Managing Director - Japan, IHG Hotels & Resorts/
CEO, IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan
Based in Tokyo, Abhijay is responsible for leading the overall performance, growth and operations of IHG’s business in Japan, which currently includes 48 open or pipeline hotels and more than 5,000 corporate or and hotel colleagues.
Prior to taking on this role in October 2021, Abhijay spent nearly 6 years with IHG in Australia where he most recently led IHG’s Development team as VP Development Japan, Australasia, Pacific. Together with his team in Sydney and Tokyo, he was responsible for IHG’s biggest years of signings and openings on record in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and Micronesia – signing almost 60 deals and reshaping the JAPAC region from 60 operating hotels in 2016 to more than 140 open or pipeline hotels today.
His key signings in his time with IHG have included the Appi Kogen portfolio, IHG’s biggest conversion deal in more than a decade, the first voco and Vignette Collection hotels globally, and market entries for Hotel Indigo, Kimpton and Regent.
Prior to his time at IHG, Abhijay worked for Whitbread PLC and the Jumeirah Group in Singapore and Dubai holding key leadership positions working on real estate acquisitions for the groups. He has grown his career quickly and was appointed as Jumeirah’s youngest Director at the age of 26, and is now one of IHG’s youngest Managing Directors. He has made his mark by building strong relationships and doing business in the right way, including a focus on sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Abhijay has worked in eight countries and holds a Master’s degree from Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management.
General Manager, Japan & Asia Pacific
Global Marketing & Sales leader based in Tokyo with 20+ years of impact focusing on SaaS and online marketplace platforms. This includes guiding large business units for category champion multinational companies (Microsoft, Sony, Booking.com) and launching successful start-ups (buuteeq.com acquired by BKNG) and Red Safi Digital (acquired by Objectiva).
CEO & Founder
JAPAN PRIVATE TOUR
Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Graphics, Logo Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, and Design. Strong business development professional with a Master of Architecture – MArch focused in Architecture from The University of Tokyo.
Executive Senior Vice President
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)
Akiko Yoshida assumed the role of Senior Executive Vice President of Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) in July 2020. She possesses extensive experience in the transport and tourism sector as a government official of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure Transport and Tourism (MLIT), along with three-time appointments to JNTO since early 2000’s. Her previous roles include Assistant Vice-Minister of international Affairs, and Director General of regional transport bureau overseeing Tokyo and surrounding 7 prefectures at the MLIT. She obtained her law degrees from Kyoto University (LLB) in Japan and New York University (LLM) in the United States.
Japan Tourism Expert
An international career spanning over 22 years, Ashley brings the benefits of a breadth of knowledge, diverse experience and interdisciplinary thinking to an ever increasingly complicated business landscape.
Building from a sales background, his career in the past 12 years has broadened to include marketing, partnership marketing, project management and team development & leadership.
His time in APAC, in senior roles with international businesses, has also taught him the subtle art of taking global frameworks into Asia and delivering increased revenue.
Currently, the General Manager for AVIAREPS Japan, He is navigating the business through the COVID-19 crisis. Success will ultimately be built by utilizing this challenge to create post-traumatic growth. During his time at Aviareps he has won GM of the year twice (2020 & 2021).
Now working with businesses helping them to normalize rather than traumatize the crisis to ensure they will be the successful businesses of the future.
Graduated from the University of Leicester (2005) with a MBA.
Founder & CEO, SAVVY Collective/
Co-founder & CEO, PerkUP
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).
FCM Travel Solutions Asia
Bertrand is the Managing Director for the Flight Centre Travel Group in Asia, after being in the role of General Manager for FCM Asia since 2015. Bertrand started his career in the telecom industry in Europe working for Orange and then moved to the aeronautical giant Airbus to lead the sales and marketing department of their IT division. He held multiple global management roles within Amadeus, an IT leader of the travel industry before joining FCM.
Team Lead - Sales, Japan
Founder & President
RTM Association (Redefine Tourism Mixer)
The Founder and President of RTM Association (Redefine Tourism Mixer), the biggest community of travel start-ups and tourism tech entrepreneurs in Taiwan. Used to work in Hong Kong MICE industry and Hawaii Tourism Authority, experienced in cross-border travel marketing, B2B partnership management, event curating, media and PR.
RTM was founded in 2014, numerous seminars and forums were organized for start-up companies’ demonstration and incubation, advocating new tech innovation on government policies, as well as operational know-how education including young talent development programs.
