BlessdBuy.com & TTOGETHER.co
Akshai is a dreamer-doer who has lived in London, Philippines, USA, Egypt, Amsterdam, India & Oman – and travelled to 40+ countries, 200+ cities around the world. With 20+ years leading industry-disrupting initiatives across the world – innovation, technology, wellness & hospitality, sustainability, social impact, marketing, creative leadership sectors. Akshai released his first music album as a teenager, performing across the world alongside icons like Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, to name a few.
President – International & Special Projects at India Ahead News (Andhra Prabha Group founded in 1938); Akshai structured distribution partnerships reaching 600+ million potential viewers via satellite TV and OTT. Red Bull’s first National Culture Manager for India; awarded geography’s 1st global marketing best practice.
Starting his professional career in London and Cairo, Akshai moved to India in 2006, founding one of the region’s earliest digital content distributors, spanning 26 countries.
In 2014, he founded TTOGETHER.co; a pioneering disruptive culture/marketing agency. Clients include almost every major hospitality brand, as well brands like PepsiCo, Armani, Heineken, Superdry, JBL Audio, Diageo, Tata Group and more.
In 2018, he founded BlessdBuy.com – an award-winning B2B and B2C sustainability platform ‘transforming consumers into contributors’ via community oriented travel experiences and products made by vulnerable makers and sustainable producers.
In 2020, he co-founded CreativeDignity.org – a World Economic Forum-felicitated movement supporting India’s creative manufacturing sector.
Akshai is also on the boards of leading metaverse & blockchain startups, TEDx in the city of the Dalai Lama’s residence, Green Cross International Brazil, to name a few.
Chief Operating Officer
Alfan Hendro is part of the executive leadership team at Traveloka, serving as its Chief Operating Officer. He oversees the business functions in the company, including Technology, Marketing, Design, Data, People Operations, and Customer Care, as well as lead all of the business units within the organization.
Alfan joined Traveloka in 2014. He started his career building the Traveloka Accommodation business. In 2020, he was appointed Traveloka’s Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to Traveloka, Alfan started his professional career as a Risk Analyst at Standard Chartered Bank, before becoming a serial entrepreneur in the technology domain. He founded SG-House.com (2006-2010), which was acquired by IPGA, the largest network of property portals in APAC, and VoucherHotel (2012-2014), a local online travel agent for hotel booking in Indonesia.
Alfan holds an eMBA from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Wollongong.
Group CEO & Co-founder
Aloke Bajpai is the CEO & Co-Founder of ixigo, India’s leading travel search app. Aloke’s consumer-centric thinking, passion for technology products and deep knowledge of the travel industry make ixigo stand out as one of the most innovative companies of the online travel industry.
An IIT Kanpur Electrical Engineering alumnus and an MBA graduate from INSEAD, Aloke loves discovering new cultures, creative writing, history and gadgets. Prior to launching ixigo, Aloke worked in product & technology roles at Amadeus, Nice, France, where he was part of the team that built the world’s first web-based cruise-line booking engine for agencies.
Along with being a TiE charter member he is also an investor and advisor in several startups, incubators and accelerators.
Nikoi & Cempedak Island
Andrew trained as a chartered accountant in Sydney and spent the first 20 years of his career trading distressed debt, one of the more esoteric areas of investment banking. From Sydney he travelled to Chile to work, then London and on to Singapore where he lives today. Whilst in Singapore he stumbled across the unspoilt beaches and islands of nearby Indonesia. Together with some friends they acquired the leasehold titles to an island called Nikoi in 2004. Plans to develop it were hatched whilst camping on the island with their families. The success of Nikoi led to Andrew quitting his job in 2008 to focus all of his efforts on future plans, which included building another island called Cempedak built entirely of bamboo. In 2010 Andrew and his partners established a foundation called The Island Foundation to help improve education standards amongst local children.
Founder & Group CEO
Aung Kyaw Moe
Aung Kyaw Moe is the Founder & CEO of 2C2P, a full-suite payments platform trusted by global businesses for digital payment acceptance. A leading industry expert and Fintech thought leader, Aung was recognized as one of Asia’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs by Business Week. Under his leadership, 2C2P has grown into a global company with expertise in emerging markets.
Aung holds an Executive MBA from Sasin School of Management of Chulalongkorn University and ACE from MIT Sloan School of Management. Aung is also a graduate of the Owner/President Management program at Harvard Business School.
Senior Vice President, Commercial, APAC
Baidi Li is the SVP of Commercial in APAC for Go City, where she leads the company’s commercial growth and expansion in the region. In her role, Baidi supports the company’s mission to open access to the top experiences in the world’s best cities. She has built a best-in-class team to expand the product footprint across APAC and deepen localization efforts in new markets. Prior to Go City, Baidi has over 15 years experience with OTA, tour operators, and travel tech companies, from Viator & TripAdvisor’s experience supply team, to operations for Intrepid Travel. Born and raised in China, Baidi has lived and worked in Germany and the US. She currently resides in Singapore with her family.
Xpdite Capital Partners
Bart is the CEO at Xpdite Capital Partners, an Asian tech focused investment and advisory firm which purpose is to expedite the growth of early-stage startups, accelerate the market entry of international growth companies into Asia and industrialize corporate innovation with startups.
Bart brings together 20+ years’ international experience in corporate startup innovation, travel technology and e-commerce with senior executive roles at Amadeus IT group, one of the world’s leading travel technology companies. As the architect behind the largest travel tech community in APAC, he built up strong relations in the regional and global startup ecosystems.
Before, he founded an e-business consultancy firm, led several e-business projects at the leading edge of technology and founded a startup that transformed the way companies moved online.
Pragmatic and result oriented, with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, open mindset and technology background, Bart is committed to take startups to the next level, expedite the returns for investors and industrialize corporate innovation.
“THINK DIFFERENT & JUST DO IT”, is what he believes in.
Managing Director, Asia
FCM Travel Solutions
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.
CEO & Co-founder
Blanca Menchaca is CEO and Co-founder of BeMyGuest, a travel technology company offering a Distribution Platform and a Booking System to Operators of attractions, activities, theme parks, museums, tours, events, and other travel activity services.
BeMyGuest’s distribution network enables real-time connectivity and transactions between Operators of travel activities and the rest of the travel industry (travel agents online and offline, airlines, hotels). Its network comprises top travel brands in APAC and has been increasing in popularity in the Middle East and Europe. The company’s reservation system ‘Xplore’ automates and captures B2C bookings on the Operators’ own websites, ticket counters and other direct sales channels.
Prior to taking over as CEO of BeMyGuest in 2018, Blanca acted as COO for the company since 2013 when she also entered the company as a majority investor.
Her experience in the travel and digital sector spans over 15 years, with former senior management engagements at start-up travel meta search Wego.com in 2010 and at a start-up incubator owned by Enero Group in 2007.
Blanca was born in Mexico City, obtained her BA and Masters in Sydney and Executive Certification in Global Management with INSEAD Abu Dhabi and Singapore. She has been referred to by the industry as “the face of a new global travel generation”.
Since 2021 Blanca and her business partner Ola Andersen, who is also her husband and CFO at BeMyGuest, embraced a digital nomad lifestyle. They spend most of their time between the office in Singapore, the desert in Dubai, soaking in nature in Malaysia, sailing in Australia and visiting family in Norway or Mexico.
