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PROGRAMME

Episode 6: Homecoming
From Travel Zero.O To Infinity.O – The Prelude

August 26, 2021  |  6–9PM (Singapore Time, GMT+8)
Hybrid Broadcast Venue: Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre
Peony Room, Level 4

In the past year and more, the idea of home has taken on new meaning. The place we lived in became the place we worked in, where our children studied, a place we could not leave. For us, in travel, we had to fight for our home, to defend it, save it, protect it. Revive it … for a new beginning. From Travel Zero.O in 2020, the only way is up. In Episode 6, the final episode of our monthly series of Roadshows, we continue to map the different paths to the future taken by different players, and we set the stage to welcome you home to WiT Experience SG 2021, October 19-20, happening in hybrid at Marina Bay Sands.

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Episode 6
2021-08-26
Episode 5
2021-07-29
Episode 4
2021-06-24
Episode 3
2021-05-27
Episode 8
2021-05-10
Episode 7
2021-05-09
Episode 2
2021-04-29
18:00 - 18:20
Opening & The Wrap
Featuring “My Dream Trip” by
Opening & The Wrap image
Maunik Thacker
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Marina Bay Sands
18:20 - 18:45
Campfire Chat: Graham “Skroo” Turner, CEO, Flight Centre Limited

He’s one of travel’s most colourful and outspoken leaders and personalities, and he’s also proven his longevity in the business. After all, it was back in 1973 when he and two mates bought a couple of double-decker buses in England and began Top Deck Travel. Armed with that experience, he returned home to Australia in 1981, established Flight Centre and grew the business into a global travel empire. You can thus bet that no virus is going to knock “Skroo” down. In this episode, the Australian entrepreneur takes centrestage to talk about the biggest crisis ever to hit travel, how he’s steered his group globally through the crisis and his outlook on the future.
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Campfire Chat: Graham “Skroo” Turner, CEO, Flight Centre Limited image
Graham Skroo Turner
CEO
Flight Centre Limited
18:45 - 19:15
Spotlight: Beating The Odds, Homegrown Travel Brands Soar

In a world gone local, where your home is has come to mean a lot. Travel brands based in huge domestic markets, with strong domestic play, have thrived better than those that relied on cross-border travel. And 18 months into the pandemic, we are seeing the shift towards homegrown brands solidifying and strengthening their positions at home, and giving them a solid base on which to expand. Not to mention new funds – in the past month, South Korea’s Yanolja has raised US$1.7b, India’s Ixigo, after securing US$53m in funding, is headed for an IPO and Vietnam’s VNLife, which owns VNTravel, garnered $250m in Series B funding. We go under the hood of this development.

 

Moderator:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Panellists:
Spotlight: Beating The Odds, Homegrown Travel Brands Soar image
Jong Yoon Kim
CEO
Yanolja
Spotlight: Beating The Odds, Homegrown Travel Brands Soar image
Aloke Bajpai
CEO & Co-founder
ixigo
19:15 - 19:25
Stats & Stuff by Phocuswright
19:25 - 20:00
Spotlight: The Year of The Roadtrip – Meet The Road Warriors

It’s been called the year of the roadtrip. In countries and regions with big drive markets and where domestic and regional tourism have been allowed, consumers are favouring the road over air. According to Expedia Group, comparing search dates in Jun/2021 vs May/2021, for car rental pickup dates in July, searches are up just over 135% MoM. In this session, we speak to entrepreneurs who have made the road their home and have made roadtrips possible for customers, whether locally or globally.

