Wired in Travel reveals speaker line up

Wired In Travel (WIT), is back with a new partnership, fresh ideas and a power-packed speaker line-up.

To be held on November 29-30 at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront, Singapore, the annual conference will feature speakers such as Ubercool’s trend guru Michael Tchong who will talk about “The New Social Dialog”; Claire Hatton, the newly-appointed head for travel Asia/Pacific for Google; and Richard Bangs, world adventurer, international river explorer,  Web pioneer and award-winning author.

Other speakers lined up include Capt Gopinath, founder of Air Deccan, India’s first low cost airline; Scott Blume, president, Travelocity Asia/Pacific and chief executive officer of Zuji; Henrik Kjellberg, president, Expedia Asia/Pacific and board member of eLong;  Peter Harbison, managing director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA); Diana Ee-Tan, managing director, Raffles Hotels and Resorts; Graham Kelly, executive creative director, TBWA; and Shane Batt, managing partner-consulting, Sabre Airline Solutions. More speakers will be announced shortly.

Trend guru Michael Tchong appears courtesy of a strategic partnership between WIT and the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), an organisation of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry.

Under the tie-up, HSMAI will bring content and its extensive network to the table and will promote Wired In Travel (WIT) to its members on its Asia Connect road show in Shanghai, Macau and Singapore later this year. Members registering for WIT through HSMAI Asia/Pacific enjoy a special conference rate. 

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“We are very pleased with our partnership with HSMAI which is respected globally for its commitment to quality in sales and marketing. It makes sense for both of us to pool our resources to put together what will surely be the pre-eminent travel distribution and marketing conference for the region,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, director of Wired Ventures.

Christine Toguchi, managing director of HSMAI Asia Pacific, added, “HSMAI supported WIT when it debuted in Singapore and we are proud to announce an expanded partnership for 2007.  With a strong focus on professional development, we are committed to helping our members improve their skills and advance in their careers. Our partnership with WIT gives HSMAI and its members an excellent platform to share knowledge and exchange viewpoints on new practices in travel distribution and marketing.”

Wired In Travel (WIT), launched in 2005 and endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), has enjoyed the support of leading industry leaders and partners. Delegate numbers have reached close to 300 for the last two years.

Its strong content and creative programming has given Wired In Travel a unique flavour among travel conferences.  The event has also taken on a fresh look and logo, to signal a fresh start as an event wholly-owned by Siew Hoon.

This year, it will tackle the future of the online travel world head-on with the theme of “The Future, According to Wired”.

“Enough about the now,” said Siew Hoon. “Everyone knows what the current issues surrounding travel distribution and marketing are. Online travel growth in Asia is guaranteed. Cities are increasingly connected. Consumers are getting smarter. Low cost airlines are transforming the landscape. All the factors are right for an online travel boom.

“In the US, PhoCusWright research shows America has reached tipping point - more than 50% of Americans now book their travel online. In Europe, it’s reached 30%.  Asia is set to follow.

“So what’s happening? Disintermediation, channel fragmentation, technology convergence, consumer power - but what are all these leading up to and what do they mean to players now in the online travel space? How can we prepare for the future? Can we?

“We want to dare our speakers to take on the future and share their vision on possible future scenarios. How will the entry of Google change the landscape? How will the hotel distribution model change further? What are the new technologies coming online? Will it be Web 3.0 or People 10.0?

“These are some of the questions we want to raise, and have answered.”
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