08.00 – 09.00
Checking in & Coffee
Come early and catch up with friends at this annual reunion of WIT's community.
09.00 – 09.15
09.15 – 09.25
Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder & Managing Director, WIT sets the stage for Better Travel
09.25 – 09.50
Coffee with Henry Hendrawan, CFO, Traveloka
In July, Traveloka became South-east Asia’s first travel unicorn when it took in a $350m investment from Expedia in exchange for a minority stake. The deal also gives this barely five-year-old startup access to Expedia’s global hotel content. Henry Hendrawan, who left a five-year career with Boston Consulting Group to take a bet on Traveloka in 2015, was instrumental in putting together this transaction. In his first appearence on the WIT stage, he will share the thinking behind the landmark deal and plans by this Asia-homegrown brand to expand beyond Indonesia and the region.
09.50 – 10.10
Face-Off: China, Money & Innovation
In this face-off, we put together two active tech investors with a keen eye on China. Fritz Demopoulos, one of the founders of Qunar, who now runs Queen’s Road Capital, meets William Bao Bean, who runs the most active seed investment fund in the world (TechCrunch Crunchbase) in a rapid-fire conversation about everything you should know about China, money and innovation.
Fritz Demopoulos, CEO, Queen’s Road Capital
William Bao Bean, General Partner, SOSV; Managing Director, Chinaccelerator
Asia is Eating the World
Software is eating the world and everyone is starting to apply lessons from Asia globally, with the “Amazonisation” of travel leading the way. What can we expect going forward?
Filip Filipov, Vice President, Product Management, Skyscanner
10.10 – 10.20
10.20 – 10.30
Global Trends That Matter
An overview of the trends that are unfolding in the online travel space with a focus on Asia Pacific.
Maggie Rauch, Director, Research, Phocuswright
10.30 – 10.50
Coffee with Melissa Maher, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc.
She’s been with Expedia since 2001 and she’s risen through the ranks steadily to now be responsible for the entire lodging business at Expedia, feeding all the brands within the group. It’s also a business that’s coming under pressure as more hotel chains strive to go direct. What does it take to manage those external as well as internal pressures, what trends are unfolding and what are the plans for Asia? A conversation about leadership and DIVERSITY, strategy and innovation.
10.50 – 11.00
11.00 – 11.30
11.30 – 12.00
Disruptors at the gate: From marketplaces to payments
It’s a trend that’s unique to Asia – the emergence of the travel mall. Will it create better travel as marketplaces broaden and deepen their reach in travel? What’s the advantage these players have over the specialists? And oh wait, there’s a new disruptor in the wings, this one coming from the payment end of the funnel and building a travel vertical.
Abhishek Rajan, Vice President, Paytm, Travel Business
Yoshiyuki Takano, Vice President, Life and Leisure Company & Business Manager of Travel Business, Rakuten, Inc.
Danny Koik, Regional Business Development & Partnership Lead, Grab
12.00 – 12.20
Coffee with Oliver Heckmann, Vice President, Engineering for Travel and Shopping, Google
If there’s one company that has the power to reshape and disrupt travel retailing, it’s Google. In this one-on-one, we find out what are Google’s plans to make travel better for the consumer, what are the new technologies it’s bringing to bear on its travel product now that it’s declared itself an AI-first company, what trends it is seeing in consumer behavior and should industry players welcome or fear its innovation and scale?
12.20 – 12.40
Coffee with Debby Soo, Chief Commercial Officer, KAYAK
She ran the APAC region for KAYAK and now she's taken on the reins of chief commercial officer of the travel search giant that recently completed the acquisition of Momondo Group in Europe as well as acquired the assets of Brazilian meta-search website, Mundi. Clearly Asia must be on the radar for this Priceline-held company given Soo's experience and knowledge of the region.
Maggie Rauch, Director, Research, Phocuswright
12.40 – 12.55
An Autonomous Future & Its Impact on Travel: Will it Be Better?
OPEN your mind to this talk which paints a world of autonomous driving and flying, what’s real now, what could be possible and will it mean a better world?
Bobby Healy, CTO, CarTrawler
12.55 – 13.00 Open space
13.00 – 14.00
14.00 – 14.20
Coffee with Shinichi Inoue, CEO, Peach Aviation
From the start, he set out to build Japan's first low cost airline as one that nurtures “a love for humanity”. He believes that “the impressions and joys that are born from connections between people, the feeling of excitement, and the smiles – these are sure to bring people happiness”. But does happiness translate to profits? Clearly it does for this airline, which has posted four consecutive years of profits since its first flight on March 1, 2012. A high level view from a man who’s trying to make travel better in and out of Japan.
14.20 – 14.50
Wings Of Fancy
Everything’s up in the air when it comes to air and digital. Loyalty is changing, channels are being upended, revenue management is being challenged, new technologies are changing the status quo – what are the airlines doing about it to provide better experiences for their travellers as well as create better businesses for themselves?
