WIT Hospitality 2018



MARCH 20, 2018

Silverbox Ballroom

Hotel ICON, Hong Kong

Theme:  BETTER Hospitality

Adam Brownstein
Regional Director North Asia
Adam Brownstein Regional Director North Asia, Booking.com Adam is with the Priceline Group developing its strategic business in Japan as Country Manager of Booking.com. This comes after the 2014 acquisition by Priceline of buuteeq, the SaaS company he founded in 2010. Previously, he enjoyed product management, sales management and business development roles at Microsoft and Sony in Asia, North America and Latin America.
Ana Dobreva
Shangri-La Global Academy
Ana began her career in online marketing working for a major online shopping engine, first in Los Angeles and later in London. Having always loved the hospitality industry, in 2010, Ana moved to Switzerland to complete an EMBA in hospitality at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne to pursue a career change in the hotel industry. In 2011, she joined Shangri-La and has since led the development and execution of a number of strategic projects in Food & Beverage, Innovation and Learning & Development. Most recently, she played an instrumental role in introducing the Design Thinking model to senior leadership. Today, as head of the Shangri-La Global Academy, Ana's focus is on leadership skills and highly specialised skills development.
Andrew Cowen
Vice Chairman
Uriel Aviation Holdings Ltd
Andrew has been leading the set-up and build of Uriel Aviation since 2016, initially as Group CEO before being promoted to Vice Chairman in Oct 2017. Uriel's objective working with strategic partners is to establish an end-to-end digital travel proposition targeted particularly at very large 18-35 years old demographic. Alongside his Uriel responsibilities, Andrew is also the CEO of the U-Fly Alliance, launched in 2016 and growing to five LCCs, providing a range of destinations targeted particularly at the fast-growing and enormous China outbound market. From 2013 to 2017m, Andrew as CEO, Director and Accountable Manager, led the restructuring, development and expansion of HKExpress into Hong Kong's low fare airline. Andrew has previously held C-level management and/or advisory positions at a number of LCCs including VietJet Air, Peach, AirPhil Express, Jazeera, Sama, Silverjet, Go. Andrew started his career with British Airways.
Aya Aso
Founder & CEO
SAVVY Collective Co.
Aya Aso is the Founder & CEO of SAVVY Collective Co., Ltd. Prior to her new venture, she was the founder & ex-CEO of AGORA Hospitalities Co., Ltd., founded in 2007 with a strong vision to establish "A Collection of Beautiful Japan", a collection of boutique hotels and Japanese traditional ryokans throughout Japan. She has been actively expanding its portfolio which comprises 13 boutique hotels and traditional Japanese ryokans. Prior to AGORA, she was Senior Vice President of Business Development for ISHIN Hotels Group. Her hospitality career began at the Sheraton Grande Los Angeles, from which she moved to the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel. Returning to her roots, she later joined Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Japan, and then PricewaterhouseCoopers BPO Japan K.K. as financial accountant, after which she took on the role of Executive Director of Operations at Space Design Inc. to develop and operate 14 serviced apartments in Tokyo. Aya graduated from the University of Southern California (USA) with a Bachelor of Music from Thornton School of Music, Piano Performance. She is also a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from University of Wales (UK).
Benjamin Liao
Forte Hotel Group
Benjamin Liao is an architecturally-trained hotelier, current chairman of Forte Hotel Group and a board supervisor of Howard Plaza Hotels. Active in Taiwan tourism, he is a PATA Chinese Taipei delegate, and a director in the Taiwan Tourist Hotel Association. Born into a construction and hotel management family, he returned to Asia after graduate school and became involved in the family business. He incorporates over 10 years of hotel experience into design development as well as leads operation teams to improve the customer experience through design-oriented solutions. His Orange Hotel Ximen Project was shortlisted for the Asian Hospitality Design Awards 2014, as well as awarded the bronze level by Sustainable Travel International. Ben currently also acts as Deputy Secretary General of PATA Chinese Taipei Chapter and co-chair of Travel Massive Taipei Chapter.
