08.00 – 09.00

Checking in & Coffee

09.00 – 09.15


09.15 – 09.40

Coffee with Deep Kalra, Chairman and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip

It’s been a year since MakeMyTrip merged with Goibibo to consolidate its position as India’s largest OTA. The move followed a $180m million investment from Ctrip. How has life changed after these two milestone developments? What are the key trends driving India’s travel market, what new technologies are taking up its attention and what disruptors is this pioneer watching?

Co-interviewer: Chetan Kapoor. Research Analyst, Asia Pacific, Phocuswright

09.40 – 9.55


Emilie Couton, Head of Digital Marketing, Asia Pacific, AccorHotels

AccorHotels has been called the most interesting hotel company given its spate of acquisitions. It is also one of the fastest growing hotel groups, opening one to two properties every week in APAC and two hotels every three days globally.  Its newest hotel in Singapore, Sofitel Singapore City Centre is its 800th property in the region. How is its digital marketing keeping up with such scale and change, yet staying true to one of its core values of respect?

09.55 – 10.25

The Home Advantage In A Changing World – or is it?

Is being homegrown in Asia an advantage for these independent, owner-controlled hotel groups?  How are they competing in a world of scale, consolidation and distribution power? What are they doing to fend off global competition as their home market gets more crowded, competitive and complex?

Richard Hatter, General Manager, Hotel ICON; Adjunct Associate Professor of the School of    Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Debrah Pascoe, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Onyx Hospitality Group

Philip Schaetz, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Wharf Hotels
Frank Trampert, Managing Director & Chief Commercial Officer, Asia Pacific, Sabre Hospitality Solutions

10.25 – 10.55

The Changing World of Hospitality: How Can It Get Better?

Hospitality is a completely different world today from what it used to be. Alternative accommodation has become mainstream. New technologies and new tools have emerged to change the way customers buy and book places to stay. Customer expectations have changed and local experiences matter even more in a world of scale. What are the better ways ahead for hoteliers to engage with, and delight, their guests? A debate format designed to bring out the answers.

Charmaine Wee, General Manager, Unlisted Collection, Singapore
Sean Dee, Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President, Outrigger Enterprises Group
Russell Young, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Sojern
Jeff Manheimer, Founder & COO, Tripping.com
Graham Hills, Chief Commercial Officer, BeMyGuest

Moderator: Puneet Mahindroo, Corporate Director of Revenue Management Asia Pacific, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

10.55 – 11.10

Peeling Back the Skin on AI

It’s become the hottest two-letter word in tech – AI. Artificial Intelligence. But what’s real and what’s, well, artificial? Instead of focusing on AI vs. Human, let's also look at the opportunities that AI brings to develop in new areas we humans are not able/good at to do.
Melissa Yang, co-founder of Tujia (and now doing her own thing), has been digging into the new science and brings fresh perspectives to us in this talk.

Melissa Yang, Co-Founder, Tujia Inc.

11.10 – 11.40


11.40 – 12.00

Coffee with Rob Greyber, President, Egencia

For over a decade, Egencia has been at the forefront of innovation in corporate travel, pioneering traveller-centric offerings (on and offline) and company-efficient tools for everything from policy to business intelligence.  

This innovation-driven strategy has propelled Egencia to become one of the largest travel management companies in the world. Now rapidly growing across Asia Pacific, Egencia is uniquely positioned to disrupt corporate travel in this vital region.  

Egencia, backed by Expedia, is committed to personalised service and innovation at scale. Egencia’s president, Rob Greyber, will share his company’s scientific “test and learn” approach to innovation, his predictions for business travel, and why promoting a diverse workplace culture and open global platforms are essential to propelling the industry forward.  

12.00 – 12.25

Travel Retail & Next Gen Travel Agents

Travel retailing’s changing whether it’s in corporate travel, meetings or in the leisure segment. We get a perspective from a product engineer who’s built a retailing solution for the meetings market, as well as views from a new generation of leaders who are transforming their traditional travel agency business to remain relevant in the changing marketplace.

Felix Undeutsch, Head, MICE & Groups, Expedia Inc.
Kit Sananwathananont, Managing Director, G.M. Tour & Travel
Min Yoon, CEO, TideSquare
Steven Ler, Executive Director, Head of Travel, UOB Travel Planner
Scott Barber, Director, Commercial Strategy, Asia Pacific, Travelport

Moderator: Chetan Kapoor, Research Analyst, Asia Pacific, Phocuswright

12.25 – 12.40

A View From Google

Presenting the results of a new piece of research by Google into the travel market in Asia.

Ryan Ferguson, Sector Lead, Travel, Asia Pacific, Google  

12.40 – 12.55

Coffee with Matthew Hulen, Industry Manager - Travel, Facebook Singapore

Matt Hulen joined Facebook in 2014 from Expedia, bringing his travel experience into the social network as it grew its industry vertical in Asia. Based in Singapore since 2012, he has unique insights into customer behavior trends in South-east Asia, particularly when it comes to mobile and social of course. In this one-on-one, he shares about the role of social and mobile in travel marketing and commerce. 

12.55 – 13.00

Open Space

13.00 – 14.00


14.00 – 14.10

Travel 3.0: Mobile Rising in the Asia Pacific Region

What are the latest mobile trends in Asia and how can you capitalise on these trends and customer insights to drive better travel retail?