Joined with over 200 industrial consultants, RTM aims at becoming the most influential tourism association in Taiwan, devoting to the long-term destination branding for the island.
David Wills is a sustainability business leader and strategic advisor who is based in Sydney and has over 30 years of industry and sustainability advisory experience. He has an engineering background, starting his career as a refinery engineer followed by a range of technical, management and business leadership roles in industry and consulting. Prior to co-founding Envest Global in 2020, David spent 13 years at CH2M HILL and 14 years at ERM, one of the world’s leading sustainability advisory firms. During his time with ERM he was Business Development Director for SEA and India (2006-07), Managing Director for the Australia, NZ, Indonesia and PNG businesses (2007-13), global managing partner for the Chevron key client account (2013-15), and Asia Pacific Commercial Director (2015-20).
His professional experience spans multiple industries and geographies, having lived and worked in Sydney, Hong Kong (1999-2001), Singapore (2006-07) and San Francisco (2013-2015). During his career he has provided strategic advice to significant global clients including Chevron, Dow, Qantas, Duke Energy, Rio Tinto, Nike, Shell and Engie.
His focus in recent years has been on supporting multinational clients adapt to the low carbon economy transition and to achieve net zero carbon emissions through the development and implementation of innovative carbon reduction and investment strategies.
President & 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.
COO & Co-founder
Eric Gnock Fah
Eric Gnock Fah is the co-founder of Klook Travel, Asia’s leading platform or travelers to explore and book a curated selection of activities. These amazing experiences are verified and vetted by Klook’s team of travel curators and made easily bookable online and on-the-go at unbeatable prices of up to 50% off.
Prior to founding Klook Travel, Eric worked in hedge fund and Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley, focused on consumer and travel companies in Asia. Originally from Mauritius, an exotic travel destination, Eric grew up speaking 7 languages and is a cultural explorer at heart.
CEO & Founder
Fumiko Kato founded WAmazing Inc. and assumed the post of CEO in July 2016 with the goal of helping international travelers to Japan.
The company subsequently released WAmazing – a smartphone app for overseas tourists. Together with a free SIM card (available at major airports in Japan), the app offers ready-to-use internet access and virtual travel agency services. These allow tourists to book hotel rooms and help them pay for activities – indispensable offerings for visitors staying in Japan.
Fumiko graduated from the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies at Keio University, Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), and joined Recruit Co., Ltd. in 1998.
She was mainly involved in project development of new online businesses, including the launch of Jalan Net and Hot Pepper Gourmet, and then transferred to the Jalan Research Center. While working at the research center, she launched “Snow Magic 19” – a project that used big data to analyze tourism trends with the aim of rejuvenating winter sports tourism in Japan, followed up by various “Magic ☆☆☆” applications.
Creative Tourism & Community Design Association, Taiwan
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.
Sector Lead, Travel & Vertical Search APAC
Hermione is a leader with 15 years’ experience in sales, marketing, strategy and business development in the technology & travel sector.
Hermione leads the APAC Travel team for Google’s Large Customer Sales business, working with leading online travel agents, airlines, hotel chains & vacation rental companies to develop digital business strategy & products for Asian consumers. Additionally she oversees the APAC Vertical search team, who help clients adopt our more technical solutions such as Hotel Ads, and work with our Product & Engineering team to build products for our region. Prior to this, Hermione worked in Google’s Sydney office managing major Retail clients.
Before her time at Google, she worked in the TV industry for 4 years, working for 7media West running the Key Accounts team. When she launched her career she started in Creative Advertising working initially for M&C Saatchi and then TBWA in Sydney.
Hermione was educated in Sydney Australia, completing a degree in Economics & Social Sciences from Sydney University and was awarded the Young Citizen of the Year (2009) by the Woollahra Mulinciptilty.
Hermione now lives in Singapore, and has done so for six & a half years. She is a mum to three young children and a Red Kelpie, and is an incredibly passionate traveler.
President & Representative Director
Trip.com International Travel Japan
After obtaining his MBA from College of Business and Industry at MSU, Mr. Katsuse joined UNIFI Communication, a telecommunications venture in Boston. Since then, he has spent 17 years in the U.S. incubating and launching cross-border businesses in IT, search engines, venture capital, and healthcare industries. He returned to his home country, Japan, in 2009, and started two healthcare companies. In 2013 he simi-retired and moved to Akita City, Akita Prefecture.
In 2014, he came back from his retirement and became a Regional Manager of Booking.com, Japan and Korea, launching TV commercials and grew bookings market share significantly with launching TV commercials and increasing new hotel partners.