Boon Sian Chai
Senior Director Asia Pacific
Expedia Lodging Partner Services Group
Based in Hong Kong, Chai oversees the team, spearheading the growth of supply partners in North Asia in support of Expedia's dynamic portfolio of 200+ travel booking sites globally. Chai has progressed through the ranks in his years with the Expedia group. With an extensive knowledge and in-depth experience of the online travel space, Chai enjoys spending time consulting with hotel partners on their pricing, distribution and marketing strategies. Prior to joining Expedia, Chai was the COO of an IT startup company specialising in online human resource system and held corporate planning and ecommerce positions with SHC Capital Ltd working on strategic planning, business development and sales and marketing. Chai holds a MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business.
Christian Lukey
Head of Hotels – APAC
Amadeus IT Group
After graduating from the École hôtelière de Lausanne, Christian quickly progressed to become a hotel general manager before moving into a group sales and marketing role in Asia. After familiarising himself with traditional distribution channels, Christian was given responsibility for the electronic distribution of the hotel group as well as all of the GDS activities. After six years in this role, Christian joined Sawadee.com, one of the leading online inbound travel companies, as COO, overseeing operations, sales and marketing. More recently, Christian pioneered the APAC team for HRS (Hotel Reservation Service) GmbH in Singapore, building a solid sales team to grow into the corporate markets. Sales revenues growth exceeded 150% during his tenure. Since August 2014, Christian has been heading the Amadeus hotel structure for the Asia Pacific region, leading a dedicated hotel team within the larger organisation as well as bringing innovation into the category.
Claire Hatton
Full Potential Labs
Claire Hatton, co-founder, Full Potential Labs, non-executive director and former “UK Person of the Year”, is on a mission to help leaders and their teams think better and innovate more. With more than 25 years global business experience (17 years in the Asia Pacific travel industry), most recently on Google Australia’s country leadership team, Claire knows what it takes to lead a business in the new world of digital. Claire sits on the Board of ASX listed 3P Learning a global EdTech company delivering innovative maths and literacy gaming solutions to 5.5 million children from kindergarten to year 12. A professionally accredited coach with a passion for neuroscience, she coaches, advises and builds leadership capability for some of the world’s most innovative companies. She’s an avid traveller with a passion for scuba and photography.
Colman Ho
Vice President, Group Marketing
Century City Holdings
Prior to joining Century City Holdings, Colman was a serial entrepreneur in PRC specialising in media, entertainment and travel industries. His battlefield proven methodology in sales and marketing spanning different geographic regions and industries helped companies he founded expand rapidly and became top 3 players in their respective fields and achieved industry record breaking profit. Colman is overseeing marketing of traditional and new businesses in 5 listed companies including one of the largest domestic hotel group in Hong Kong, Regal Hotels International. He is married with one kid and moved back to Hong Kong in 2014 after residing in Beijing for 16 years.
David Hamblin
Vice President, APAC, Lodging Partner Services
David Hamblin is the Vice President of Asia Pacific for Lodging Partner Services, responsible for managing relationships with the group's growing and vibrant hotel portfolio in the region. David leads an experienced team based in more than 15 countries across the continent, and is focused on maximising hotel partners' exposure across Expedia's 200+ travel booking sites. Previously, David served as Senior Director, leading an extensive team of Market Managers across India and South East Asia to drive optimal revenue management and maximise exposure for hotel partners. David started out as the Senior Market Manager for Oceania, responsible for acquiring new properties and building relationships with Expedia's hotel partners. Shortly after, he was promoted to Director, Market Management for Oceania before moving to Singapore a few years ago. Prior to Expedia, David was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Toga Far East Hotels, and General Manager at 8HOTELS, a boutique hotel company for 5 years. David grew up in the UK with initial ambitions to become an actuary. He obtained a BSc. and Honours degree in Mathematics before discovering his passion for travel.