 

Moderator:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Panellists:
Spotlight: The Year of The Roadtrip – Meet The Road Warriors image
Nikita Dedik
Founder & CEO
Road.Travel
Spotlight: The Year of The Roadtrip – Meet The Road Warriors image
Jared Campion
CEO & Founder
Dream Drive (WiT Startup of the Year 2020)
Spotlight: The Year of The Roadtrip – Meet The Road Warriors image
Simon Wong
Co-founder
Singapore Sidecars
20:00 - 20:25
Campfire Chat: When Home Meant The World

What happens when the world shuts down and suddenly, the world you knew, the markets you counted on to attract visitors become out of bounds? And the only market left is your home, which had no natural domestic market? How do you flip thinking, re-orchestrate strategies, roll out tactical campaigns to stoke demand from customers to whom home is familiar territory? This is a story of a destination that had to save itself at home, create a market at home and yet not lose ground in a competitive world when the world opens up again. How do you market a destination in a pandemic?
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Campfire Chat: When Home Meant The World image
Lynette Pang
Assistant Chief Executive, Marketing Group
Singapore Tourism Board
20:25 - 20:45
Lifeline – Reflections Of The Roadshow & The Road Ahead

With an end, a beginning. As we come to the end of our Travel Roadshow series, it’s time to take a pause, huddle around the campfire, recall special moments on this journey, share key learnings and prepare for the next leg of the journey – yes, the Road to WiT Experience SG 2021 starts here. Welcome Home.

 

Featuring:
Lifeline – Reflections Of The Roadshow & The Road Ahead image
Ong Wee Min
Vice President of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions)
Marina Bay Sands
Lifeline – Reflections Of The Roadshow & The Road Ahead image
Veemal Gungadin
Founder & CEO
GEVME & GlobalSign.In
18:00 - 18:15
The Wrap & Opening
The Wrap & Opening image
Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT
18:15 - 18:35
Campfire Chat: Juliet Kinsman, Sustainability Editor, Condè Nast Traveller

Few journalists have visited, scrutinised and written about as many boutique hotels and luxury resorts, all the while pondering their positive impact as much as Juliet. A freelance travel journalist, editor and broadcaster in the mainstream media in the UK, founding editor of Mr & Mrs Smith and founder of consultancy bouteco.co, an independent authority on sustainable design-led hotels, she celebrates the power of travel to do good. Her book, Travel: Easy Tips for the Eco-friendly Traveller, was recently published by Ebury, an imprint of Penguin. In this conversation, she shares her views as a traveller and the changes Covid will bring to travel.
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Campfire Chat: Juliet Kinsman, Sustainability Editor, Condè Nast Traveller image
Juliet Kinsman
Sustainability Editor
Condé Nast Traveller/ BoutecoLoves.com
18:35 - 19:00
Spotlight: How To Turn Revenge Into Beautiful Travel

Yes, we all know there will be pent-up demand and that will carry us through into recovery but surely we can do better than that and truly offer “beautiful travel” to the customers willing to get back on the road. We speak to those who are in the frontline, reading customer sentiment and creating new products and experiences and find out how they are thinking about the sweet spot.
 

Moderator:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Panelist:
Spotlight: How To Turn Revenge Into Beautiful Travel image
Mar Pages
Co-founder
Solo Female Travelers
Spotlight: How To Turn Revenge Into Beautiful Travel image
Laurent Kuenzle
CEO
Asian Trails
Spotlight: How To Turn Revenge Into Beautiful Travel image
Nuno Guerreiro
Regional Director, South Asia, Oceania & Chains
Booking.com
19:00 - 19:15
Case Study: The Transformation of Resorts World Sentosa

With its plethora of premium lifestyle offerings, conference facilities, and attractions catered for both the business and leisure crowd, this resort destination was not spared the impact of COVID-19. The past year has thus been one of transformation – quick adaptation of offerings and reinvention of experiences for the local market, as well as embracing virtual and hybrid events through leveraging technology with a personal touch. We speak to one of the leaders behind the transformation.
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Case Study: The Transformation of Resorts World Sentosa image
Lam Xue Ying
Assistant Vice President of Business Innovation
Resorts World Sentosa
19:15 - 19:30
Trendspotting with Expedia Group

Brand new research by Expedia Group in partnership with Wakefield, detailing insights into what travelers value when shopping for and booking travel, and how the pandemic has shifted their perspective.