Associate Director/ Asia-Pacific Travel, Meetings & Events Program & Engagement Leader/
Ernst & Young Solutions, LLP
I joined EY 8 years ago as the Asia Pacific Travel Manager for Asean and Greater China. I have previously worked for Credit Suisse where I managed the Asia Pacific travel program and had the opportunity to join the Private Banking Marketing team to look after marketing and sponsorship activities as well. I also worked for BNP Paribas where I managed all events, branding and sponsorship activities for Wealth Management. Prior to Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas, I have worked in the hotel industry.
Today I am part of Supply Chain Services for EY as the Asia Pacific Travel, Meetings and Events Program and Engagement Leader, managing 4 regions namely Asean, Greater China, Oceania and Korea to drive consistency and operations excellence to the EY Travel, Meetings and Events Program.
On a personal level, I love running and it has become a passion for me as it allows me to recharge physically and mentally!
Regional General Manager of South & South East Asia
Brent Anderson is Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager, South & South East Asia including India. His team is responsible for the marketing of Australia in a diverse set of source markets throughout the region, focused upon deriving economic benefits for Australia from inbound tourism.
Brent has over 20 years’ experience promoting Australia to international visitors with a key focus upon developing partnerships with tourism and non-tourism global organisations. With a strong track record of achieving commercial objectives within a governmental organisation, Brent has worked with and learnt from some of the best marketers in Australia and Asia to deliver significant advantage for the Australian tourism industry
The South & South East Asia team is one of the most culturally diverse teams within Tourism Australia. Brent is humbled by the dedication to, and love of, Australia’s tourism offering from his team, a fact that motivates and humbles him constantly.
Having lived and travelled for over 10 years in South and South East Asia, he is a passionate ambassador for the potential of the region to deliver growth for Australia’s tourism industry
Director (CIO), Digital Transformation & IT
Gardens By The Bay
Bryant works with a team of smart and fun folk in Singapore’s most instagrammable location (in his opinion) to inspire sustainable change through the use of technology, while also overseeing Gardens by the Bay’s cybersecurity planning and policy to enable the organization to manage the risks that come with increased digitalization.
He has 15 years of experience in delivering value through IT solutions across Logistics, Infocomm Technology and Banking & Finance sectors, and finds passion in leveraging technology to make lives easier for his users.
Senior Vice President, Research & Product Strategy
Ms. Fadnis leads Phocuswright’s research team and is focused on delivering high quality data, intelligence and insights that help customers make strategic decisions. She previously worked at Phocuswright from 2014 to 2016 and recently returned to take on responsibility for research content, delivery and setting product direction. Charuta has broad experience across the industry and has worked across various functions at American Airlines, Egencia and BCD Travel. Her expertise lies in uncovering and applying technological and market trends to strategy, product development and marketing. Charuta holds an M.B.A. from HEC Paris and a Bachelor of Engineering from Saurashtra University, India.
CEO & Co-founder
Chee Chong Chan
Chee Chong is passionate about the tourism industry, so much so that his 15-year career has been centered around it. He has founded not one, but two start-ups to better meet the needs of the buoyant travel/tourism industry.
He is currently Chief Executive Officer and visionary of GlobalTix, an e-ticketing travel marketplace. Chee Chong was also one of the co-founders of Adventure Glamping, which has pioneered and built the first-ever “glamping” (glamorous camping) resort called Canopi, located in Bintan.
He began his travel industry career with SilkAir, the regional carrier owned by Singapore Airlines and subsequently was seconded to Singapore Airlines.
During his seven-year career with the two carriers, he handled various job functions, including postings to Thailand, Indonesia, and Central Japan which gave him invaluable exposure in the airline industry. In Central Japan, he started many initiatives, including several that continue to today, and the team was recognized with a CEO’s Merit Award for operational excellence.
Chee Chong next joined Sentosa Development Corporation as a member of the management team. He started as the Leisure Operation, Director where he was responsible for ongoing daily operations, from beach operation, attractions to ticketing and subsequently became the General Manager of Mount Faber Leisure Group.
Chee Chong holds a Bachelor of Engineering (2nd Upper) degree from the National University of Singapore.
Co-founder & Managing Director
Chris has spent his entire professional life in and around startups and high-growth businesses in travel, hospitality and technology having founded six companies during his 30 years in business. Today he is a co-founder and Managing Director of Thayer Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in emerging technology companies in the travel and transportation space. Immediately Prior to Thayer Ventures, Chris was founder and President of iCare Marketing (sold to Sysco Foodservice Corporation in 2012) and founder and CEO of Dynamic Payment Ventures (sold to Elavon, a subsidiary of US Bank in 2007).
Prior to that, Chris was founder and CEO of CriticalArc Technologies, a supply-chain software provider to the foodservice industry, founder of E&O Kitchen and Bar, a casual dining restaurant based in San Francisco, founder of The Hemmeter Collection, a direct response retailer and founder of Hemmeter Publishing, a publisher and distributor of travel books and content. Upon graduating from Cornell University in 1986, Chris joined Hemmeter Investment Company, a real estate developer of destination-resort properties. Founded by his father in 1962, the Hemmeter organization developed major destination resort hotels in Hawaii and operated several related hospitality and travel businesses in the foodservice, gaming, retail and aviation sectors.
Chris received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Cornell University and his graduate degree from Harvard Business School in 1995, where he was recognized as a Baker Scholar for his academic achievement.
Independent Hospitality Consultant
(Attended every WiT since 2005)
Christine is an accomplished leader with over 25 years’ distribution and digital marketing experience, heading hospitality tech companies such as D-EDGE, TRUST, Pegasus and Utell. She led multi-functional Sales and Account Management teams in matrix organisations to close deals and exceed customers’ expectations, focusing on achievement of revenue targets.
She has also worked with one of Japan’s top hotel chains managing central reservation and distribution operations – ANA Hotels, a subsidiary of All Nippon Airways.
With excellent and indepth knowledge as well as understanding of the culture, and business styles of different marketplaces in APAC, Europe and USA, Christine enjoys building solid business partnerships, and assisting organisations to position themselves in a constantly changing, digital environment.
Christine has a Master’s Degree from University of Strathclyde and Bachelor of Business Degree from Schiller International University in the UK.
Christine is currently on a career break to travel and spend time with her family, as well as pondering her next steps. During this time, she’s taking the opportunity to open her mind and broaden her horizons, studying more about wellness and ESG, and is open to charting new trails in the next stage of her career as a professional dedicated to furthering the progress of travel and technology to meet changing customers’ needs.
The Island Foundation
Courtney Saville has worked in international development for over a decade, with organisations in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore across a range of social issues including health and education. Courtney’s expertise lies in strategic planning, program design and organisational development.
Courtney joined as Executive Director of The Island Foundation, a Singapore non-profit, in 2019. The Island Foundation works to transform education in Indonesia’s small island and coastal communities through direct student engagement, teacher training and community development initiatives. Courtney is responsible for the overall operations of The Island Foundation, and its partner organisation in Indonesia.
Courtney holds a BA (Hons) in International Studies, LLB, and is close to completing a Master of Environmental Management and Sustainability.
Global Head of Airlines & Travel
Damien is the global head of airlines and travel within Worldline’s digital commerce business (previously Ingenico). His team is focused on supporting global travel businesses looking to increase their market coverage, improve their customers’ payment experience and ultimately help them to grow in a sustainable and effective way.