Emma Lee
Director of Business Development - New Experiences
With over 10 years of online and travel industry experience, Emma serves as director of business development, new experiences for Klook – Asia's largest travel activities booking platform. Prior to joining Klook, Emma was Agoda's senior partnership relations manager, leading the partnership and distribution front for Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. Emma's knowledge in online travel has accelerated the growth of Klook's new service vertical, Food & Dining. The vertical leverages Klook's strong growing user base and aims to help Klook's culinary partners in Asia integrate their business with technology. Born in Taiwan, Emma holds a Master of Science degree in industrial relations and human resources from Pennsylvania State University.
Etienne Nageotte
Director, Market Management - Hong Kong & Taiwan
Expedia Lodging Partner Services
Etienne started his career in Paris as Market Manager in 2011 and moved to Thailand as Area Manager, leading the Market Management team in Bangkok. Etienne has progressed steadily through the ranks in his years with the Expedia group. In his current role as Director, Etienne oversees the team that spearheads the growth of hotel partners in Hong Kong and Taiwan and is responsible for optimising revenue and maximising exposure for hotel partners across Expedia's 200+ travel booking sites. Etienne has won multiple awards in his time with Expedia including the People's Choice Award (2017), Winner of Accelerator Worldwide Challenge (2016), runner up for Senior Market Manager EMEA (2015) and nominated as Gold Star Performer (2014). In his previous role, Etienne was Sales Manager Hilton Hotels for the U.K. market. Prior to this, Etienne was Revenue Analyst for Hilton Hotels for nine Southern European countries. Etienne grew up in France (Savoie) and obtained Bachelor and Master Degree in Hospitality Management with Honors. He currently resides in Taipei with his wife.
Fritz Demopoulos
Queen's Road Capital
In 2005 Frederick “Fritz” Demopoulos co-founded and was the CEO of Qunar. Qunar was acquired by Baidu in 2011. Fritz also co-founded and was the CEO of Shawei. Shawei was acquired by Tom.com in 2000. Fritz held senior management positions at various online and traditional media companies in China including Netease, Hai Run Media Group and News Corporation. Fritz currently coordinates his personal investment and entrepreneurial activities through Queen’s Road Capital. A native of Los Angeles, Fritz was educated at UCLA, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Karls-Ruprecht University in Heidelberg. He has lectured on entrepreneurship and the Chinese Internet at Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, Tsinghua, Beijing University, Singapore Management University and the Communist Party College in Nanjing.
Graham Hills
Chief Commercial Officer
Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Graham has worked in the travel industry since 2002 in Perth, Singapore, Jakarta, and again in Singapore since mid 2015. Chief Commercial Officer, BeMyGuest Graham’s well-rounded travel industry career spans more than 15 years, ten of those spent in Southeast Asia. Graham has worked across multiple travel sectors, including government institutions (Tourism Western Australia), online travel agencies (Octopus Travel), travel publishers (Yahoo!) and metasearch engines (Wego). Leading BeMyGuest’s commercial team, Graham’s focus is on growing demand based partnerships with key distribution partners and extending ancillary revenue stream opportunities. BeMyGuest are the experts in the science of technology for attractions, tours and activities providers in Asia delivering innovative digital products specifically designed to empower local experience companies online.
Iris Cheung
Territory Manager, Hong Kong/Taiwan
Iris Cheung is Airbnb's Territory Manager, leading the Homes Business of Hong Kong and Taiwan. Iris believes in changing the world with internet technology to empower individuals and to improve human life. She worked at Tencent (China, HK), Google (HK, Taiwan, Singapore), Yahoo! (APAC), and founded a mobile app startup. She has 10 years of experience in the internet industry, with responsibilities across product management, business development, sales and operations. Iris is passionate about travel. Meeting new people in every journey is one of her biggest sources of inspiration.
Jennifer Cronin
Wharf Hotels
Jennifer Cronin was appointed President of Marco Polo Hotels (now Wharf Hotels) in February 2016 after serving as Vice President Sales & Marketing from 2014. Her initial remit was to launch the new luxury hotel brand, Niccolo and open the first of the luxury portfolio, Niccolo Chengdu in 2015. The brand has been internationally acclaimed and will set the benchmark for new openings in Chongqing, Changsha and Suzhou. Jennifer graduated with a Doctorate of Philosophy in 2016 from Bond University based on her PhD research, titled “Empowering Readiness; influencing crisis management success outcomes”.