In 2017, he launched handy, a free mobile terminal for hotels, with Hong Kong-based TinkLab and Sharp Corporation. In 2018, he established OYO LIFE with Softbank Vision Fund and Yahoo! JAPAN. He has been with Trip.com Japan as a Chief Representative Director since October 2021.
In addition to the above, he is a director of Aichi Beverage Company in the U.S., a director of Sato no Yakata Corporation, an advisor to Kanagawa Prefecture’s tourism policy, , a director of DOGFUL, and an advisor to several start-up companies.
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.
Founder & CEO,AnyWhere/
Co-Founder & COO, PerkUP
Founder & CEO
James graduated from University of Southern California and has rich cross-industry knowledge in both engineering and business management and possessed the foresight to begin investing in Virtual Reality back in 2015. James is one of the founders of TAVAR — the Taiwan Association for Virtual and Augmented Reality. He has led a team generating over 200 innovative and diverse VR instances worldwide and collaborated with many well-known and top-tier brands.
Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships
Johnny Thorsen is a global technology evangelist in the corporate travel and mobile world with proven ability to start new business or develop new services within large companies as well negotiating and closing “impossible deals” between global enterprise buyers, start-up suppliers and major established industry players.
He has all-round background in software services ranging from actual code writing to marketing of new products and services and creation of completely new business models with associated go-to-market strategy and significant disruptive innovation resulting in new customer value creation.
He is also a proven presenter at very large travel industry events in both EMEA, APAC and US, with audiences ranging from 10 – 1,000 delegates.
Named as of the 25 most influential people in the travel industry in 2010 by Business Travel News as CEO and co-founder of conTgo, a UK-based startup acquired by Concur technologies in March 2013 Global network of business contacts within the travel, procurement and mobile world after living and working in 5 different countries in EMEA, APAC and now USA.
Yanolja & Yanolja Cloud
Jong Yoon Kim
Jong Yoon Kim is the CEO of Yanolja & Yanolja Cloud, leading all strategic management of businesses regarding domestic/international accommodation and leisure activity platforms and cloud-based hospitality solutions. He also oversees the company’s ongoing expansion efforts with responsibility for investment attraction & corporate acquisition strategies.
As a digital professional and business strategy expert, Kim is leading the company to grow 2X bigger per year while spearheading the digital transformation of travel and leisure industry.
Prior to joining Yanolja in 2015, Kim worked across several innovative brands and sectors including 3M, Google, and McKinsey & Company.
Kathy is the former Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan and Chief Japan Equity Strategist. Her groundbreaking ʻWomenomicsʼ research spurred the Japanese government to promote gender diversity, and she has advised corporations on governance and diversity best practices. She has an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and an AB from Harvard.
CEO, Venture Republic
- TRAVEL.jp & Trip101
TravelTech entrepreneur based in Singapore and Tokyo with 20 years of experience. He led his company to an IPO, a buyout and two exits.
Kei co-founded Venture Republic in Tokyo, Japan in 2001 and has been serving as a CEO since foundation. Company runs a group of online travel websites and apps worldwide including TRAVEL jp, Japan’s largest online travel metasearch/media (Over 30 million monthly visits/23 million followers. http://www.travel.co.jp/), Trip101, Singapore based global online travel media (https://trip101.com/) and Allstay, mobile accommodation search app in Korea (http://www.allstay.kr/). In 2018, he led the company to bring in LINE Corporation, Asia’s leading mobile messaging company as an investor. In 2021, company launched the chat based corporate travel booking and management service, “TRAVEL jp for Business” by the partnership with LINE WORKS, a leading business communication platform in Japan that has over 20 million corporate clients.
He led the company to an IPO in 2008 (2177. JASDAQ) after 7 years of inception and to LBO by management in 2012. In its history, company had built one of the leading online comparison shopping businesses in Japan through running “coneco.net” which was acquired by Yahoo! Japan. He also led to acquire Flocations, a Singapore based travel startup, rebrand it to Trip101 and have it grown to one of the fastest growing online travel media sites attracting the users from over 200 countries worldwide.
As a co-founder/organizer, he also runs WIT (Web In Travel) Japan & North Asia, largest international business conference in North Asia focusing on technology & travel.
In 2019, he received the WiT Hall of Fame award which honors individuals who have had the greatest influence on the progress and professionalism of the digital travel industry in Asia Pacific.