Based in Singapore, Damien has more than 20 years of experience in leading payments and transaction services teams across all segments of the market, with a particular focus on Asia Pacific.
Prior to joining Worldline, he led the transactional business for one of Australia’s largest banks and led payment services for a large merchant.
Head of Sustainability
As Head of Sustainability at Booking.com, Danielle D’Silva leads the development and execution of the company’s holistic global sustainability strategy – covering sustainable operations, making it easier for travellers to book sustainable trips and collaborating with partners and peers to catalyze sustainable travel growth.
Danielle was instrumental in the creation of Booking Holdings’ inaugural Climate Action Plan and will use her deep topic knowledge to oversee Booking.com’s progress against the targets set out in the plan. A passionate advocate for all aspects of sustainability, Danielle is also leading the integration of sustainability into the company’s culture and its products.
Previously, Danielle led Booking.com’s operational sustainability programme and was responsible for a number of important milestones – including Booking.com becoming carbon neutral in its operations in 2020, overseeing the removal of single-use products from the company’s global office infrastructure and the sourcing of 100% renewable electricity for Booking Holdings’ operations.
Danielle has a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a masters in international development from the University of Amsterdam. Born in the USA, she embodies the intrepid travel spirit, having lived in five countries across three continents. She currently resides in Amsterdam with her partner and their golden retriever, Lola.
Deputy General Counsel
‘Lawyering for a 21st century company looks very different from what we were taught in law school. It requires lawyers being entrenched in the business, standing shoulder to shoulder with the teams, and having a deep understanding of the issues that challenge the company – I call this guerrilla lawyering’. So says deputy general counsel and Asia Pacific legal team lead of Airbnb Darrell Chan, who himself is a prime example of the sort of modern in-house lawyer he is describing.
Indeed, after serving as a private practice lawyer at the start of his career with Drew & Napier and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, he took what he called ‘a road less travelled’ by taking on a purely commercial role with fashion retail group F J Benjamin before becoming the general counsel of the company – he thrived in this role for a number of years, eventually leaving in 2012. A senior legal role with BASF was then followed by head of legal positions with Expedia and Discovery Communications before moving on to Airbnb in 2018; clearly Chan has had an extremely varied career with in terms of the roles he has taken on and the sectors in which his companies have operated.
Now well established at Airbnb, Chan has been at the centre of some blockbuster transactions, of which he provides some more detail: ‘Airbnb has been closely working with the Japanese government over the past 3 years to implement the new law around short-term rentals, which came into effect in June 2018. The Japanese government has formally introduced this new form of short term rental accommodation to support its growth in tourist arrivals ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics’. He has also been at the forefront of a number of initiatives within the team, including a focus on career and leadership development, work-life balance and enhancing the speed and clarity of advice given. This fits in with his overall philosophy of in-house legal work. ‘Contrary to the flowery legalese taught in law school’, he explains, ‘communication has to be crisp, clear and concise with almost military precision’.
Executive Vice President
David Peller is Executive Vice President of Yanolja Cloud, the global travel and hospitality industry Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions’ business of Yanolja Co. Ltd. Based in Singapore, Mr. Peller is responsible for Yanolja Cloud’s global expansion, worldwide business, and commercial operations.
Yanolja Cloud provides cloud-based SaaS solutions for hotels to residences, food and beverage establishments, together with golf and other leisure facilities, in more than 170 global markets. Having grown through widespread adoption of its proprietary solutions, Yanolja Cloud has also made multiple acquisitions and investments as it accelerates its ambition to be the preferred solution provider meeting the evolving needs of the global industry. Yanolja Cloud’s solutions support frictionless consumer experiences and drive operational efficiency for business operators.
Yanolja Co.Ltd. established Yanolja Cloud as a separate entity in 2019, to build on the company’s more than 15 years of experience providing integrated travel and hospitality services through its portfolio of superapp platforms, including Yanolja, Interpark, Daily Hotel, and Triple.
Immediately prior to joining Yanolja Cloud in 2022, David Peller was the global Managing Director of Amazon Web Services’ Travel and Hospitality business. Mr. Peller’s pior industry experience includes various leadership positions with global organizations including Booking.com, and Google (following its acquisition of ITA Software, which became Google Flights). Mr Peller qualified as a Solicitor in the UK, holds a Bachelor in Legal Studies from King’s College, University of London, and Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies from London’s College of Law.
Maison de L’Asie
Elizabeth Liau, founder of Maison de L’Asie, is a storyteller at heart.
Influenced by her grandfather, Elizabeth’s love of cinema, music and art has grown over the years as a true global citizen. She grew up in Singapore, with Shanghainese, Malay and Dutch Indonesian heritage, and has lived around the world – from Australia to Dubai, New York to South America, London to Paris – all the while absorbing and learning from these diverse cultures and environments.
Upon returning to Asia, she soon started travelling more around the region, and rediscovered its unique culture and beauty with new eyes. Choosing the medium of perfumery to tell her stories around Asia was an obvious choice, expanding on her enduring passion for scent and the grand classics of French perfumery. Elizabeth created bespoke fragrances for her personal use, to transcribe the stories of her life and travels– which opened conversations with curious people, finding her created scents evocative and intriguing. She immediately understood the power of perfume as memory and emotion writ large, carrying people through time and place like invisible tapestries or photographs in an instant.
The powerful ties between scent and memory, where a beautiful fragrance triggers recollections of childhood memories and moments of our intricate and unique lives, provide the opportunity to express stories that cannot be articulated by words alone.
Presented in combination with evocative imagery of her own creation, those scented stories – olfactive snapshots and cinematic perfumes – evolved to form the foundation of Maison de L’Asie.
COO & Co-founder
Eric Gnock Fah
Eric Gnock Fah is the COO and 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.
Francis joined Ant Group in 2017 as Thailand Country Manager of Global Merchant Partnership to spearhead the business development and marketing operations. He and his team had connected Thai merchants with Chinese tourists through seamless payment services and targeted marketing service on Alipay, the leading lifestyle platform in China.
After his experience in Thailand, he further expanded his regional experience as Philippines Country Manager and Vietnam Country Manager of Global Merchant Partnership respectively during 2018-2020. He managed to form strategic partnership with global, regional and local partners across different industries. This has laid foundation of an extensive network for business growth of Alipay and Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant Group.
Lately, he started to oversee Strategic Partnership for Alipay+ digital services, helping merchants on their journey of digital transformation.
Prior to Ant Group, Francis had over seven years of experience in marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods industry, namely P&G, Kellogg’s and Unilever, building brands and developing business in APAC.
Francis has strong interest in digital marketing, technological innovation and entrepreneurship. He graduated from MIT in United States with a Master’s degree in Engineering in 2010.
Senior Vice President, Online Travel & Market Strategy, Asia
Frédéric Barou is Senior Vice President, Online Travel Companies, Asia Pacific at Amadeus. He is responsible for defining and delivering the commercial strategy for Amadeus’ Online Travel business in Asia Pacific, including all Online Travel Agencies and Metasearch in the region.
