June 9, 2017
Venue: Westin Tokyo, Galaxy Ballroom (B2F)

Checking in

08.00 – 08.45

Curtain Call

08.45 – 09.05

Coffee with Shinichi Inoue, CEO, Peach Aviation

He’s the CEO of Japan’s low cost airline that’s going places, building a brand both inside and outside Japan and he believes in doing it with a difference. He also sits on the advisory council, strategizing on Japan’s inbound strategies. We kick off with a high level view, 30,000 feet no less, from a man who’s reimagined low cost aviation in Japan.

09.05 – 09.30

State of Japan Inbound

Inbound to Japan is absolutely on fire right now – an update on the latest in Japan's inbound tourism as it gears up for 40m tourists by 2020, the year it hosts the Olympics.

Akiko Yoshida, Executive Vice President, Japan National Tourist Organisation

09.30 – 09.40

State of the Online Travel Market

Get an update into the latest trends influencing the global online travel space with a focus on Asia Pacific. 

Maggie Rauch, Director - Research, Phocuswright

09.40 – 09.50


Reimagining The Samurai Spirit

How are Japan’s leading travel brands reimagining themselves in the spirit of their early warriors to take on a world that’s increasingly global, that’s about scale and that’s about breaking down walls?

Yoshiyuki Takano, Deputy Managing Director, Travel Business, Rakuten Inc
Kenichiro Miyamoto, Executive Manager, Recruit Lifestyle Co Ltd
Jun Sakaki, CEO, Ikyu

Ken Mishima, Vice President, E-commerce Strategy, i.JTB
Takaya Shinozuka, Founder & CEO, Relux
Takahiro Oono, General Manager, KDDI Corporation

Moderator: Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic/Travel.jp
Talkback: Timothy Hughes, Vice President, Business Development, Agoda

09.50 – 10.35


Reimagining Hospitality

In this session, we speak to a Japanese-based hotel management brand, a global brand and a former hotelier who now runs a tourism economic revitalisation fund to understand how they are addressing the new opportunities that have come about as a result of the dynamic changes taking place in hospitality as lines blur and the path to consumers fragments.

Michael Nigitsch, CEO, Ishin Hotels Group
Marcus Tait, Head of Sales & Marketing, Australasia & Japan, Intercontinental Hotels
Yumiko Toeda, Senior Director, Tourism Revitalisation Mother Fund at REVIC (Regional Economy Vitalisation Corporation of Japan)

10.35 – 11.00



11.00 – 11.30

China Reimagined

Meet the two giants of China, one specialising in private accommodation and the other, dominating at home and now going places, and find out their plans for expanding their business beyond home boundaries while maintaining their hold on a market that's changing as fast as it's growing.

Part 1: Coffee with Hai Zhuang, President, Tujia Holdings/Founding Team Member, Tujia
Part 2: Panel with Peter Yoshihara, General Manager & Head of Marketing, Ctrip Japan & Bryan Xiao, CEO & Founder, QYER.com
Moderator: Maggie Rauch, Director Research, Phocuswright

11.30 – 12.00

The Pan-Asia Factor

To win globally, you have to succeed in Asia. Do Asia homegrown brands have an advantage over foreign companies when it comes to scaling across the region? How are each of them creating the Pan-Asia effect? At the same time, how are global brands attacking the Japanese market?

Oliver Hua, Managing Director, APAC, Booking.com
Timothy Hughes, Vice President, Business Development, Agoda

Jonty Neal, CEO, Expedia Asia
Chris Lee, Head of Online Travel APAC, Amadeus
Moderator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, WIT

12.00 – 12.30


The K Factor

Competition is kicking in big-time in South Korea's travel market as new players, powered by mobile, enter the industry. We gather an OTA, an e-commerce giant, an airline and a tourism board for this look behind the scenes of one of North Asia's most dynamic and complex travel markets.

Min Yoon, CEO, TideSquare
Ryan Kangjoon Lee, Head of Travel, Leisure and Culture Business Group at Ticket Monster, Inc. (a.k.a., TMON)
Jung-wu Park, Head of Sales Planning, Jin Air
Shin Sangyong, Director Japan, Korea Tourism Organisation
Moderator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, WIT

12.30 – 13.00


13.00 – 14.00


Hotel Distribution & Marketing: The Opportunities

We bring together a panel of suppliers to the hotel industry to find out how they are staying relevant in their product and service offerings amid the increasingly complex and competitive market. Expect tough questions to be asked by our hotelier who's moderating this panel.

Michael Menzel, Chief Revenue Officer, VP Strategic Partnerships, TrustYou
Guillaume de Marcillac, Co-CEO, FASTBOOKING
Brad King, SVP Global Sales, Sojern
Michael Dykes, Director, Market Management, Japan & Micronesia, Expedia

Moderator: Puneet Mahindroo, Senior Director of Hotel Marketing and Revenue Management - APAC, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

14.00 – 14.30


14.30 – 14.40

Payments Reimagined: Making Seamless Travel Happen

As with all other segments of the travel distribution process, the payment landscape is evolving quickly. New technology and ideas are moving towards creating a truly seamless experience, and payment is at the very heart of this evolution. Find out what online travel agents, airlines, hotels and travel marketplaces should do to move in tandem.

