SWFs, before joining Standard Chartered Bank as its Head of Public Affairs. Before that, he served as a diplomat in Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs covering International Organizations, Middle East, and Northeast Asia, where he was Singapore’s Deputy Consul-General to Shanghai. Choo Pin has a BA degree from Tufts University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, both obtained through the Government of Singapore’s prestigious Overseas Merit Scholarship. He speaks English, Chinese, German, and Spanish.
W Design International
Asao Nakayama Wilson
After graduating from Art University in Japan, Asao had worked as the Interior designer in Tokyo, Singapore and Singapore in several international design companies in Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong etc. including Kajima Design Asia and she was the first Japanese Designer in Wilson & Associates Singapore etc.
After returning to Japan in 2001, she worked as a Design Director at Kanko Kikaku Sekkeisya (KKS Group). Established W Design International (WDI) in 2004 with Jason Wilson (British nationality), the managing director as British partner. WDI provide the professional hospitality design services the foreign real estate investment company, the domestic/international hotel developer and the owner consultant for the strategic consultation. Generally, WDI is appointed by a foreign-owned hotel management company first to provide the hotel brand design concept and comprehensive hospitality design services, in addition to interior design, he handles lighting, artwork culiation, sign planning, video / audio design adjustment, amenity / planting planning. WDI is assembling a boutique team to establish a boutique design and holistic experience to value the hospitality business with a team of experts, who is the best talent within the client’s and project’s demands.
In charge of general design work for ALOFT Tokyo Ginza, which to be opening in 2020. Collaborate with Singapore and UK headquarters to enter YOTEL Hotel in Japan. From 2013 to 2015, he was also a design consultant in charge of the Japanese market at Marriott International Hong Kong Office, Architectural & Construction / global design asia pacific.
Founder & CEO, SAVVY Collective/
Co-founder, WiT Japan & North Asia
Aya Aso is the Founder & CEO of SAVVY Collective Co., Ltd.
Prior to her new venture, she was the founder & ex-CEO of AGORA Hospitalities Co., Ltd., founded in 2007 with a strong vision to establish “A Collection of Beautiful Japan”, a collection of boutique hotels and Japanese traditional ryokans throughout Japan. She has been actively expanding it’s portfolio comprises of 13 boutique hotels and traditional Japanese ryokans. Prior to AGORA, she was a Senior Vice President of Business Development for ISHIN Hotels Group.
Her hospitality career began at the Sheraton Grande Los Angeles, from which she moved to the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel. Returning to her roots, she later joined Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Japan, and then PricewaterhouseCoopers BPO Japan K.K. as financial accountant, after which she took on the role of Executive Director of Operations at Space Design Inc. to develop and operate 14 serviced apartments in Tokyo.
Aya graduated from the University of Southern California (USA) with a Bachelor of Music from Thornton School of Music, Piano Performance. She is also a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from University of Wales (UK).
VP, Strategic Partnerships & Programs
As Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Programs at Agoda, Damien leads Agoda’s efforts in building strategic relationships with stakeholders across a diverse range of verticals.
In his role, Damien develops product driven partnerships to create long term values for both parties and leads agile sales teams in accelerating go-to-market initiatives.
Damien joined Agoda in 2012 as Regional Director and has since held various positions of increasing responsibility. Prior to his role in Strategic Partnerships and Programs, he was VP of Product and led front end product innovation and strategy, including desktop, mobile and app.
Prior to Agoda, Damien was Director at companies such as Minor International, Exotissimo Travel and Keen Media.
Damien holds an MBA in Management, Marketing from Toulouse Business School.
President and CEO
The JTB Group traces its roots back to 1912 when “Japan Tourist Bureau” was formed to attract international travelers to Japan and assist with their travel needs. While our activities and clientele have expanded greatly since then, the JTB Group remains aligned around a core purpose: bringing people, places and possibilities together.
Over an 18-year career at JTB, Eijiro Yamakita was involved in the development of the company’s global strategy and then moved to Europe, where he was appointed to be a top management at the forefront of the company’s global business. Prior to becoming a Managing Executive Officer, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuoni Travel Investment Ltd and the European Head of JTB Group for 3 years. At the beginning of the year he returned to Japan, then became President and CEO of JTB Corp.
Creative Tourism and Community Design Association, Taiwan (CTCAT)
Gina Tsia is the founder and Vice President of “Creative Tourism and Community Design Association in Taiwan” (CTCAT) which focuses on identifying and promoting local cultural activities and events offered by local communities and indigenous tribes to enhance the cultural capital of participants, planners, local communities and to differentiate and diversify tourism supply.
Gina is the founder and the Governor of Dream Travel Taiwan Association (DTTA), a think tank that partners closely with Taiwan Tourism Bureau to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and international best practices, and provide thought leadership and expertise to the tourism industry in digital transformation and destination marketing. She joins MyTaiwanTour, a top-rated local tour agency creating custom designed tours that connect international travelers to Taiwan, as the Head of Legal and Government Affairs in 2020.