Jeremy Cheung
General Manager Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan
Tink Labs
Before joining the Tink Labs team, Jeremy was a consultant with McKinsey and Company, serving clients across different verticals in Greater China and the United States. Jeremy holds a Masters of Science in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a bachelor's degree in History from Claremont McKenna College. Outside of work, Jeremy enjoys sports and physical training, as well as reading history and science fiction.
Jonathan Hutt
Commercial Director
HK Express
Jonathan joined HK Express as Commercial Director in 2017 with responsibility for the organisation’s extensive business activities; including sales, marketing, ecommerce, revenue management, and network planning. One of his top priorities is to create a new digital and social ecosystem that will allow HK Express to leverage new technologies, deliver more a personalised travel experiences. Prior to this, Jonathan worked for the pioneering Chinese low cost carrier, Spring Airlines. He was involved in creating the company’s international expansion strategy as well as the development and expansion of Spring’s New Media Center. Jonathan earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Asian Studies from the Australian National University and is fluent in written and spoken Chinese, both classical and modern.
Joseph Wang
Chief Commercial Officer
Joseph Wang joined TravelDaily.cn as chief commercial officer in Sept 2014. Prior to that, he was senior director of the hotel business unit of Qunar.com from 2009, focusing on hotel direct sales. From 1999 to 2007, Joseph Wang worked at eLong.com and was in charge of hotel market management.
Jun Lai
General Manager, Global Hotel Chains & International Market
Jun Lai recently joined Ctrip. Prior to that, he was ‘partially’ working for Ctrip as the General Manager for Tujia Somerset, a JV by Ctrip’s investment Tujia.com, China’s leading accommodation sharing platform, and Ascott, the world's largest international serviced residence owner-operator, to develop a new mid-scale serviced apartment brand. Lai’s travel experience also included his 4 years with Booking.com, responsible for the business development and growth of Greater China and Mongolia region. Lai’s ‘offline’ travel experience was with Hilton for over 10 years in the U.S. and China markets, specialising in revenue management and distribution. He served before as an adjunct professor in New York University and Hult International School of Business in Shanghai.
Kenichi Shibata
Venture Republic
Kenichi co-founded Venture Republic Inc(VR) in 2001. After the sale of comparison shopping division of VR to Yahoo! Japan in 2013, he also served as CEO of a Yahoo! Japan's group company. Prior to VR, he worked for venture capital firms and served as an investment manager for Nippon Life Insurance in charge of overseas equity and private equity funds. Kenichi received a BA of Spanish language from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Maggie Rauch
Director, Research
Maggie joined Phocuswright in 2012 after a decade working in journalism and travel industry reporting. She leads a variety of syndicated reports, multi-client projects and custom research projects, including Phocuswright’s Online Travel Overview reports for the U.S. and Asia. She is a frequent speaker and moderator at industry events globally. Prior to joining Phocuswright, Maggie lived in China for five years, where she worked as a freelance journalist and contributed articles and other communication support to TravelDaily China, the country’s leading publication and conference for online travel. She speaks conversational Mandarin and frequently travels to Asia to keep tabs on the fast-growing region. Before heading off to China to learn Chinese and live there as a journalist for several years, Maggie spent five years working in editorial roles for Incentive and Meeting News. She holds a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.
Marissa Trew
Content & Marketing
Marissa Trew began her career at WIT as a freelance writer, penning the column "The Millennial Traveller" since 2014. In true millennial form, she juggled this alongside a full-time job as a writer for The Honeycombers, as an editor of a print lifestyle magazine titled NOW! Singapore, and then as a television presenter on Eleven Sports Network. As of early 2017, Marissa has expanded her role at WIT, taking charge of Content & Marketing, as well as managing WIT's community of travel startups. She is also a founding member of Tern: Travel Careers - a community and events platform focused on travel careers in the new economy.
