2022 THEME

Hello, New World


This is the year when we in Asia Pacific took flight again, after two years of staying home. Finally, we could get back on the road and visit our families, friends and business associates and, in tandem with our customers, we learnt to travel again – to say hello, world.


We rediscovered the old and familiar and saw them with new eyes. We sought out the new because we were hungry for fresh and interesting and curious to find out how much the world had changed.


Within our industry, much also changed. The past two years have been catastrophic for travel, yet at the same time, strangely liberating. Never has there been so much innovation and investments in technology as travel companies, big and small, took the time to fix what’s wrong and double down on what’s right.


Old thinking along with rule books were thrown out and travel businesses reimagined their future. Out of the wreckage has emerged incredible stories of renewal and innovation, particularly in Asia Pacific.


As the slowest to recover in terms of international travel, travel companies in the region were hard hit, yet proved creative, agile and resilient to arise and face a new dawn, and say “Hello, New World”.

Here’s what WiT Singapore 2022 will say hello to,
and what you will learn.

Hello, New Thinking

New thinking flowed through every part of the travel value chain – no one was immune from The Great Disruption which will hopefully lead to The Great Renewal.


In the new world of OTAs, Expedia moves away from price to become a marketplace that rewards traveller experience. Booking Holdings plugs away at its “connected journey”, rolling out flights, doubling down on accommodation, stressing sustainability. Hopper takes its superapp approach to Asia Pacific. Asia-based brands – Agoda, Traveloka, Klook, Trip.com – blaze new paths to the future.


Every part of the value chain rethought their place in the sun – from airlines to hotels, tourism boards, tours and activities players, destination management companies, travel technology providers, corporate travel, MICE venues, startups – never in the history of travel has One Event touched so many and left all changed in one way or another.


No more “this can’t be done”. Now, it’s “let’s try it and see”. Travel players have shown themselves willing to embrace new thinking and by so doing, taking more risks than they’ve ever done.


What does this mean?

Lots of interesting insights and lessons to learn from what went into executing the New Thinking. And expect to see more connectivity, more partnerships, more consolidation, more competition as players jostle to win in the Great Recovery To Come. Hello, New (Exciting) World

Hello, New Online Shoppers

According to a report from Facebook and Bain & Company, an estimated 70 million more people shopped online in six South-east Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) since the pandemic began. It projected the number of digital consumers in South-east Asia would reach 350 million by the end of 2021 and that by 2026, the number of online shoppers will reach 380 million. The acceleration is thanks to the young ones in the region –  more than 70% of people 15-years-old and above in the surveyed countries would have shopped online by the end of 2021.


What does this mean?

Hyper growth in e-commerce, social media, digitisation and payments across travel as suppliers rush to capture this surge. Also blurring of lines as e-commerce giants get into travel and social commerce takes hold. Find out who’s doing what to capture this new world.

Hello, Travel Apps and Superapps

A Google study, done jointly with Kantar showed that travellers in APAC prefer engaging with apps. Even traditional desktop markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea swung towards apps during the pandemic. The study, which surveyed 6,000 people across six markets – Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea – in 2021 showed that 58% of people across APAC prefer to engage with travel brands using an app, and in Thailand, India, and Indonesia, the preference was higher, at 67%.


What does this mean?

Acceleration in apps and superapps in a region that’s always been ahead in this space anyway. Expect more intense competition between travel specialists and generalists – one banks on expertise, trust and confidence; the other on choice, convenience and cheap. Who wins? That’s up for debate.

Hello, New Travellers

As travel begins its recovery in the region, much tracking is being done on the new types of travellers that have emerged. Most of the studies point to similar trends in leisure travel – people travelling for love (initially to visit families and friends), then for nature and sustainability in mind. New discoveries, authentic experiences, meaningful travel.


Then comes the new worker – including you and me who have discovered that working for a living doesn’t mean giving up on the living. We can now work remotely. Airbnb, the first travel company to declare its staff can work from anywhere, anytime, reported that 21% of gross nights booked in Q1 2022 were for stays of 28 days or more.


What does this mean?

Travel suppliers at every part of the value chain adjusting their products and services to capture The Big Traveller Shift. Who’s doing what for whom? The new world of customer behaviour will be at the heart of our discussions.

Hello, Sustainability with a capital S

As said at a WiT event this year …the pandemic is the battle of our lives and sustainability and environmental concerns, the war of our lifetime.” Travel companies are putting their best foot forward on the sustainability front because customers are demanding it and so are governments. No hiding behind the CSR shield anymore, sustainability is taking a front row seat.


What does this mean?

It’s time to get real and go beyond the talk. Time to learn about use cases, best practices and new ideas so that we can all fight the war of our lifetime for a better future.

Hello, Meta, Web3, NFT, ETC

While our real world came to a standstill, another world took shape and accelerated. A metaverse, a multiverse, a Web3 world with new words like NFT and crypto. A world originally inhabited by gamers, now being populated by art, fashion, real estate and travel brands who see possibilities and opportunities in this alternate world.


What does this mean?

How will this new world impact travel? How can it change our perception of spaces and travel? What new dimensions can it offer an industry that relies on human connections and real experiences on the ground? We will explore this new world with those who have taken the first leap.

Hello, Fresh & Diverse Voices

Out of The Great Travel Disruption comes new players, with fresh ideas to tackle new pain points and diverse voices to address different agendas.


What does this mean?

Expect to hear from a cast of fresh and diverse voices from across the industry, the world. Including the six finalists from the first Global Startup Pitch, run by WiT and Phocuswright, who will compete in the Grand Finals at WiT Singapore 2022.

"Hello, (New) World".


WIT is a community for anyone passionate about travel technology, distribution and marketing. This basically means if you love travel, and if you are a bit of a technology freak in terms of wanting to understand how technology is changing travel and travellers, you are one of us.


We provide news through our website and social platforms, and run events that are strong in content and different in style and delivery. We launched our first event in 2005 and have been spreading learning through events in Singapore and Asia, including Malaysia, Seoul and Tokyo, and the Middle East and Africa. As part of the Phocuswright family, and Northstar Travel Group, we also have taken our events to Europe and the US.


Our purpose is to take your mind to new places so that together, we can accelerate travel innovation to delight travellers and support local communities.


WiT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northstar Travel Group, the leading B2B information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the travel industry including leisure/retail, corporate/business travel, business and sports, meetings, incentives and travel technology.