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ITB Asia unveils keynote speaker line-up ahead of 2018 event

ITB Asia unveils keynote speaker line-up ahead of 2018 event

ITB Asia has announced this year’s line-up of keynote speakers.

Under the overarching conference theme of Travel Reimagined, key industry leaders will be providing insights on the major trends provoking disruption across the travel industry and how they are innovating in order to stay ahead.

Hosted at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, the conference will take place from October 17th-19th.

The opening keynote session on October 17th will be led by global leaders from Facebook, Microsoft and, focusing on today’s complex travel industry issues including the major technological changes driving disruption in the travel sector, such as the rise in global smartphone ownership, how organisations are evolving their business models to remain competitive and their vision for the future of the travel industry.

The keynote addresses will be delivered by Nikhilesh Ponde, global head of travel strategy from Facebook, Shane O’Flaherty, global director of travel and transportation from Microsoft and Xing Xiong, chief executive from, one of the world’s leading online travel agencies.

O’Flaherty will elaborate on travel disruption and how this will change the way we travel and do business.

He will also share his thoughts on how to create a seamless customer journey and empower employees for greater efficiency and creativity.


Day two’s keynote on October 18th will be a new intermediaries panel session with a focus on the future of travel distribution.

Online travel agencies, metasearch engines and new intermediaries are disrupting distribution, with a 360-degree view of customers in a way that other travel industry players cannot - at least today.

With deep customer data and analytics, they are targeting the management of customer relationships, working as facilitators of mobility.

The keynote panel session on October 19th, day three, will focus on ‘winning over today’s Chinese travellers’, looking at China’s outbound travellers, one of the country’s largest exports, and how their spending power is reshaping the world today.

Top travel industry leaders including Alessandro Dassi, chief executive, Greater China & Far East from Thomas Cook, Troy Liu, chief executive of Mileslife, and Changle Yang, chief operating officer from Tujia, will provide their unique insights on connecting travel brands with Chinese millennials, new trends and driving forces and how to market destinations to the tech-savvy Chinese travellers.

“We are seeing unprecedented disruption in the travel industry as new technological advances compel travel brands to adapt and transform their business strategies.

“We are delighted to welcome global leaders from Facebook, Microsoft and for our opening panel session.

“They will no doubt provide fascinating insights on how travel brands can embrace the changes that are shaking up the industry.

“We look forward to a truly exciting start to this year’s show,” said Katrina Leung, managing director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), organiser of ITB Asia.