Trendspotting with Expedia Group image
Greg Schulze
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Strategic Travel Partners
Expedia Group
19:30 - 19:45
Spotlight: The Return of Cruising & A New Generation of Cruisers

Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream was the first ship in the world to resume cruises during the pandemic, starting with Taiwan in July 2020 followed by Singapore in November 2020; and soon in Hong Kong at the end of July 2021. It’s seen interesting new trends emerge, as well as a new set of customers. How will these new customers change the way cruises are sold, packaged and operated in the future in a region that’s fairly new to cruising but heralds a new ocean of opportunity and growth?
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Spotlight: The Return of Cruising & A New Generation of Cruisers image
Michael Goh
President
Dream Cruises
19:45 - 20:10
Spotlight: Finding Wealth in Health, Wellness and Nature

This was one event that made everyone think about their health and sales of fitness equipment soared through the roof worldwide, as did nature walks and wellness experiences. Pundits believe this trend is here to stay. Find out how businesses on the island of Sentosa, Singapore collaborated and created a whole array of new offerings with the new health-conscious consumer in mind, products that will last way after Covid.
 

Moderator:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Panelist:
Spotlight: Finding Wealth in Health, Wellness and Nature image
Mira Bharin
Divisional Director, Marketing & Guest Experience
Sentosa Development Corporation
Spotlight: Finding Wealth in Health, Wellness and Nature image
Lim Mui Kim
Assistant Vice President of Business Innovation
Resorts World Sentosa
20:10 - 20:30
Campfire Chat: Making Flight Booking Easier and Better For Customers

One good way to get customers back on the road is to get them back in the air – get them to book flights with confidence and pay with ease. You’d think that’d be easy but as our speaker believes, “Flights are complex to do well and we are willing to do the dirty and cumbersome job to make it look easy at the front end.” Let’s find out “the dirty and cumbersome” things he and his team have been building and working on to make it possible for consumers to still have the most content/options and most competitive pricing, which is becoming increasingly difficult given all the industry dynamics, fragmentation and different biz models that currently co-exist.
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Campfire Chat: Making Flight Booking Easier and Better For Customers image
Mathias Hedlund
CEO
Etraveli Group
20:30 - 20:35
Stats & Stuff by Phocuswright
20:35 - 20:50
Campfire Chat: Trendspotting with Airbnb

It’s been a breakout moment for the company which was down on its knees when Covid hit and then turned around to produce a spectacular IPO. It also took the opportunity to make 100 new changes and updates to its platform, focused on the big theme of flexibility – flexible dates, destinations and listings. In this conversation, we focus on the customer trends and behaviours being seen by this company not only in Asia but also globally.
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Campfire Chat: Trendspotting with Airbnb image
Parin Mehta
Regional Director, APAC
Airbnb
20:50 - 21:00
Lifeline: The Curious and Candid Confessions of A Traveller

In December, travel brand Klook came up with a study that said travellers had gone from “wanderlust” to “wonderlost”. Six months on, the symptoms must be even more advanced. For this Lifeline, we call on a traveller to spill the beans about his Period of No Travel. Not just any traveller but one of Singapore’s most-loved stage and screen actors, who’s appeared in productions such as “Dim Sum Dollies” and most recently created a digital interactive play, The Curious Case of The Missing Peranakan Treasure.

Lifeline: The Curious and Candid Confessions of A Traveller image
Hossan Leong
Double Confirm Productions
21:00
It’s A Wrap
18:00 - 18:20
The Wrap

An overview of the key changes that have happened in online travel across the world with our Northstar family of commentators and editors.