Mark Hsu
Managing Partner
GD1 (Global From Day 1)
Taipei-based Mark Hsu, is a Serial Entrepreneur turned Investor with several major exits to his name (>US$100m acquisition of KKBox and a NASDAQ listing with Sinanet). Mark is now a prominent investor across SE Asia and Taiwan. Mark was originally educated at Stanford with a BS (Biology and Economics).
Max Song
Investor, Data Scientist, Schwarzman Scholar
Nan Fung Group
Max is a data scientist and investor in AI and blockchain. In his college years, Max conducted research in genetic engineering at NASA Ames, for the iGEM competition, where he won Best New Application at the World Championships. He started Brown University's first startup accelerator, and incubated 12 teams to maturation. I worked as a Teaching Fellow at Singularity University. He also worked for 2 years as a professional data scientist - first at DARPA-funded machine learning company Ayasdi in Silicon Valley, then as a visiting DS at Snips in Paris, and then as rotated through several of Formation 8 VC's portfolio companies (Radius). He co-founded Neurocurious - an AI-based preclinical CRO that provided behaviourial testing for rodents based on research at Brown. He was selected as part of the first batch of Schwarzman Scholars, where he completed a masters at Tsinghua University, and wrote his thesis on US-China cross border investment opportunities for renewable energy.
Min Yoon
Min Yoon is the CEO and founder of Tidesquare, one of South Korea’s leading OTAs. An online travel agency synonymous with premium travel, Tidesquare is partnered closely with one of the biggest credit card companies in South Korea. Passionate about nurturing potential in the online travel industry, Min is also the majority shareholder of several other successful travel related startups in Korea. Prior to Tidesquare, Min Yoon worked for international brands such as Samsung, Korean Air and Hyundai Card. He specialises in hospitality services of operations and marketing, premium marketing, new business development and new media marketing.
Nelson Allen
General Manager
Hotels.com Asia Pacific
Nelson Allen is General Manager at Hotels.com Asia Pacific, an Expedia Inc. company. Based in Hong Kong, he will be driving business growth and oversee business operations of Hotels.com across all markets in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, Allen will directly manage regional strategy, country leadership and product experience for a business that is currently undergoing rapid growth. As Hotels.com enters its next stage of development, Allen will focus on building scale and reaching new audiences through a range of ever-evolving marketing channels. Prior to this role, Nelson was the Senior Director of Marketing for Hotels.com Asia Pacific. As part of the senior management team, he managed all aspects of the company's strategic marketing activities across 12 key markets, leading the company's initiatives in brand, communications, social media and mobile engagement. Allen spent five years as Regional Director (Asia Pacific) for Microsoft's Xbox gaming business, where he was responsible for sales and marketing. Allen also worked in Samsung Electronics for ten years primarily based in Korea, starting as an internal consultant in the Samsung Global Strategy Group, and later as Global Marketing Director for its Digital Media Division. Nelson holds an MBA from London Business School and a Bachelor's degree from Tulane University in the United States.
Nicole Siah
Rooms & Guest Experience Executive
Hotel ICON
Nicole was Hotel ICON's Elite Management Trainee while pursuing her Bachelor in Hotel Management with the School of Hotel & Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University from September 2010 until June 2014. In July 2014, Nicole joined Hotel ICON as the Rooms and Guest Experience Executive. Over the past two years, she also diligently completed a Master in Quality Management at PolyU (part-time undertaking) sponsored by Hotel ICON. In her current capacity, she assists the Director of Rooms in administrative matters and follows-up on guests’ post-stay feedback via emails and third-party online channels such as Booking.com
Nikhil Manchharam
Managing Director – Development Asia
Over the past 20 years, Nik’s focus has been spearheading strategic planning and feasibility, asset management and investment in Asia Pacific, and development and growth efforts in the region. Following a range of assignments with Jones Lang LaSalle in Sydney and HVS in London and Singapore, Nik has spent the bulk of his career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts where his last role in the Asia Pacific headquarters was Vice-President, Development & Investments/Asset Management. Previously, Nik spearheaded Starwood’s development and acquisition activities for Asia, where he increased the company’s footprint substantially with transactions worth more than $3 billion in real estate value. During his tenure at Starwood, Nik received accolade of awards including the Luxury Development of the Year award and the Deal of the Year award amongst others. Nik is based in Singapore and is excited to share and utilise his background to grow and develop YOTEL in Asia Pacific.