Stuart Thornton, Vice President – Business Development Asia Pacific, Worldpay

Airline Distribution & Marketing: The Opportunities

Low cost airlines have changed the way people fly and buy travel in Japan. How have traditional airlines adapted to the changing market? What are the latest trends in airline distribution & marketing and where are the opportunities for intermediaries in this fast growing and changing space? Is corporate travel ripe for change?

Yoshiya Kinuta, CEO, Skyscanner Japan K.K.
Hakuhiko Ishii, Director, Overseas Market Development, Tourism Promotion Strategies, Marketing & Sales Planning, All Nippon Airways
Nobuhiro Fujita, Overseas e-Commerce and Marketing, Web Sales Dept., Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.
Moderator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, WIT

14.40 – 15.10


15.10 – 15.25

Aviation Reimagined: ANA's endeavour to redefine its business to impact all 7 billion people on earth

Akira Fukabori and Kevin Kajitani have teamed up to launch multiple initiatives within ANA. Working beyond organisational boundaries, these two have teamed up to launch ANA’s cause-related Blue Wing program and the airline’s crowdfunding platform “WonderFLY.” They are also the prize developers behind the ANA AVATAR XPRIZE concept which won top honours at XPRIZE Visioneers 2016. Both are passionate about creating business models that positively impact humanity and have the potential to reach all 7.5 billion people on earth.

Akira Fukabori, Market Communication Intrapreneur, All Nippon Airways
Kevin Kajitani, Digital Design Lab Intrapreneur, ANA Holdings

A Conversation: AI & Chatbots in Travel

A discussion around the new tech that's being applied to travel – how are they being adopted, and what kind of traction rates is being seen? How will it allow companies to reimagine the way they interact with customers?

Masaya Higuchi, Business Unit Executive, Watson Customer Engagement, IBM Japan

15.25 – 15.45

The New Hot Spaces

We look into the new hot spaces that are emerging in North Asia – from rail to cars to tours & activities to in-destination.

Cameron Jones, Chief Commercial Officer, SilverRail Technologies
Fraser Ellacott, Managing Director, Rentalcars Connect
Blanca Menchaca, Co-founder & COO, BeMyGuest
Scott Barber,
Director Commercial Strategy, APAC, Travelport
Moderator: Greg Schulze, Senior Vice President, Expedia Inc

15.45 – 16.15



16.15 – 16.45

Coffee With Kathleen Tan, President, China, North Asia, AirAsia

It’s been identified as the next area of growth for South-east Asia’s leading low cost airline and the group has intensified its activities in the region, relaunching in Japan, scaling in China and establishing its presence in Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Find out what the new chief for China has in store in this interview with Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, WIT.

16.45 – 17.05


Private Accommodation: The Possibilities & Roadblocks

Is the sky truly the limit for private accommodation in North Asia? Or will it be limited by local regulations? Let’s speak to those who are blazing trails in this space.

Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic, Japan/Travel.jp
Hidetomo (Tom) Nagata, Territory Lead, Host and Community Operations, Airbnb Japan
Shinichi Tatebayashi, Squeeze Inc

Moderator: Maggie Rauch, Director - Research, Phocuswright

17.05 – 17.30


WIT Japan & North Asia 2017 Startup Pitch: Grand Finals (powered by Amadeus NEXT)

Three top finalists, picked from yesterday’s competition at the Bootcamp, vie for the chance to win the WIT Japan & North Asia Start-Up of the Year 2017 award.

Panel of Judges:

Aya Yamato, Manager, Travel Investment, Recruit
Greg Schulze, Senior Vice President, Expedia

Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic/Travel.jp
Zhou Shiwei, Vice President, Investments and Investor Relations, Ctrip
Emi Takemura, Advisor, Peatix & Fellow, Mistletoe
Terry Hayashiguchi, Managing Director, DG Incubation Inc

Simon Akeroyd, Vice President – Corporate Strategy, Amadeus Asia Pacific
Ted Cho, Principal Entrepreneur, Skelter Labs

Phil Wickham, Founder and General Partner, Sozo Ventures
Timothy Hughes, Vice President, Business Development, Agoda

17.30 – 17.50


The WIT Great Debate: How To Achieve Chowa in Tourism

There’s an increasing backlash against tourism in key destinations around the world as the sharing economy blurs the lines between hotel and home and tour guides and hosts. In Barcelona, the government has called for a limit to tourism. In Amsterdam local residents are upset over the hollowing out of their city to tourists and to private accommodation. Iceland too is contemplating placing limits on tourism? Singapore has introduced a ban on short-term rentals. How can Japan, so steeped in tradition, strike a balance between tech and tradition and achieve Chowa (harmony) in tourism, as it gears up for 40m tourists by 2020? A debate and discussion to close the day.

Ashley Harvey, COO, Central Japan DMO
Teddy Lee, CEO, Rose Hotel Yokohama & the Chungking Szechwan Chinese
Restaurant brand

Aya Aso, Founder & ex-CEO, AGORA Hospitalities Co. Ltd.
Hidemi Hasegawa, Kaikake Onsen
Moderator: Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, WIT

17.50 - 18.20


Announcement of WIT Japan & North Asia Start-Up of the Year 2017 & Closing




Venue: Star Junior Ballroom, B2F, The Westin Tokyo



Note: Programme is subject to change.