Steven Greenway, CEO, reward-U; CEO, U-FLY Holidays; Deputy CEO, U-FLY Alliance; Director of Zuji
James Marshall, Vice President – Transport Partner Services, Asia Pacific, Expedia, Inc.
Timothy O'Neil-Dunne, Co-Founder, Air Black Box Company Ltd.
Trevor Spinks, Head of Sales & Distribution, Scoot/Tigerair
14.50 – 15.20
Time To Get Rail
There’s something sentimental and romantic about rail journeys and many would argue it’s the better way to travel. Beyond romance though, it’s also big business, said to be a $300b global market. And Asia, with its diverse geography, is a huge rail space. At $80b worth, Japan is equal in size to the whole of Europe. China is $30b, India $20b and with the rest of Asia thrown in, that’s another $15.5b worth of rail business to be captured. The numbers are there, but how real is it? How can you get onboard this train?
Will Phillipson, Co-Founder & COO, SilverRail Technologies
Tushar Khandelwal, COO and Co-Founder, Voyagin
Gaery Undarsa, Co-Founder & Chief Communication Officer, PT Global Tiket Network (Tiket.com)
Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder, ixigo
Moderator: Rod Cuthbert, CEO, Rome2rio
15.20 – 15.50
Time To Set Sail
From planes and trains to boats – possibly the most romantic and relaxing way of travelling. Cruises, whether they be sea or river, are becoming a hot segment in the region as travellers from Asia discover the joys of a slower pace of travel. And cruise companies are having to adapt their product to create better experiences for their new customers. An insight into the cruising world and how you can hop onboard.
Thatcher Brown, President, Dream Cruises
Sean Treacy, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Royal Caribbean Cruises
Robin Yap, President Asia, Travel Corporation
Navigator: Arnie Weissmann, Editor in Chief, Travel Weekly; Senior Vice President/Editorial Director, Northstar Travel Group
15.50 – 16.20
16.20 – 16.50
The Making of Better Online Travel
What are the things that will make the online travel experience better for travellers, whether it’s in search, planning, booking or post-booking? What impact will new technologies have on the online travel experience – be it chatbots, AI or blockchain? In this roundtable, we ask leading players at various points of the value chain their thoughts on what will make better travel in the name of customer LOVE?
John Traas, Regional Director Southeast Asia, Booking.com
Timothy Hughes, Vice President, Business Development, Agoda
Robin Harries, Head of Global Brand Marketing, trivago
Ross Veitch, CEO & Co-Founder, Wego
16.50 – 17.10
Coffee with Choe Peng Sum, Chief Executive Officer, Frasers Hospitality Group
Frasers Hospitality turns 20 next year and under Choe’s watch, it’s grown to become one of the most watched independent hotel groups in the region. From its acquisitions of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin hotels in the UK to its launch of new brands such as Capri and Modena, to add to its Frasers Suites, this is a company that is responding to changing times and new customers. Find out how Frasers intends to carve out its own identity and niche in a land of scale.
17.10 – 17.30
Face-Off: The Future of Live, Work, Play
As technology eliminates the boundaries in our lives, lines are also being blurred how we think of and use spaces. Workspaces that make it so happy for employees they never want to leave; co-working spaces that are helping a new generation of workers empower themselves through collaboration and community; and spaces that give artists a sense of belonging and inspiration to express their CREATIVITY. We feature two individuals who are carving out their space, as it were, in this new space.
Morris Sim, CMO, Next Story Group
Turochas Fuad, Managing Director, WeWork Southeast Asia; former CEO & Founder, Spacemob
17.30 – 18.00
Coffee with Jane Jie Sun, CEO, Director, Ctrip.com International
She's responsible for the most-watched travel brand in the world as China makes its influence and presence felt across the globe. Dominant at home, it's clearly on a mission to go global as it acquires and expands. Named as one of the most influential and outstanding business women by Forbes China and one of FastCompany's Most Creative People in Business in 2017, Jane has been with Ctrip since 2005 when she was Chief Financial Officer. What does this Chinese dragon have in mind as it spreads its wings worldwide?
Co-interviewer: Melissa Yang, Co-founder, Tujia
It’s A Wrap for Day One
19.00 – 21.00
WIT Hall of Fame 2017 Salon Evening
In its 13th year, the start of a new cycle, WIT is launching its Hall of Fame to honour individuals/companies who have had the greatest influence on the progress and professionalism of the online travel industry in Asia Pacific in the last cycle. It is also to recognise those who have also made the greatest individual contributions to the development of ideas and talent in the space. These individuals will be recognised during an evening of special cuisine and celebration.
This event's cuisine will be presented by Shen Tan.
A former marketing and events director, Shen started her culinary journey by hawking nasi lemak at Maxwell market. Through the years from Maxwell market, The Wok and Barrel, Ujong at Raffles Hotel, Shen has explored the exotic flavours of south east Asian cuisines, creating a new lexicon of dishes that mix and meld the familiar with the new.
Shen also travels extensively, sharing her love for Singapore food, cooking in Italy, San Francisco, Dubai, Hong Kong, Manila, Myanmar and other cities.
*Programme subject to change