Patrick Sin
Director of Sales, Marketing & Revenue Management
Hotel ICON
Patrick is charge of the wholesale, marketing and revenue management division, responsible for the sales and marketing strategies of the hotel overall, all the restaurants and related facilities. He also oversees the revenue management of rooms, restaurants and catering venues. Overseeing the sales and marketing division, Patrick's key role is to set the long term marketing direction as well as revenue management strategies for this independent hotel, which is wholly owned by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. As part of Hotel ICON's mission as an innovative thought leader in hospitality, and being the head of the committee of Corporate Social Responsibilities and 'Diversity & Inclusion,' Patrick also works on developing industry forums promoting such cultures among hotels in Hong Kong. Before devoting his work to Hotel ICON, Patrick served as the Regional Director of Revenue Management of Preferred Hotels & Resorts in Asia Pacific from May 2014 until April 2016
Philip Schaetz
Managing Director
Philip is a sales & marketing strategist and runs CUBE, a company advising organisations on driving change to achieve greater results. Prior to setting up his own company in early 2018, Philip held the position of Vice President Sales & Marketing for Wharf Hotels, the management company of the Niccolo and Marco Polo Hotels brands. Philip also held the position of Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Dorsett Hospitality International subsequent to 16 years with Hyatt Hotels across Europe, Asia Pacific and its head office in Chicago. Philip achieved the role of Vice President of Revenue Management for Hyatt’s International portfolio and Vice President of Revenue Management and Distribution for the Minor Hotel Group Limited in Thailand. Philip is a graduate of the University of Las Vegas, Nevada where he studied Hotel Administration.
Pippa Williamson
Senior Vice President, Sales & Distribution Strategy
Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd
Pippa joined Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts as Senior Vice President, Sales & Distribution Strategy in November 2017 and is based in Hong Kong. Pippa has over 20 years' experience in the hospitality industry in various markets. Her various leadership roles include leading the Leisure, Luxury, TMC & Airline strategy for Starwood Asia Pacific in addition to spearheading the dynamic migration of business for Starwood Hotels & Resort and then Marriott International. Pippa is directly responsible for the company's third party distribution strategy in addition to driving profitable share from all segments.
Rainy Chan
The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited
Rainy Chan has been with The Peninsula Hotels since September 1994, including senior management appointments at the company's properties in Hong Kong, Chicago, New York and Bangkok. She held the position of Regional Vice President, The Peninsula Hotels and General Manager, The Peninsula Hong Kong until 31 October 2017 before the commencement of her Sabbatical. During her sabbatical, Rainy devotes a portion of her time to community engagements and currently sits on the Board of Director for Make-A-Wish Hong Kong, an international charity aiming to grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, bringing them hope, joy and strength. She is also a member of the Hong Kong SAR Government's Tourism Strategy Group, working directly with the Tourism Commission. In addition, she is also a selection committee member of the Immigration Department's Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.
Rebecca Leung
Regional Executive Director, Southeast Asia
Rebecca is the pioneer team member of KKday (Taiwan-headquartered) in Hong Kong and takes the wheel for KKday's market expansion in the Southeast Asia, overseeing the rapid growth of 6 promising markets in the region. Prior to this, she grew and headed the growth team in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia , curated the early expansion of KKday: Unique tours and activities. Believing that authentic experience is the core value of travelling, KKday has collected more than 10,000+ worldwide experiences from our professional providers and unique local experts. Launched in 2015, KKday is now providing unique travel experience to travellers all over the world and have setup offices in 11 countries.
Robert Hecker
Managing Director, Pacific Asia
Horwath HTL
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 40 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 has published numerous research articles in industry publications.
Sean Seah
Head of Digital Experience
Sean has had 20+ years of global corporate leadership experience with HSBC, Toyota, Air New Zealand and Langham Hotels. He is a Tech Entrepreneur with expertise in scaling high growth startup ventures with Travelocity, Groupon, BondsinAsia and Asia Pacific Digital. He is also an Advisory Board Member and keynote speaker who is passionate about mentoring and developing the next generation of global leaders.