Frédéric joined Amadeus in 1999 and has held many different portfolios in locations around the world, including in Chicago, Bangkok, Nice (where he is currently based) and soon Singapore. Prior to his current role, he was responsible for the company’s Online Travel business in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Europe (NECSE) region, and before that he drove the Amadeus Online Travel solution direction, investment, roadmap and marketing, globally. From 2014-2018, Frédéric was Vice President Products and Operations for Asia Pacific, in charge of leveraging Amadeus’ investment in leading-edge technology and services for the region.
Before joining Amadeus, he worked as a consultant for SAP and IBM.
A sports fanatic, Frédéric runs triathlons, sails and snowboards. A happy father of two children, he practices photography with his family as they share their passion of travel and exploration.
Frédéric graduated in 1994 from the University of Technology of Compiegne, France and the University of Waterloo, Canada with a degree in Computer Engineering.
Founder, Melon Sci-Fi Festival/ Board Member, SETI/
CEO, Queen's Road Capital
Fritz Demopoulos has been involved in a number of entrepreneurial and philanthropic activities within the Asian region over the past two decades. He is passionate about establishing businesses and creative disruption, exploring the big ideas behind science and science fiction, and supporting science education. Since 1997 Fritz has been involved in an array of digital ventures in mainland China. He co-founded Qunar, one of China’s largest online travel marketplaces, and Shawei, one of China’s largest digital sports media companies. He also held senior executive positions at The News Corporation and Netease. Fritz currently coordinates his entrepreneurial business activities through Hong Kong-based Queen’s Road Capital. Fritz and his wife Elaine co-founded The Queen’s Road Foundation, a non-profit foundation focused on supporting a range of programs in arts and science education. He is also a supporter of the UCLA Bruins and is on the Board of Advisors at UCLA’s School of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences and the UCLA Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment and Sports. Additionally, Fritz is an avid supporter of The Asia Society and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees. A native of Southern California, Fritz earned an MBA at UCLA and a BA at California State University, Fullerton. He also studied at Karls-Ruprecht University in Heidelberg, Germany and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Fritz is a long-term resident of Hong Kong with his amazing wife and two precocious daughters.
Innovation Lead, SAP/
Co-founder, Third Space
Gintare is the Innovation Lead of SEA at SAP, leading large scale innovation programs and enabling industry transformation through design and future-thinking.
She started her career as a filmmaker in the US and went on to support leading luxury conglomerates in their digital transformation journeys. Gintare helped bring some of the world’s #1st global retail innovations to life, and as a co-founder of The 3rd Space, she is continuing to build experiential spaces while combining art and technology.
SVP, Lodging Partners
Hari joined Expedia Group in 2002. In his twenty year tenure with the company, he has built a unique B2B, B2C and media advertising knowledge that can benefit all supply partners as they charter the complexities of the travel ecosystem. Previous to this role, Hari was the Global SVP Expedia Group Media Solutions, the digital advertising arm of Expedia Group where he oversaw all facets of the business including product development and execution, engineering, operations, marketing, media sales and business development for destination marketing organizations. Before this, he focused on two B2C brands as Vice President and General Manager of Orbitz.com and CheapTickets.com, subsidiaries of Expedia Group, and was responsible for overseeing retail operations and profitability of the business, brand strategy, marketing efficiency and customer lifecycle management.
Prior to joining Expedia, Hari worked in corporate training and food and beverage operations at Oberoi Hotels, a leading luxury hotel chain that owns and manages thirty hotels and five luxury cruisers across six countries under the ‘Oberoi’ & ‘Trident’ brands.
Hari holds a master’s degree in Hotel Management from Cornell University. In his spare time, he is an avid runner, not shy of displaying his Bollywood dancing skills and a regular visitor to India, his beloved native country.
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.
Head of APAC
Hon Lung Chu
Hon is responsible for launching Volocopter’s first commercial air taxi service in Singapore, opening one of the most promising markets for this new form of mobility. Before Volocopter, Hon entered the world of urban air mobility as Head of APAC Business Operations at AirMap, an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) company headquartered in Santa Monica, California. Hon has also worked at Rakuten, Twilio, and Google in business and technical capacities across US and Asia. Hon was trained an Electrical and Computer Engineer at Duke University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships
Johnny Thorsen is the “VP of Strategy and Partnerships” for Spotnana based in Silicon Valley, California – he joined Spotnana in June 2021 after being a strategic advisor for the founders in the early stage of Spotnana being founded in 2019.
Prior to joining Spotnana, Johnny Thorsen was the “VP of Strategy and Innovation” for American Express Digital Labs after they acquired Mezi, in January 2018 where he was the head of strategy and partnerships since May 2017.
Prior to joining Mezi in 2017 Johnny was the co-founder and CEO of conTgo, a UKbased startup founded in 2007 and acquired by Concur in March 2013, and he held senior positions with companies such as Travelport, Sabre, GetThere, HRG and CWT before founding conTgo in 2007.
Business Travel News named Johnny Thorsen one of the 25 most influential people in the business travel industry in 2018 and 2010.
CEO & Founder
Jonathan Barouch is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Local Measure.
Local Measure is a customer experience platform for the hospitality, tourism, retail and entertainment industries. Our platform allows businesses to receive real-time customer intelligence whenever customers are on-premise, helping them to identify, understand and retain customers.
Senior Vice President, Airline Solutions, Delivery & IT Sales, Asia Pacific
Jonathan leads Amadeus airline business line’s solutions, delivery management and sales divisions for the Asia Pacific region. His responsibilities include driving the region’s solution strategy, adoption of Amadeus Airlines products and services, and solution management. These regional functions play an important role working with airline customers across the region to enable their digital transformation strategies; adopting the latest technologies to deliver capabilities that will enable airlines to drive traveler satisfaction and increase revenues.
Jonathan joined the region after spending over two years in the global Amadeus Airline IT Solutions organization. Based in Nice, he led the Solutions Performance and Strategy division where he was responsible for a variety of transversal functions including the global solutions strategy group, business planning, solutions cycle management and a few technical product lines. During his tenure, he developed Amadeus’ Airline IT Solution Portfolio’s investment governance and 3–5-year portfolio strategy.
Prior to working with Amadeus, he held management positions in Sabre Airline Solutions and Travel Technology Interactive (TTI). With more than 20 years’ experience in the travel technology space, he has also led sales, marketing and account management functions with TTI, Abacus and global accounts with CarlsonWagonlit Travel. He holds a bachelor’s degree with a double major in marketing and accounting.
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
Vice President, Global Air Partnerships
Julie Kyse serves as Vice President, Global Air Partnerships for Expedia Group, one of the world’s largest online travel companies. In this role, she leads the team responsible for Expedia Group’s relationships with airline partners across the world.
Julie joined the Expedia Group in September 2011. Prior to that, she worked at British Airways for sixteen years in a variety of Sales and Marketing roles including managing the commercial team in Latin America and Caribbean.
She holds a BA from the University of Richmond – Virginia and an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas – Austin.
Julie lives in Miami, Florida.
Chief Executive Advisor
AirAsia’s former China president, Kathleen Tan, is now chief executive advisor of Malaysia’s new low-cost carrier, MYAirline. Its mission is to be the preferred and trusted airline providing safe, enjoyable, and affordable air travel while innovating through its technological agility.
Tan has a wealth of experience in the aviation industry, having joined AirAsia as regional head of commerce in 2004. She then became CEO of AAE Travel, a joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia, before taking on the role of president of North Asia. She stepped down as China president in 2018.