Frequent speaker at travel & technology events and conferences. Among them are ITB, Google Travel Executive Forum, Phocuswright, TBEX, WiT and Digital Travel APAC.
Angel investor in travel & technology space across APEC and America regions over 10 years. He serves as a board of director for various startups including BeMyGuest (Singapore).
He also serves as a Chairman of Keio University’s alumni association for startup founders/CEOs, Executive Committee Member of Harvard Business School Club of Japan and co-chapter leader of Travel Massive in Singapore and Tokyo.
Kei received a BA of Law from Keio University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Avid nordic/alpine skier & snowboarder.
Co-founder & COO
Venture Republic - TRAVEL.jp
Kenichi co-founded Venture Republic Inc(VR) in 2001. After the sale of comparison shopping division of VR to Yahoo! Japan in 2013, he also served as CEO of a Yahoo! Japan’s group company. Prior to VR, he worked for venture capital firms and served as an investment manager for Nippon Life Insurance in charge of overseas equity and private equity funds.
Kenichi received a BA of Spanish language from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Vice President, Sales, Global Travel Technology Group
Northstar Travel Media Singapore
Managing Director & Vice President, Asia Pacific
As Managing Director & Vice President of Asia Pacific, Laura Houldsworth leads and oversees business growth, operations and strategy for one of Booking.com’s most vibrant and diverse regions globally.
Laura joined Booking.com in June 2021, following 10 successful years at SAP Concur where she last served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China. Laura has previously held regional roles in BCD Travel and ABN Amro Private Banking; and is a commercial leader with more than 15 years of experience managing successful, multi-cultural teams.
Laura has lived and worked in Singapore for more than 15 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Marketing Management from Bournemouth University, United Kingdom. Besides being an avid traveller and runner, she enjoys a good game of chess.
Founder & CEO
Share Wing Co., Ltd.
Mai Sato is founder and CEO of Share Wing Co., Ltd.
Our company’s mission is to balance of our body, mind and spirit and deliver inner joy through the wonderful temple stay in Japan.
Our service brand [OTERA STAY] which is not only the hotel but a place provides a sense of peace and security just by its continued existence and a reliable retreat.
Share wind established in 2016 and now there are 8 temple hotels in Japan and which is the most major Temple Hotel company.
Senior Director, Market Management, Northeast Asia
Michael is leading the team who manage Expedia Group’s partner inventory across Northeast Asia, covering Japan, South Korean, Taiwan and Mainland China. In this role, he works with supply partners to make them successful on the Expedia Group platform and stay ahead of digital innovation.
Michael joined Expedia Group in 2015 as Representative Director. In his almost seven-year tenure with the company, he has built a unique B2B knowledge that can benefit all supply partners as they charter the complexities of the travel ecosystem. Prior to joining Expedia Group, Michael worked at Microsoft where his last role was Director of Corporate Accounts.
Michael holds a degree in Applied Mathematics from M.I.T. He was born in Okinawa (Japan) and raised in the U.S. from the age of 7. He currently resides in Tokyo, Japan.
President, Dream Cruises & Head of International Sales
Genting Cruise Lines
With over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality, travel and tourism industry, Michael was named President of Dream Cruises & Head of International Sales, Genting Cruise Lines in July 2019 to lead Dream Cruises into its next chapter of growth. A Genting Cruise Lines veteran, Michael has been instrumental in developing the company’s three cruise line brands and also the Asia Pacific cruise tourism industry in the last two decades. He first joined the company in 2000 as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Star Cruises and as General Manager for the Singapore sales and marketing division, before expanding his portfolio in 2008 as the Senior Vice President of International Sales for Star Cruises and subsequently for Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises’ sales and marketing in Asia – reflecting the company’s brand expansion over the years.
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.
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.
Rakuten LIFULL STAY, Inc
Ota Munekatsu is the representative director of Rakuten LIFULL STAY worldwide and previous executive officer of Rakuten Travel, in charge of international business as well as product management includes Chinese subsidiaries. His deep knowledge of travel market and multi-faceted operation experiences made him an inspirational decisive business leader of Rakuten LIFULL STAY and associated company Rakuten Travel Xchange. Ota is currently based in the global financial hub of Singapore, leading both businesses to achieve their next growth of global distribution in travel industry and providing the Japanese luxury style vacation rental to global travelers.
Myunghoon Chung is the CEO of GC Company, Korea’s leading online travel and leisure platform that operates Good Choice, Hotel Time and Mangoplate services.