Siew Hoon Yeoh
Founder & Managing Director
Yeoh Siew Hoon is the founder of WIT, launching it in Singapore in 2005 and going on to launch WIT editions across Asia Pacific. In 2016, WIT Europe made its debut in London, days after the Brexit vote. WIT has won several awards including Most Innovative Marketing Initiative and Trade Conference Of The Year from the Singapore Tourism Board and in 2014, Siew Hoon was recognised Tourism Entrepreneur of The Year. A journalist by profession and passion, she’s also a speaker and facilitator at events around the world. She’s also a published author of titles such as “Around Asia In One Hour: Tales of Condoms, Chillies & Curries” and children’s books such as “Adventures of Habibie The Turtle” and “The Story of Baitong and Boon”.
Stefan Wolf
Key Account Director
Snapshot Marketplace
Stefan has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He started his career with Marriott in Germany and Korea. At the InterContinental Hotels Group based in Beijing, he was part of a global taskforce developing an in-house Revenue Management Academy. He created a revenue management culture for Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts based in Hong Kong and was responsible for global revenue management strategies of the Jumeirah Group in Dubai. He set up the revenue management infrastructure for Rocco Forte Hotels based in London and was responsible for the revenue management and distribution strategy at the Onyx Hospitality Group in Bangkok. He now looks after key accounts for SnapShot, a German hospitality solutions provider aiming to make big data more accessible.
Suchad Chiaranussati
Chairman, Investment Committee
SC Capital Partners Pte Ltd
Chiaranussati founded the SC Capital Partners Group in 2004 and serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee, participating in acquisition, value enhancement and realization activities. Chiaranussati’s professional background includes six years at Westbrook Real Estate Partners (WREP) as Managing Director responsible for WREP’s Asian investment activities; seven years at J.P. Morgan, covering Southeast Asia in the Proprietary Investment and Investment Banking Groups; Temasek Holdings, and the Central Bank of Thailand. Chiaranussati received an Honors Degree in Economics in 1986 from the London School of Economics and a Masters of Science in Management Science in 1987 from Imperial College in London.
Sunny Chang
Manager, Strategy & Planning
Sunny is responsible for global business development and corporate strategy across Tidesquare’s expansive brand portfolio. The fastest growing travel service company in South Korea, Tidesquare’s growth is spearheaded by “Privia Travel”, a premium OTA brand operated in close partnership with Hyundai Card. With a background in hospitality and business development, Sunny has lived in 6 countries and considers herself a third culture kid. Sunny holds a Master in International Trade & Economic Development from Yonsei University and a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne.
Symon Bridle
Group Chief Operating Officer
Rosewood Hotel Group
Symon Bridle joined Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in 2009 following 18 years with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts where he held senior corporate management positions in development and operations divisions, including a role as COO. He also held several general manager posts at leading Shangri-La hotels. Bridle previously worked with Southern Sun Hotels and Westin Hotels in South Africa and in luxury hotels in Switzerland and Bermuda. He began his hotel industry career in 1980.
Terence Ronson
Managing Director
Pertlink Limited, Manila
Terence, who spent almost two decades in Hong Kong before residing in Manila, launched his diversified hospitality career as a Chef. He subsequently held various hotel management positions in the U.K. and Asia. Introducing innovation within the hospitality industry became his passion which led to Pertlink Ltd., (Hong Kong) a hospitality technology consultancy which he formed in 2000. His projects attracted attention: Rosedale on the Park Hong Kong, the first cyber boutique hotel, was featured in 2001 on CNN's eBizasia. He then helped Langham Place Hong Kong win many accolades for its technology deployment. In China, he developed the IT strategy for Jumeirah Himalayas (Shanghai), Puli (Shanghai), Sofitel Wanda (Beijing), and Guoman (Shanghai). He also participated in developing the technology vision for Disney Shanghai. His recent projects were the mixed-use development - South Beach (Singapore) and Aryaduta Hotels (Indonesia). He is currently working on The Hotel Windsor (Melbourne), Dusit D2 Hotel and Hospitality College (Manila) and Ventria (Senior Living) Hong Kong.