MYAirline made the news in January this year following approval by Malaysian Aviation Commission and enters a competitive low-cost carrier market, which currently sees AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines’ Firefly dominate the segment. The new low-cost carrier’s livery is red and grey and at the helm as CEO is Rayner Teo.
Co-founder & CEO
Venture Republic - TRAVEL jp & Trip101
TravelTech entrepreneur based in Singapore and Tokyo with 20 years of experience who led his company to an IPO, a buyout and two exits.
One of the original investors & advocates of Travel Massive.
Kei co-founded Venture Republic Group (VRG) in 2001 and has been serving as a CEO since foundation. Company runs a group of online travel services worldwide including TRAVEL jp, Japan’s largest online travel metasearch/media, Trip101, Singapore based global online travel media and Allstay, mobile accommodation search app in Korea.
In 2008, he led the company to an IPO and to LBO by the management in 2012. Kei also led to acquire Flocations, a Singapore based travel startup, have it grown to one of the fastest growing online travel media in the world under Trip101 brand that attracts the users from 200 countries.
Harvard MBA. Keio University BA.
Cross country & alpine skier/snowboarder. Love jazz, coffee and working from vacation homes.
Chief Commercial Officer, South East Asia, Japan & South Korea
Kerry Healy has over 25 years of experience in hospitality across four continents and is a strategic thinker with a deep understanding of both the corporate and commercial side of the industry. She is skilled in Negotiation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Hospitality Industry, Event Management, and Leisure Industry.
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.
Divisional Director, Planning
Sentosa Development Corporation
Lee Cheh Hsien
Cheh Hsien is responsible for strategic planning, risk management, data and sustainability for Sentosa Development Corporation. This includes driving island-wide efforts towards Sustainable Sentosa – a long term roadmap to ensure that the island transforms into a sustainable destination where guests leave with great experiences, without leaving behind a carbon footprint.
With a career spanning both the public and private sector, he is passionate about building great teams and believes that this is the only way to solving the world’s most challenging problems.
One of his greatest joys is to experience new communities and cultures with his family of five; he considers it a privilege to be able to contribute towards sharing the Sentosa experience with the world.
Startup Partner Lead, SEA, Stripe/
Co-founder, WOW Pixies NFT
Founder, Third Space
Lily Wu is currently the Startup Partner Lead at Stripe working with early-stage VCs, accelerators and incubators to grow their startups in their portfolios across South East Asia and Greater China.
She is also an artist, creative, and two-time 7-figure entrepreneur. She’s the co-founder of The 3rd Space, creating experiential spaces combining art and technology. She’s also the founder of WOW Pixies DAO, raising $2M in 4 days using NFTs to support women entrepreneurs in web3. She was invited as a speaker at the United Nations in New York in 2022 to talk about making a positive impact to empower women entrepreneurs using blockchain technology.
Head of Corporate Development
Lisa is heading Strategy, M&A and Strategic Partnerships for Etraveli Group, one of the leading global flight platforms. The Group is backed by CVC Capital Partners and has offices in Sweden, Greece, Canada and India. The Group operates in 70+ countries through brands such as Gotogate, Mytrip.com, Trip.ae, Trip.ru, Supersaver and Flight Network and enjoys top positions in Europe and North America with growing presence in LatAm, the Middle East and APAC. It also operates flygresor.se, the #1 metasearcher in Sweden and Tripstack a content aggregator offering LCC/airline direct content and creating complex flight itineraries (virtual interlining). We are a team of more than 1000 professionals.
Lisa has been working in the travel industry since 2011. She joined e-Travel, a South East European OTA in 2012. As part of e-Travel’s management team she helped grow revenues 3x and the business from a team of 60 to c.250 employees until the company joined forces with Etraveli in 2017 and was welcomed into the CVC family. Prior to joining e-Travel she was a venture capitalist investing in e-commerce. She started her career in advertising.
Whether it’s being the link between the creative team and the customer, software engineers and customer needs, or between investors and entrepreneurs she has been performing “translation” duties for 17 years. She holds a BSc in Economics from LSE and an MBA from INSEAD.
Future Now Capital
Louise is Fund CEO responsible for coordinating and delivery of strategy and outcomes across the business. Louise was a member of the Fund’s Investment Committee until March before joining full time as CEO.
Prior to Future Now Capital, Louise was Deputy CEO of Accor Hotel Group Asia Pacific, operating more than 1,200 hotels and ancillary businesses across 22 countries with gross revenues of over $10 billion. Louise also sat on the Accor global disruption and growth board, the only member outside of France. Accor is one of the world’s most active enterprise adopters of technology, having developed its own unique digital ecosystem. Louise completed her Executive MBA at SMU Singapore has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and is a Certified Practicing Account (CPA).
CEO & Founder
TakeMe Co., Ltd.
Lu was born in Beijing, China. At the age of 20, he came to Japan by himself and entered Saitama University. After graduation, he joined Goldman Sachs Japan. Spent 10 years in Japan, Lu went to Stanford GSB to earn his MBA. He returned to China in 2004 after graduation and spend 10 years there. He did management consulting and VC. Lu founded 2 E-commerce companies in China in man’s shirts and women’s lingerie areas. The latter one, La Miu, became the No.1 online lingerie company in China at the time.
Lu returned to Japan in 2014 with his wife who was born in Tokyo. Taking the successful business models in mobile payment and OMO from China, he started Japan Foodie, later became TakeMe, to solve
Manpreet is a business leader with 23 years of experience in world class financial services (Citibank, GE Capital) and e-commerce businesses (Amazon, Flipkart) across Asia. He has built and led large multi-country high performance teams covering operations, product, technology, strategy, sales, client servicing and project management through unprecedented scale of execution, sophisticated and innovative problem solving to create exceptional value for customers and shareholders.
Manpreet specialises in re-imagining business and operating processes to build world class operations, fulfilment, and service channels that power some of the fastest growing e-commerce businesses and the largest financial services institutions in Asia.
Fairmont & Swissôtel The Stamford
Senior Content Lead
Working across the Tezos ecosystem, Marissa Trew is the Senior Content Lead at Blokhaus Inc and the host of TezTalks Radio, a podcast profiling the people and projects building on the blockchain. Previously, she acted as Head of Content at TZ APAC – a Singapore-based Tezos adoption entity. Marissa also hosts Just So We’re Clear, a Singapore-born podcast focused on holding conversations relevant to modern Asian women. Marissa also spent more than four years at WiT, starting off as a columnist for The Millennial Traveller, and then taking on bigger content roles, covering reporting, marketing and speaking.
Founder & Director
Thrust Carbon (WiT Startup Of The Year 2021)
With over a decade of tech, innovation, and startup experience, Mark is a Founder & Director of Thrust Carbon. His team are on a mission to help your company be #effortlesslygreen. With clients including S&P Global, Novartis, and TMCs around the globe, their reporting, reduction, and removal SaaS tools and APIs are powering the future of responsible travel.
CEO & Founder
Martha is the Founder and CEO of Singapore based hospitality tech startup, DayAway, a revolutionary B2B2C platform helping the hotel industry to monetise underutilised ancillary space for daytime use by non-hotel guests. Launched in March 2021, DayAway provides inventory management and revenue optimisation tools to hotel partners, and an online destination for prospective guests to browse hotel experiences by the day and book in real time. DayAway’s goal is to radically disrupt the global hospitality industry by designing its own market category around the optimisation of hotel facility space – and dominating it.
Originally from New York, Martha has over 10 years of experience working with both globally recognized brands as well as regional tech startups in brand marketing and digital strategy with a successful track record in go-to-market execution and international expansion. She has a passion for innovation and brings a unique perspective and skillset to paving a new path forward for hotels in a Covid and post Covid economy.
(WiT Honorary Debator)
Founder & CEO
Mary is a global travel tech entrepreneur with an impressive track record and a passion for flying. Atlas is Mary’s third travel tech start-up, following Wingon Travel and then ASLAN, which became the largest air ticket platform in China before being acquired by Alitrip (Fliggy).
Purpose-led and on a mission to enable more people to travel, Mary is excited about Atlas’ ability to deliver the next generation Air Travel Retailing & Information Platform (ATRIP). ATRIP aggregates vital data, insights and processes – for comparing fares and ancillaries; organising itineraries, reservations or rearrangements; and other travel-related requirements – so travel agents can make more personalized, informed decisions for their customers, faster and more affordably.
“Only through travel do we experience what it’s like for others – to see the world as they do – to appreciate our differences and celebrate our similarities. An atlas isn’t simply a collection of maps – it’s a way to help us understand the world.”
Acting Senior Vice President, Trips Division
With more than 20 years’ leadership experience in the airline and travel tech industry, Matthias is originally from Zurich, Switzerland. He’s lived and worked in seven different countries, across three continents, for some of the world’s leading brands – including KLM, Emirates and the International Air Transport Association.
Having joined Booking.com in 2020, Matthias heads up the Trips business unit from its global headquarters in Manchester. As one of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com is already synonymous with accommodation, and Matthias’ task is to achieve the same global prominence for every part of the Trips business unit: car rentals, flights, taxis, attractions and insurance.
Founding Partner, Atom Capital/
Passionate about entrepreneurship, technology, and investment in US and China.
An early-stage investor. EIR at IDG Capital, a partner at CCV focusing on technology and cross border, and now a founding partner at Atom Capital on crypto/web3.
A serial entrepreneur. Co-founded Tujia.com since 2011, the largest home-sharing platform in China with over 1 billion USD valuation; served as CTO at Escapia.com, a Seattle startup acquired by HomeAway. Co-founder, President and COO of Baby English for online education.
A senior manager at well-established companies. Responsible for overseeing search engine Bing in Asian market at Microsoft. Served as a development director at Expedia.com.
GM for Startups APAC
Michael Smith Jr.
Director, Product Management, Travel Ads
Michael leads product management for Google’s Travel Ad products. His team is responsible for areas including Hotel Ads, Hotel Campaigns, Auctions & Autobidding, Syndication, and Things To Do ads.
Michael joined Google Travel in 2012 as a product manager. Michael started in the area of Hotel Ads monetization, and led the product management team for the hotels partner platform.
Michael has a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s degree in Strategic Product Design from the Technical University of Delft.
Commercial Director, DMOs, Hotels and Travel Data partnerships
Mike currently leads Skyscanner’s teams focusing on revenue diversification across products and verticals such as hotels, car hire and data insights. He also has a particular focus on growing and deepening Skyscanner’s partnerships with DMOs. He joined Skyscanner in 2015 and spent two years developing API & white label partnerships before spending a further two years leading the APAC team, gaining experience in all areas of commercial operations. Prior to joining Skyscanner, Mike spent a number of years in the media and advertising sector, working for companies such as Clear Channel, Gannett Media and Scottish Television.
Having graduated from Paris-Dauphine University and started his career in the capital markets, Morgann Lesné quickly discovered a passion for Information Technologies and a keen sense of entrepreneurship. Between 2004 and 2009, Morgann successfully founded 3 companies in Saas and mobile security. In 2009, he became a partner at Cambon Partners, a Paris based investment bank dedicated to growth companies. Under his leadership, Cambon Partners has established international presence in London (2009), San Francisco (2015) and Beijing (2017) and has completed over 300 M&A transactions within the digital realm, raising over 3 Bn US dollars for innovative companies from VC firms like TA Associates, Accel Partners, Left Lane… Since 2013 Morgann is focusing on the Travel industry, having already closed 50+ transactions in this sector (Easyvoyage, Fastbooking, Traveldoo/Egencia, Autoescape/Expedia, 3mundi/FCM, Travelsoft, TV Trip /TravelClick, Travelkeys-Gekko-Verychic/Accor, Ariane Systems, Homerez, La France du Nord au Sud/Pierre&Vacances, HouseTrip /TripAdvisor, Sequoiasoft, Locasun/Adevinta, Marco Vasco / Le Figaro, Misterfly, CDS…).
Executive Vice President
Almosafer, part of Seera Group
Muzzammil is an internationally experienced management consulting and operations executive focused on scaling and optimizing operations to enable sustainable growth. Currently, Muzzammil leads Seera Group’s Travel Strategic Business Unit – which is powered by its flagship brand Almosafer, providing seamless Omni-channel travel services across online and retail touchpoints around the region, as well as tailored services for Corporate and Government Clients (Almosafer Business) and a luxury travel concierge (Almosafer Concierge).
Founder & Managing Director
Nick is an entrepreneur turned professional investor.
Nick started his career in 1985 as an accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co’s Corporate Recovery practice in Sydney, Australia. He left the profession in 1989 to join his fathers’ readymix concrete business in Adelaide, Australia. Six months later they sold the company to Adelaide Brighton Cement and Nick turned his attention to Southeast Asia. He has lived and worked in the region since, firstly building Readymix – a concrete, quarrying and cement manufacturing operation spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Singapore and, and more latterly, leading Ready Ventures – a family office that has invested in a portfolio of early stage companies and is a partner of Velocity Ventures – Southeast Asia’s leading travel and hospitality focused VC.
Nick is the Managing Partner of Velocity Ventures and sits on the Investment Committee. He is also a Director of portfolio companies Lumitics and AiGens. He is the CEO of Readymix and a Director of Butra Heidelberg Cement. He is also the Lead Non-executive Director of SGX listed MTQ Corporation and chairs the Remuneration and Nomination Committee. He is a past Singapore Chairman and regional board member of the Young Presidents Organisation and was Chairman of the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore.
Nick holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Australian National University.
Mr. Rippel joined Asia Partners as a Founding Partner. Previously he was the CEO of B2C e-commerce for Naspers, which included all e-tail, marketplace, and travel operations globally. Mr. Rippel led all of Naspers’ investments in Flipkart, where he served as Naspers’ appointed Director to the Board for six years. In August 2018, Flipkart’s exit to Walmart was one of the very largest exits ever in the Internet and e-commerce space, and India’s largest ever exit of a technology company. Walmart invested US$16 billion to obtain an approximate 77 percent shareholding at closing. As part of this transaction, Naspers exited fully, selling its 11.2% percent stake for $2.2 billion. The investment was a $1.6bn or 3.6x return over six years, at an estimated 29% IRR.
Mr. Rippel joined Naspers in January 2009 as head of business development in South-east Asia before managing e-commerce in Africa and Middle East shortly after. From 2011 to 2014 he oversaw e- commerce in Southeast Asia, India and Africa, after which he was managing online services segments including e-tail outside of Europe, travel, real estate, and mobile services.