Prior to joining GC Company, Myunghoon worked in investment banking and private equity, most recently as head of Korea for CVC Capital Partners, a global private equity firm. At CVC Capital Partners, Myunghoon led the firm’s acquisition and portfolio management of GC Company.
Prior to that, Myunghoon worked for The Carlyle Group and Standard Chartered Private Equity, where he led and managed investments in technology, media, telecom, business services and industrial companies in Korea. Prior to that, he worked for Credit Suisse in London and ABN AMRO in Singapore.
Myunghoon received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Seoul National University, M.S. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, and MBA from INSEAD.
Senior Vice President, Global Sales TrustYou GmbH/
Managing Director, TrustYou Japan
As Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Nao Shitara is in charge of overseeing and managing the global market and the regional portfolio including TrustYou clients in Japan. Nao’s professional drive and ambition come from the belief that feedback (customers’ voice) truly has the power to improve businesses and people’s lives in general. Nao joined TrustYou from Recruit Co., Ltd. in April, 2019.
After graduating from International Christian University, she joined Recruit Holdings and received various sales awards at HotPepper and Jalan. Nao experienced the management of large-scale teams such as the Corporate Sales group, and she was in charge of planning, creating and executing a business strategy in Jalan before joining TrustYou, Nao is not only a travel professional but also an avid traveler herself. She usually takes more than 20 trips a year (outside of business trips) and this is how she developed an insightful view of the hospitality industry, as well as different markets and regions. She is a firm believer that traveling improves our lives, expands our views, and enriches our experiences.
Partner, Operating Group
SoftBank Investment Advisers
Over the course of his career, Ren has spent more than a decade as a SoftBank senior executive. There, he has played a leading role in acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, strategic planning, and operations. He rejoined SoftBank to work on the Vision Fund after spending five years directing corporate planning and development at Amazon. His current role at the Vision Fund is focused on delivering operational support to the portfolio’s consumer sector companies in Asia.
Head of Strategic Investment
Lion Travel Service Co., Ltd.
Ryan Seng is the Senior manager of the Strategic Investment Division of Lion Travel, No.1 listed travel company in Taiwan.
Lion Travel provides the largest outbound/inbound GIT tour service in Taiwan, and engage in various travel industry’s supply chain investment. With great relation with industry and Government, Lion Travel is able to continuously add value to Taiwan’s travel ecosystem.
Prior to joining Lion Travel, Ryan founded a mobile video collaboration APP and a NPO helping student to explore career. Before that he had 6 years of Venture Capital assistant manager experience, focused in mobile internet and chain-store concept category. Ryan speaks fluent English and Mandarin, and he is a hardcore rock-n-roll band member.
Executive Officer, Director of Lodging Business Second Division & Director of Sales & Marketing
Ryunosuke joined Ikyu Corporation in 2007, and currently serves as a Director of the Lodging as well as a director of sales and marketing. Prior to this, he has also served a number of executive positions, Executive Officer and Director of Lodging Business Department from 2019 to 2021, and Executive Officer and Director of Restaurant Business Department from 2016 to 2019.
Executive Officer, Director of Lodging Business Second Division & Director of Sales & Marketing
Ryunosuke joined Ikyu Corporation in 2007, and currently serves as a Director of the Lodging business second division as well as a director of sales and marketing. Prior to this, he has also served a number of executive positions.
• Executive Officer and Director of Lodging Business Department from 2019 to 2021
• Executive Officer and Director of Restaurant Business Department from 2016 to 2019
Vice President, Japan & Micronesia
Hyatt (Japan) Co., Ltd
Sam Sakamura was appointed Senior Vice President for Hyatt (Japan) Co., Ltd. iJ1 December 2017. He is responsible for the new Hyalt hotel project opportunities in Japan, owner relations, and executing Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s corporate strategy. Prior to his current position, he played a central role in renewing contracts at Hyatt hotels in Japan and Micronesia and promoting new hotel development projects as vice president of corporate transactions since joining Hyatt (Japan) Co., Ltd. in 2011.
Sam has pursued a career in hotel management since the very beginning when he started at ORIX Corporation in 1996. From 2004, he fwthered bjs career as an asset manager of hotel real estate owned by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and was engaged in a number of acquisitions, renovations, and conversion and disposition projects. Then, he moved to Tshin Hotels Group Co., Ltd. where he handled hotel real estate asset management.