Alban Villani, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong & Taiwan, Criteo

14.10 – 14.40

Best of WIT Japan & North Asia: Conquering Mt Fuji

Japan is the darling of inbound currently with Rugby World Cup 2019 and Olympics 2020 on the horizon. What are the key local players doing to position themselves for a future of 40m travellers by 2020 and to ensure they don’t lose their foothold in the market to foreign players whose brands are better known overseas? How are they climbing their own Mt Fuji?

Ken Mishima, Vice President, E-commerce Strategy, i.JTB
Yumiko Toeda, Senior Director, Regional Economy Vitalisation Corporation of Japan
Ashley Harvey, 
COO, Central Japan DMO
Takafumi Maruyama, Director, Overseas e-Commerce and Marketing Group, Web Sales Department, Japan Airlines

Moderator: Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic

14.40 – 15.00

ANA’s Dream of A Better World: The launching of ANA AVATAR XPRIZE

In October, ANA is due to launch its ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition in Los Angeles. ANA’s idea, which won top honours at XPRIZE Visioneers 2016, is “a future where avatars allow people’s consciousness to be transported instantaneously across the globe and beyond” – that means impacting all 7.5 billion people on earth. The two individuals behind the project will share details of the competition in this talk and how we can help build this dream of a better world.

Akira Fukabori, Market Communication Intrapreneur, All Nippon Airways
Kevin Kajitani, Digital Design Lab Intrapreneur, ANA Holdings

15.00 – 15.20

Best of WIT Europe

As the significance of Asia grows as a market, European and American travel brands are stepping up their investments and efforts in the region. Get the lowdown on their plans, the mistakes they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learnt while taking on the region.

Ian Coyle, Managing Director, Holiday Taxis
Fraser Ellacott, Managing Director, Rentalcars Connect
Peter Whittle, Global Sales Director, Traveltek
Angeline Tang, Regional Director, Leisure & Partnerships, Asia, Avis Budget Group

Moderator: Duncan Horton, CEO, Jacobs Media Group

15.20 – 15.35

Better Stories

Better Travel needs better stories. Hear from a film-maker’s point of view of what goes into storytelling of places and the making of the movie, Jimami Tofu.

Christian Lee, Co-Founder, BananaMana Films

15.35 – 16.05


16.05 – 16.20

Coffee with Lynette Pang, Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board

Destination marketing is no longer what it used to be. In this one-on-one conversation, we go hehind the scenes of what went into the making of Singapore's new unified brand story, Passion Made Possible.

16.20 – 16.35

WIT Startup Pitch 2017 Grand Finals, powered by Travelport Labs

Our finalists from the WIT Bootcamp on Oct 23 vie for the Startup of the Year prize from our panel of judges. Winner wins a place in the Travelport Labs Accelerator programme, which comes with seed funding of US$30,000.

Fritz Demopoulos, CEO, Queen’s Road Capital
William Bao Bean, General Partner, SOSV; Managing Director, Chinaaccelerator

David Zimmer, Global Head of Product and Innovation, Hospitality, Travelport
Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Repbulic
Kuo-Yi Lim, Managing Partner, Monk's Hill Ventures
Aya Yamoto, Chief Business Analys
t, Recruit
Pauline Andriejanssen, Investor, B Capital Group
Bart Bellers, Founding Partner & CEO, Xpdite Ventures
Duncan Horton, CEO, Jacobs Media Group
John Butler, Vice President, Information Technology Asia Pacific, Carlson Wagonlit Travel

16.35 – 16.55

Coffee with Parin Mehta, Director – Trips/Experiences, Airbnb Asia Pacific

He’s the new guy on the Airbnb APAC block, joining the accommodation sharing company from Google where he was head of strategic partnerships for Southeast Asia. Born in London, he’s worked in Japan and in the region for nearly a decade, and he's now been placed in charge of running the new Experiences product in APAC.

16.55 – 17.20

Closing Conversation: Michael Szücs, Chief Executive Adviser, Cebu Pacific Air

A true aviation veteran, Michael Szücs joined Cebu Pacific Air as Chief Executive Adviser in February 2016. Having worked in aviation in Middle East, South America and Europe, he brings extensive experience – from startup to restructuring, from network carriers to LCCs – to the leading low cost carrier in the Philippines, which posted a net profit of approximately US$196 million in 2016. He is also chairman of the Value Alliance, the first pan-regional low cost alliance of eight airlines. We find out what are the leading trends in one of Asia's fastest growing economies and travel markets among other issues, throughout this conversation.

17.20 – 17.35

Announcement of WIT 2017 Startup of the Year, Charity Auction & Closing Beneficiary: The NVC Foundation, The Philippines

Over the last eight years, WIT has raised about US$400,000 to help build better lives for women and children across Asia through its Art for Good programme. This year, funds raised will go towards the Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC) Foundation which fights hunger and poverty in the Philippines by providing proper nutrition and access to quality education for children of the poor, as well as sustainable livelihood opportunities for their parents.


Better Travel Closing Party, sponsored by ADARA

Let's gather at Pollen, a lovely restaurant and space nestled within the Flower Dome at Gardens By The Bay. Unwind and relax with old and new friends you've made over the last three days.