Before working for Naspers, Mr. Rippel spent nine years at eBay – first in his home country Germany and then as part of the Asia-Pacific region in China, Korea, and South-east Asia. There, he mostly focused on strategy, business development, as well as category management and marketing operations. Mr. Rippel is of dual Asian and European ancestry. He studied economics in Berlin, Germany and holds the INSEAD Certificate in Corporate Governance. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization Singapore Chapter.
Omri Morgenshtern is the Chief Executive Officer of Agoda, part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG). He was appointed in July 2022. In his former role as COO, Omri was instrumental in driving global operations, Product, Partner Services, and the Customer Experience Group.
Omri joined Agoda in 2014 as Senior Product Owner, Algorithms and Learning Systems, and was later promoted first to Vice President of Product Development, then to Chief Product Officer and Chief Operating Officer in 2018.
He was co-founder & CEO of Qlika, an award-winning UpWest Labs start-up specializing in online marketing optimization, which was acquired by Booking Holdings Inc. in 2014.
Omri received an M.S. Magna Cum Laude in Physics from Tel Aviv University and B.S. Cum Laude in Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics from The Hebrew University.
Associate VP, International Flight Business
Ooi Chee Teong
Chee Teong Ooi (CT) has held a number of senior management positions for some of the world’s largest travel & technology companies over the past 15 years. CT is currently the Associate VP of Trip.com’s International flight business responsible for leading all commercial strategic partnerships on behalf of Trip.com with global Airlines, GDS and Agency partnerships. CT joined Ctrip.com in 2015 from Abacus, a global distribution system(GDS) where he was the General Manager, Abacus China.CT belongs to the globally recognized, Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) and specialized in flight business supply management.
Mr. Comeau is responsible for overall strategic and operational leadership at Phocuswright. Pete oversees all aspects of Phocuswright’s commercial activities including product, sales and service, and marketing. He also plays a key role in product development and business development strategy for Phocuswright research, events and media businesses globally. Pete is a frequent speaker at industry events and heads Phocuswright’s coverage of startups and innovation.
Mr. Comeau’s travel industry career spans over two decades. Previously, he managed strategic partnerships at Orbitz in Chicago, where he assisted in growing and managing accounts for the Orbitz Partner Network. Prior to Orbitz, Pete was the sales leader at Moguls Mountain Travel, a ski tour wholesaler in Boulder, CO. He helped design, implement and maintain four reservation systems during his tenure and managed and mentored a team of successful sales agents.
Based in the Denver, Colorado area, Pete holds an M.B.A. from Daniels College of Business and graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College with a degree in government and economics.
Group Director Revenue Management & Distribution
COMO Hotels & Resorts
In a career spanning 24 years; Puneet has worked in various corporate level roles in Marketing, Revenue Optimisation and Distribution. He has been responsible for implementation of several strategic projects; ranging from Performance Marketing, New Hotel and Restaurant openings, Sales and Revenue Systems and Education. He continues to lead innovative commercial projects in his current role with COMO Hotels and Resorts.
Puneet is also involved in various industry wide initiatives. He served as the Asia Pacific Chair, HSMAI Revenue Management Advisory Board and Asia Pacific Chair on the Board of Directors of Hotel Electronic Distribution Networking Association (HEDNA).
Puneet is currently pursuing his Masters in Artificial Intelligence, University of Cumbria, U.K. He is a graduate from Huddersfield University, U. K. and holds executive education in Entrepreneurship from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A. and Digital Transformation from Columbia Business School, U.S.A.
GM, APAC Business
Reno Wang is the GM of APAC Business at Hopper, the smart way to book travel on your phone. Combining trillions of data points and powerful machine learning, Hopper saves users time, money, and anxiety in their quest to book the perfect trip. Hopper is the most downloaded travel app in North America with over 70 million downloads, and was named Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company in Travel 2022.
As the head of the APAC business, Reno oversees Hopper’s growth in the region, fueling the talent and customer pipeline. Reno joined Hopper from Alipay US where he led the PSP business team to develop Alipay’s business footprint in North America. Reno has extensive experiences in the travel and tech industries, having worked for Alibaba Group and Sabre over the last decade.
Reno received a PhD in Operations Research and Systems Engineering from Boston University, and also earned degrees from both Georgia Institute of Technology and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Managing Director, Pacific Asia
Robert manages the Pacific Asia arm of Horwath HTL with offices in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta. Since his arrival in the region with Horwath HTL in 1988, he has developed an extensive background and expertise in the developing hotel and tourism industries through his direct involvement in the planning and analysis of projects across the region.
He has 45 years of experience including work in hotel operations with Pacific Plaza Hotels in northern California and conducting market and financial analyses for hotels, resorts, cruise ships, convention centers, conference centers and restaurants with Laventhol and Horwath in San Francisco.
He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and published numerous research articles in industry publications.
Board Member, VELTRA Corp/ Former Chairman & CEO,
Viator & Rome2rio/ Chairman, Jayride
Rod Cuthbert is the founder and former CEO & Chairman of Viator Inc., and the former CEO of Rome2rio, the multimodal transport search, and booking engine. He is a non-executive Director of Veltra Corporation, an OTA focused on tours and activities and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange; and Imperium Tourism Holdings, a diversified Australian travel group with an agency, wholesale, tour operation and technology assets. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and an investor and advisor to a number of online travel companies. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
CEO & Co-founder
Ross is CEO & Co-Founder at Wego, which is online travel marketplace that provides top ranked mobile apps and websites for users living in the APAC and MENA regions. Wego harnesses powerful technology that simplifies the process of searching, comparing and booking flights and hotels across hundreds of airlines, hotels and online travel agency websites. Wego is has dual-HQs in Singpaore and Dubai and is backed by top-tier investors including Tiger Global, Crescent Group, Square Peg Capital and the MBC Group.
Ross is a veteran of the Asian internet industry having established Yahoo!s Southeast Asian operations in Singapore back in 1998 and leading product development efforts across the region for 6+ years. He is also Singapore Co-Chair of H2, the premier global leadership network for the digital industry. Ross has been an active angel investor in the technology sector for a decade and enjoys working with other passionate entrepreneurs. He has worked in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Kuala Lumpur and is now splits his time between Singapore and Dubai. He travels frequently for business but not nearly enough for leisure.
Regional Director, South East Asia
Sandeep Shastri is the Regional Director, South East Asia. Based in Singapore Sandeep is responsible for driving growth for Travel Solutions agency network in Southeast Asia for Sabre.
With experience in Banking, Travel Management Companies, Online Travel, Aviation & Travel Technology, Sandeep has successfully led & transformed diverse businesses across Asia Pacific. He is an engineer with an executive MBA from Insead & Tsinghua University.
Head of Business Development, Merchant Services APAC
SheueChee BEH (Chee) is a native of Penang, a beautiful state on the northwest coast of Malaysia. She started her first payment job in 2004 with TSYS in Kuala Lumpur and moved to Singapore 10 years ago.
With a holistic and deep understanding in payment ecosystems, she is an accomplished strategic business developer driving new and deepening existing business with the key merchants for NTT Data Payment Division. Now joining JPMorgan to Head the Merchant Services Business Development, APAC, she brings over 18 years of payment experience with well-rounded exposure covering solution providers, issuers and payment processors in the region.