Gina worked for Airbnb for 4 years. In her previous role in Airbnb as Head of Public Policy, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Gina developed and executed policy campaign for legitimizing home-sharing and short-term rental in Hong Kong and Taiwan, including lobbying, drafting position papers, building high-impact partnerships with public and private sectors, and worked closely with PR/communication team to develop media communication plan for improving corporate image in in these two markets.
Before Gina joined Airbnb, she had 15 years experience and legal expertise on all matters related to trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets, including trademark and patent applications, licensing, and IP protection enforcement actions in Asia. She was the Associate Director of Legal & Corporate Affairs in Microsoft Taiwan for 10 years and Senior License Compliance Director, Asia, in PTC for 2 years.
She is a PhD Candidate at College of Law at National Cheng-Chi University in Taiwan. Gina holds two BAs in both Law and Foreign Languages & Literature from National Taiwan University. She got her LLM from the College of Law at National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza by Marriott
Hiro has previously served as Area Director of Franchise Operation – Japan & Guam for 2.5 years.
Hiro is a 32-year veteran of Marriott International. He started his Marriott career as a Front Desk Manager Trainee at Chicago O’Hare Marriott in 1988. His past leadership roles include Market Director of International Sales for New York City Marriott Hotels and Regional Director of Global Sales Organization – Japan & Korea.
In 2014, he assumed a responsibility of Director of Sales, Marketing & Operations – Japan, overseeing the 10 franchise properties in that country. After the merger with Starwood, Hiro looked after the hotel operations of 34 Franchise hotels in Japan & Guam. In September, 2019, Hiro was assigned as a general manager of Aloft Tokyo Ginza pre-opening office.
Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, he moved to the US to study Hotel Management, and continued to live and work in the US for the total of 27 years. Since returning to Japan in 2008, Hiro has held several industry leadership roles such as the president of Overseas Hotel Executives Association and the chair of Visit USA Committee Japan.
He holds BA in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management from Michigan State University. Hiro lives in Tokyo with his wife, Keiko and his son, Ryotaro. Hiro is an avid downhill skier, and in his younger years, he had played in varsity soccer team and had competed in bicycle road races. He also played drums in an amateur rock band.
Head of Web Sales & Marketing, Executive Officer
After joining JTB, Hiroyuki Morisaki mainly served in Corporate Strategy Department and Japan Purchasing & Products Management Division.
In 2006, he was involved in the launch of “Rurubu Travel” and was assigned as Sales & Marketing Director, Executive Officer of i.JTB from Feb 2017.
Since April 2018 when the JTB group restructured the organization, he became the Head of Web Sales & Marketing, Executive Officer of JTB Corp.
Jun currently serves as CEO of Ikyu Corporation.
Prioir to joining to Ikyu in 2013, Jun engaged in management consulting business for 10 years at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 2003 – 2009 and at AlixPartners in 2009 – 2013. Ikyu was the last client of his consulting project in 2012 and Jun joined to Ikyu afterwards. After joining to Ikyu, Jun was mostly engaged in the analysis of consumer behaviour and leveraged the analytical findings to realise the growth of Ikyu.
Jun received a MS in Scientific Computing from Stanford University and BS/MS from Keio University.
Co-founder & CEO, LINE TRAVEL jp & Trip101/
Co-founder, WiT Japan & North Asia
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.
Deputy CEO, APAC
Louise Daley, Deputy CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific, has over 29 years’ experience in the Hospitality and Tourism industry in the region. In her current role, Louise is responsible for the financial oversight and management of over 830 hotels with turnover in excess of €4.5b, as well as the non-hotel businesses encompassing vacation ownership, lounge management and subscription loyalty.
Louise is on the Board of the group’s various joint venture businesses including Huazhu Hotels Group, AAK Korea, InterGlobe Hotels in India and Reef Casino in Australia. With responsibility also for Business Intelligence and Analytics, Digital platforms and IT, Louise has a key focus on growing businesses opportunities across Asia Pacific through digital transformation and partnerships.
Her previous roles have included CEO for Accor Plus, Accor’s loyalty subscription program in Asia Pacific; CFO for Accor in the Pacific region; and CFO for Asia. She most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Asia Pacific since June 2015.
Louise completed her Executive MBA at SMU Singapore, has a Diploma in Hospitality and Catering Management, a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA). She has lived and worked in Australia, Thailand, and briefly in Japan, and has been based in Singapore since 2011. She is also a regular speaker and panellist at industry events, and is a member of both the Australian and Singaporean Institute of Company Directors.
Recruit Co., Ltd.
Joined A.T. Kearney in 2008. Engaged in consulting on the establishment of business strategy and cost reduction.
Transferred to Recruit LifeStyle in April 2011 and worked in the Business Promotion Group in the Internet Business Promotion Department and then the Product Management Group.
In addition to “Jalan.net,” “Jalan Overseas,” and “Jalan Golf,” he has worked on new business and also taken charge of management tasks as a group manager.
Currently, he directs the entire travel products of Jalan.net as a producer.
CEO & Founder
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 several other successful travel related startups in Korea.
Prior to Tidesquare, Min Yoon worked for international brands such as Samsung, Korean Air and Hyundai Card. He specialises in hospitality services of operations and marketing, premium marketing, new business development and new media marketing.