Terry Wan
Group Director, Information Technology
Wharf Hotels
Terry Wan is the Group Director Information Technology for Wharf Hotels where he is leading the IT team in exploring new technologies to support the development of the hospitality group, plan and implement various systems installation for new hotels, manage all IT systems, policies and processes, and cyber-security risks of the Group. Experienced in supporting different business environments, he specialises in a full spectrum of positions in Hospitality, Retail, Real Estate, FMCG, Direct-Sales, E-commerce & also Data Center, IT Infrastructure, Service Desk and IT Operations.
Timothy Wong
Learning & Development Manager
Sino Hotels
Timothy Wong is the Learning & Development Manager at Sino Hotels where he oversees a full spectrum learning and development strategy for seven properties. His background within the Hospitality industry includes experience with brands in both hotels and airlines that includes Swire Hotels, Jetstar Airways, Hong Kong Express Airways and Dragonair (now Cathay Dragon). Timothy holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Human Resources Management from Hong Kong Baptist University, Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and Training and Executive Diploma of Corporate Coaching from The University of Hong Kong. He enjoys traveling to destinations where he can immerse in the local culture, especially in areas of art, history and culinary. His favorite destinations include Japan and Thailand.
Tommy Lai
Formerly Vice President, North Asia
ONYX Hospitality Group
Tommy Lai was most recently Vice President of North Asia of ONYX Hospitality Group. Based in Hong Kong, Tommy headed up the business development for North Asia and the operations of all brands in the region. Prior to that, Tommy was Vice President Development, North Asia, where he expanded the Shama and OZO portfolios in Hong Kong and China and secured new Amari deals for the region. Before joining ONYX, Tommy was Head of Investment and Business of a multi-billion cross-border joint-venture project between the governments of China and Singapore.
Vikram Malhi
Zuzu Hospitality Solutions
Vikram Malhi is the Co-founder of ZUZU Hospitality Solutions, a Singapore based start-up that manages sales and online distribution for independent budget hotels across Asia. Before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Vikram was Managing Director for Expedia Asia and was instrumental in growing Expedia brand across 11 countries in Asia. He spent a total of 8 years at Expedia, taking on multiple senior level roles including marketing, customer loyalty, operations and general management. In addition to his deep expertise in the online travel and hospitality sectors, he has strong experience in technology and business consulting. He worked at IBM Consulting early in his career and received MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Wilfred Fan
Vice President – Partnerships
Fan joined Agoda.com in 2003 as the vice president of business development, launched hotel partnership program and led business development globally. Before joining Agoda.com, Fan held various management positions in technology and hotel companies.
Yoshihiro Sakurai
Head of Accommodation Business, Travel Division
Venture Republic
As Head of Accommodation Business of Venture Republic Inc., Yoshihiro Sakurai is responsible for the operational and new business development leadership of one of the largest metasearch websites in Japan. Most recently, Yoshihiro Sakurai was COO of TRIPCON, a travel startup. He was previously senior marketing manager, Japan, Korea and Guam at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Yu Lik Ng
Principal Lecturer, Hospitality Solutions Centre, School of Hospitality
Republic Polytechnic Singapore
Yu Lik has over 25 years of experience in the hotel industry, holding key management appointments with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Langham Hotels & Resorts, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. Starting his career by implementing one-stop service operations when the concept was new to the industry, Yu Lik had his first addictive taste of innovation & technology as part of the infrastructure & systems transformation in preparation for the Y2K challenge. With a professional passion for technology & innovation to complement the essential human touchpoints, Yu Lik has played key roles in introducing autonomous service robots, IoT solutions, & even robotic chefs, to Singapore hotels which are painfully short of labour supply. Currently with Singapore's Republic Polytechnic, Yu Lik is taking a leading role to confront the challenge of introducing technological innovation & adoption into a traditional & conservative Singapore hotel industry in order to ease the manpower challenge.