JetBlue Technology Ventures
Steve Taub is the Managing Director of Investments at JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV). In this role, Steve is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, negotiating, structuring, and closing venture investments for JTV, as well as leading the investment team.
Steve most recently served as an Investment Partner at In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit venture fund that supports the U.S. government’s intelligence and national security agencies. Prior to that, he was a Senior Vice President at GE Capital and a founding member and Managing Director at GE Ventures, where he focused on energy and advanced manufacturing.
In his early career, Steve worked at the U.S. Department of Energy office of Environmental Management and office of New Production Reactors before moving to Cambridge Energy Research Associates, where he consulted for global energy technology and electric power companies.
Steve earned Master’s degrees in Technology and Policy and Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University.
Director of Public Policy, APAC
Steven Liew is Airbnb’s Asia Pacific Director of Public Policy and is passionate about working with governments and other stakeholders to empower people and communities to share in the benefits of travel. He has close to three decades of experience working in both the technology and intellectual property law spaces, including the companies such as eBay, Louis Vuitton, Baker & McKenzie, Nokia, and APCO Worldwide. In 2016, Steven co-founded a startup investment and advisory firm, Cosmic Cafe in Fukuoka, Japan. Steven is a graduate of National University of Singapore Law Faculty. In his spare time, he is an avid yogi and enjoys reading.
Executive Vice President, Centre of Excellence
As Executive Vice President – Centre of Excellence at Seera Group, Tarique heads the overall sourcing and fulfilment operations for the group’s travel portfolio, across all business units. As the hub that harnesses the buying power of Seera Group, the Centre of Excellence is designed to source and fulfil products & services, as well as negotiate and deepen relationships with the vast supplier network the group has accumulated over the years.
Tarique is also spearheading the growth and development of Mawasim, the group’s dedicated Hajj & Umrah business, which delivers an elevated pilgrimage experience for travellers from all over the world and Discover Saudi, the leading DMC in the Kingdom.
Tarique has been with Seera Group since 2015 when he helped establish and scale tajawal in the UAE as a co-founder of the travel platform.
With over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, he builds on his expertise in leading customer experience, business development and new market initiatives to drive commercial success. Tarique has held pivotal roles in multinational travel corporations such as Cleartrip and Kuoni. As part of the founding team of Cleartrip, he led the platform’s expansion into the Middle East and the establishment of various supplier and distributor functions.
Head of Travel, SEA
Tejveer Singh Bedi
Tejveer Singh Bedi heads the travel partnerships for Tiktok SEA. His team helps travel companies including Online Travel Agents, Hotels connect with and market to travel communities on Tiktok. He has extensive commercial experience in travel previously heading sales, revenue management and operations in hotel chains. Tejveer served as president HSMAI Singapore is currently a board member of HSMAI commercial advisory board. He is passionate about technology in travel and assists various travel tech startups in their growth journey as an advisor.
Vice President Corporate Development
Timothy Hughes is the Vice President Corporate Development of Agoda (Booking Holdings 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 Phocuswire.
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, T2Impact’s Managing Partner, serves as the lead for the Airline, Aviation and Airport Practice. Timothy has worked in aviation and travel distribution for more 30 years, including time with Worldspan and Microsoft/Expedia before founding T2Impact in 1998. He leads the group’s efforts in the international arena, providing e-commerce services to travel and technology clients, and others involved in transaction processing oriented e-businesses.
Timothy was a founding management team member of the Expedia team where he headed the Ground Transportation and International portfolios. He was formerly Head of Technology for Worldspan where he managed all of the International Technology Services from product to infrastructure. Mr. O’Neil-Dunne is a published authority on Global Travel Distribution, a respected travel industry commentator, frequently writing in trade and consumer publications, and speaking at conferences worldwide. He is a permanent advisor to the World Economic Forum.
Timothy is a founder member of the Vaultpad Accelerator Group. Vaultpad provides mentoring and expertise to startups and innovators in the travel space.
He is also CTO and deputy CEO of Lute Technologies, a permanent advisor to the World Economic Forum and writes on the Professor Sabena Blog.
Tom Simpson is a tech executive, entrepreneur and investor with a focus on the Play Economy – he believes Web3, Digital Assets, Gaming and the Metaverse are changing the world. If work was the modus operandi for the industrial age, then play is how humanity creates value in the 21st century and beyond.
Tom is the Founder of △k3r, a consultancy and fund focused on investing in the Play Economy. He is also the Chairman of TotallyAwesome, Strategic Advisor to Anzu, and works with a range of start-ups including Mana, Humology and Bowled.io.
Tom has built and exited multiple companies including MediaQuark, Ambient Digital and AdColony across the Asia-Pacific region. He sits on the board for the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) and is a recipient of the Campaign Asia ’40 under 40′ award.
Commercial Director, APAC
Trevor Spinks is Sojern’s Commercial Director for the Asia-Pacific region where he is responsible for forming new partnerships and fostering positive relationships with clients. He also has a wealth of knowledge in sales, digital marketing, distribution and business development. Trevor has 15 years’ experience working for some of the most prominent names in aviation, including easyJet, Scoot, NokScoot, and Singapore Airlines, covering the full spectrum of airline commercial activity.
Vice President, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions)
Marina Bay Sands
Wee Min Ong
Mr Ong Wee Min serves as the Vice President of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions) at Marina Bay Sands.
In this role, he is responsible for the overall management of the Sands Expo & Convention Centre to ensure its continued success as the top business events and MICE venue in the region.
Prior to his promotion, Weemin was the Executive Director of Sales at Marina Bay Sands and is responsible for Marina Bay Sands’ sales and marketing processes and activities for the various market segments in Association Meetings, Tradeshows and Events both locally and internationally.
In this role, he is responsible for bringing in various first-to-Asia trade shows and exhibitions to Marina Bay Sands. These include iconic events such as Maison & Objet Asia, Lions Club International Convention, Tax Free World Association Asia Pacific and Milipol Asia.
Vice President, Business Strategy & Programmes
RAKxa Wellness & Medical Retreat, Thailand
Yeoh Siew Hoon
Siew Hoon has been covering the travel industry beat in Asia Pacific for decades, starting off as a rookie reporter and going on to lead and launch the region’s key industry media titles. In 2005, she founded WiT (Web in Travel) to tackle how technology was changing travel in Asia Pacific and created a new space in the fast-growing, dynamic region with a dedicated media and events platform.
Over the years, she took WiT to new places, launching editions in Tokyo, Seoul, Middle East and Europe to keep the world’s attention focused on the three pillars of travel, technology and Asia.
Following the acquisition by Northstar Travel Group in 2014, she led the launch of Travel Weekly Asia and M&C Asia and formed the editorial team to execute the entry of Northstar to Asia.
Her work has been recognised by numerous institutions including the Singapore Tourism Board which recognised her as Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. The WiT Singapore conference, which remains its tentpole event, has won several awards including Most Innovative Marketing Initiative and Trade Conference Of The Year.
In 2020, WiT Singapore became the first travel conference to go fully hybrid, paving the way for a new model in events.
Other than writing about travel, Siew Hoon is also a published author of titles such as “Around Asia In One Hour: Tales of Condoms, Chillies & Curries”, children’s books such as “Adventures of Habibie The Turtle” and “The Story of Baitong and Boon” and host of “A Life In Travel” podcast.
Head of Travel & Mobility Business, Senior Executive Officer
Rakuten Group, Inc.
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.