Executive Director, Nagano Branch Manager
Satoyume Co., Ltd
Takeshi Asahara served for 14 years as an officer at Shinanomachi Town Hall, where he designed and developed the “Healing Forest” initiative that aimed at revitalizing the local community with a focus on “health” and “environment”. Together with townspeople, Asahara established the “forest therapy” in Shinanomachi first in Japan, and along the course formulated the programs to care for the guests’ physical and mental health, the training curriculum for new guides, and a diversity of forest therapy courses. The collaboration model of Shinanomachi with private sectors (totaling over 40 so far) that realizes both local revitalization and the corporate employees’ health at the same time, has now become the prototype for other rural communities. Asahara subsequently served as a matching advisor at the Forestry Agency Regional Regeneration Support Center, and as a prefectural officer, when he successfully arranged the comprehensive agreement between Nagano Prefecture and an educational corporation Seijo Gakuen, based on his ample experience in mediating cities and rural areas. Since 2015, Asahara has been appointed Nagano Prefecture forest therapy advisor. Following the resignation from Shinanomachi Town Hall in 2016, Asahara joined Satoyume Co., Ltd. to cater for local revitalization needs from municipalities in Nagano Prefecture and elsewhere in Japan.
Managing Executive Officer, Innovation
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
Mr. Tomohiro Nishihata joined Japan Airlines (JAL) in 1984 upon graduation from the University of Tokyo (Faculty of Engineering).
He was the manager of the e-business team in Marketing department for seven years from 1997, Having served as Vice President of Domestic Passenger Sales department from 2009 and subsequently as Vice President of Web Sales & Marketing department, he was appointed Executive Officer in charge of the SAKURA Project in 2014 – a major project for revamping JAL’s 50-year-old passenger service system – successfully leading the project to the go-live in 2017. The SAKURA project received the Grand Prix at the IT Japan Award 2018 .
As Executive Officer, Innovation since 2018, he has established JAL Innovation Platform including “JAL Innovation Lab” and “JAL Innovation Fund”.
Currently, as Managing Executive Officer of Innovation, he is spearheading the company’s innovation and creation of new businesses utilizing JAL Innovation Platform.
Born in Detroit and raised in Osaka, Tomoki Matsuyama joined Hoshino Resorts Co., Ltd. from Boston Consulting Group Co., Ltd. in 2005, and after improving the productivity of room cleaning, he worked as management director for Hoshino Resort and also worked as general manager of the regeneration business, a joint project with the Goldman Sachs Group and others. He was then appointed as a director of the company in 2009. In 2011, he founded Onkochishin, Inc.
Regional Director, North Asia
Vikas Bhola is Regional Director for North Asia where he leads on business development, strategy and operations for the region. Prior to this, Vikas served as Regional Director for South Asia, managing India, the South East Asian markets and spearheaded emerging markets strategy.
Vikas joined Booking.com in 2014 to lead the business in India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, subsequently expanding his portfolio to include Indonesia. Under his leadership, Booking.com was recognized as a ‘Power Brand’ in South East Asia and has received many accolades including the Best Online Travel provider in India for two years consecutively.
Before joining Booking.com, Vikas held various executive roles with global hotel brands including Kempinski, Hyatt and Oberoi across Asia and Africa.
Vikas is from India where he graduated with a Bachelors in Hotel Management and has completed his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management as well as the General Management Program from Harvard Business School in 2019. Vikas is a passionate investor in technology startups and is currently a lead mentor for the Singapore Tourism Accelerator Program.
President & CEO
Wataru FUTAGI is President and CEO of VELTRA, Japan’s #1 online booking website for tours & activities. In December 2018, VELTRA became a listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (7048.T), the first of its kind as an experience-focused OTA.
Wataru was appointed to the CEO position in 2015 with the mandate to lead the company to an IPO. Since his appointment, VELTRA’s top-line growth has been accompanied by bottom-line profits, a feat rarely seen in the industry.
In his former role as Director of Marketing, Service Planning & Technology, Wataru played a key role in leading the transition from Alan1.net to VELTRA, now recognized as Asia’s leading OTA. In 2016, VELTRA acquired City Discovery, a Paris based online tours & activity booking platform to expand its market in Europe and the Americas.
VELTRA’s devotion to customer centricity is inspired by Wataru’s unique career as a successful hair stylist. Wataru lives in Ibaraki prefecture, enjoying a suburban life in a log-cabin style house, as a loving father of two children.
Yeoh Siew Hoon
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”.
Head of Travel & Mobility Business, Vice President, Commerce Company Executive Officer
Yoshiyuki Takano is head of Travel & Mobility Business, Rakuten Inc. since Jan 2017.
He started his career at Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd. and joined Rakuten, Inc. in 2002. Firstly, he worked for Rakuten Ichiba e-commerce business and then for Rakuten Travel since 2004. He became Business Manager after serving as Manager of Advertisement Department, Manager of Marketing & Web Design Department and Vice Manager of Travel Business. His digital marketing expertise and management experience in contributes to Rakuten Travel’s rapid business growth.
Yoshiyuki earned Master’s degree from Waseda University.