Division Manager, Business Development Division
Born in Saitama Prefecture in 1974, he joined I.N.G. Life (now N.N. Life), a life insurance company for small and medium-sized companies, in 1998. At the Tokyo North Branch Office, where he was assigned, he worked with sales agents on risk management for small and medium-sized companies. After that, he was transferred to the research and marketing department, where he was engaged in research on the value that an insurance company can provide by taking a macro view of the problems and management issues faced by small and medium-sized companies.
President & CEO
Solare Hotels & Resorts
After graduating from the Faculty of Law at Chuo University, working at an accounting firm. He joined the Hudson Japan; group of the Loan Star bank a U.S company.
Appointed Executive Vice President at Star Capital and Star Properties the same group of Loan Star and he has extensive background with accounting, personnel, and legal affairs. His job required made a profit increase cooperate value and sell throughout responsible PMI (Management, Integration, and playback).
After that, seconded since 2007 as Executive Vice President, CFO and CMO for Solare Hotels at one of the companies of his in charge. He has worked both management improvement, operational improvement, and continued implementation a MBO (Management by out) of Solare hotels. Currently appointed president and CEO since 2016.
Chairperson, CIC Japan/ Japan Chairman, A.T. Kearney Director
Japan Nighttime Economy Association (JNEA)
Tak Umezawa has led the launch of CIC Tokyo, Japan’s largest city-center innovation center, and the effort to develop a vibrant community for entrepreneurs and innovation ecosystem players.
As Kearney partner, Umezawa has served leading corporations in Japan and the US for 25 years, on various themes including strategy, marketing, and innovation.
Umezawa chairs a government committee on developing Japan’s luxury tourism market. He and his team Japan Nighttime Economy Association (JNEA) has collaborated with Japan Tourism Agency and Agency for Cultural Affairs on developing various tourism content on more than 100 projects across Japan. At these projects, the team has supported municipal governments, DMOs and local businesses develop nighttime tourism, cultural tourism, and adventure tourism content.
Umezawa is Adjunct Professor on leadership at Hitotsubashi ICS, Hitotsubashi University Business School. He holds a bachelor of law from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Founder & President
Takashi joined Gaiax Co.Ltd (IT company) in 2000, contributed to business development.
Takashi established the Sharing Economy Association(general incorporated association) and took office as its secretary general in 2016.
Was appointed as a “Sharing Economy Evangelist” by the IT Comprehensive Strategy Office of the Cabinet Secretariat and served as a committee member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Economy.
In 2018, Takashi founded ADDress Inc. and became CEO.
CEO & Founder
I am a founder and CEO of Loco Partners Inc. We have provided a mobile app called Relux.
Relux is a hotel booking app, offering a carefully curated selection of top quality luxury Japanese Inns and Hotels that our staff can personally attest to based on their own stays and experiences. We have raised about $10M since I founded and we were acquired by KDDI, giant Japanese telecom company, Feb 2017.
Vice President, Corporate Development
Timothy Hughes is the Vice President Corporate 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.
Founder & CEO
The Founder and CEO of Asoview, inc.
Graduated from the Faculty of Law, Meiji University. While attending university, he presided over a total of 300,000 free papers in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture.
After joining Recruit Co., Ltd. as a new graduate, he founded Asoview Co., Ltd. in 2011.
Asoview, a reservation site with the theme of leisure and DX, operates web services such as the outdoor reservation site “Sotoasobi”.
Besides, Yamano has also served as a member of various central ministries and local governments such as the Japan Tourism Agency Advisory Board.
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 Web In Travel (WiT), launching it in Singapore in 2005 and going on to launch WiT editions across Asia Pacific and Middle East. 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, Rakuten Group, Inc.
Yoshiyuki Takano is head of Travel & Mobility Business, Rakuten Group, Inc. since Jan 2017. He started his career at Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd. and joined Rakuten in 2002. He worked for Rakuten Ichiba e-commerce business and then moved to Rakuten Travel in 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 have been contributing to Rakuten Travel’s rapid business growth. Yoshiyuki earned Master’s degree from Waseda University.
Born in Tokyo in 1989. Graduated from Meiji University with a degree from the Global / Japanese studies Faculty. MATCHA Corporation’s President, Representative Director, and a Regional Producer in the Cool Japan Cabinet Office.
During his school days, he traveled extensively around the world. After working for the digital agency augment5 Inc., in February 2014, he began running the web media site MATCHA for international travelers. MATCHA is available in 10 languages, read by visitors from over 200 different countries, and works in co-operation with numerous companies, prefectures, and local governments to share Japanese travel and culture information around the world.