The Wrap image
Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT
The Wrap image
Kevin May
Editor In Chief
PhocusWire
The Wrap image
Pete Comeau
Managing Director
Phocuswright
18:20 - 18:40
Campfire Chat: Shin Hui Tan, Executive Director, Park Hotel Group

A new generation hotelier, Shin Hui brings fresh perspectives to hospitality. The grand daughter of renowned banker Wee Cho Yaw (United Overseas Bank), she spent four years in finance and private equity before joining Park Hotel Group in 2009, where she leads commercial and brand strategy. In particular, she is known for her views on environmental and community issues and is actively driving the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit for PHG. Let’s find out how the year of upheaval has influenced her thinking.
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Campfire Chat: Shin Hui Tan, Executive Director, Park Hotel Group image
Shin Hui Tan
Executive Director
Park Hotel Group
18:40 - 19:10
Spotlight: The Great Travel Shift: The Different Roads Being Taken

Four online travel companies, four markets/regions, one common story – all are emerging from the pandemic differently. What has each done to seize opportunities surfaced by Covid? And how different will their business look AC (After Covid) from before? We examine the different paths being embarked upon by these players in their respective spaces and markets.

 

Moderator:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Panelists:
Spotlight: The Great Travel Shift: The Different Roads Being Taken image
Gaery Undarsa
Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer
PT Global Tiket Network (tiket.com)
Spotlight: The Great Travel Shift: The Different Roads Being Taken image
Stephan Ekbergh
CEO
Travelstart
Spotlight: The Great Travel Shift: The Different Roads Being Taken image
Kei Shibata
Co-founder & CEO
LINE TRAVEL jp & Trip101
Spotlight: The Great Travel Shift: The Different Roads Being Taken image
Lisa Katsouraki
SVP, Corporate Development
Etraveli Group
19:10 - 19:40
Case Study: How An Island Called Sentosa Went From Global To Local

Before Covid (BC), only 10% of the 20 million visitors to Sentosa, Singapore’s island destination, came from its home market. During Covid (DC), businesses on the island had to quickly shift to a local market. How did these businesses manage to do it, how did they transform their thinking and processes to ride out the pandemic, what lessons have they learnt that will hold them in good stead for the future, even when inbound travel returns?
 

Moderator:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Panelists:
Case Study: How An Island Called Sentosa Went From Global To Local image
Chew Tiong Heng
Divisional Director, Business & Experience Development
Sentosa Development Corporation
Case Study: How An Island Called Sentosa Went From Global To Local image
Luke Johnson
General Manager
SkyPark Sentosa by AJ Hackett
Case Study: How An Island Called Sentosa Went From Global To Local image
Michael Lian
Managing Director
Steward's Solution Pte Ltd
Case Study: How An Island Called Sentosa Went From Global To Local image
Tracy Lui
Senior Assistant Director, Marketing & Communications
Mount Faber Leisure Group
19:40 - 19:55
Campfire Chat: Martha Waslen, Founder & CEO, DayAway

Who’d launch a travel startup during Covid? Martha Waslen did. Her business model of offering hotels an opportunity to sell beyond rooms came at the right time. When heads-in-beds are no longer possible, you need to offer ancillary activities and experiences to local customers to grab whatever cash you can. We catch up with the entrepreneur who comes from a fashion and luxury retail background and ask her, why did she take the plunge into travel, among other questions.
 

Interviewer:

 

Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder
WiT

 
 

Speaker:
Campfire Chat: Martha Waslen, Founder & CEO, DayAway image
Martha Waslen
Founder & CEO
DayAway
19:55 - 20:05
Opinion: Letter From America

We jet off to North America where we catch up on the goings-on in a market that seems to have taken off as swiftly as the eagle can fly.

Opinion: Letter From America image
Hari Nair
Global SVP & GM, Account Management
Expedia Group
20:05 - 20:25
Spotlight: The Reopening of The Twin Jewels of Bali and Phuket

Two of Asia’s premier resort destinations are ready to cast off the shackles of Covid to emerge into the sunlight. Phuket and Bali are preparing for reopening to the international traveller. What will reopening look like? How are hoteliers in these two islands preparing for the rebound? What opportunities are there to build back better?
 

Moderator: