Executive Vice President, Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO)
Akiko Yoshida is a career officer of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan.
She has various experiences in the MLIT and other government agencies in the fields of railways, airlines, shipping and automobiles, in addition to tourism sector. She also served as a legal advisor for 5 years in a London-based intergovernmental organization.
Yoshida assumed the current position in JNTO since the summer of 2015. At JNTO, her current responsibilities are marketing activities on a global scale, luxury market, digital marketing and economic recovery of the Tohoku region.
Managing Director, Amadeus Japan
Travel industry veteran, Akimi Takemura, leads Amadeus’ travel agency business in Japan.
Akimi joined Amadeus as Managing Director for Japan in July 2016. Based in Tokyo, she is responsible for growing Amadeus’ distribution business in the market.
With her passion for technology, innovation and customer-centricity, Akimi is focused on delivering the best solutions, technology and content to travel agency customers and corporations in Japan.
Akimi has an extensive history in the travel industry, having previously worked for American Express since 1988, most recently as President and CEO of American Express Nippon Travel Agency in Tokyo, before joining Amadeus.
A Japanese national but a global citizen, her time at American Express saw her working in Paris, New York as well as Japan.
Akira Fukabori (left)
All Nippon Airways | Market Communication, Intrapreneur
Kevin Kajitani (right)
ANA Holdings | Digital Design Lab, Intrapreneur
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 honors 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.
Kevin and Akira both studied Aeronautics and Astronautics. Their journey as intrapreneurship partners began when their careers crossed paths in 2010.
Anula is amazed by the world's beauty and wants everyone else to experience it too. That's why she promotes tourism as a tool for bringing more joy and wealth to people and places around the world.
After working as a sustainability expert for several travel companies across Eastern and Southern Europe, Anula co-founded Travindy, the world's key source for sustainable tourism news, to help more businesses learn about responsible travel and market their sustainability efforts better.
COO, Central Japan DMO
A Londoner by birth, Ashley first moved to Japan in 1997. He lived in Fukuoka for three years before moving to Singapore & Hong Kong. After seven years in Asia he returned to London. But Japan was calling him, and in 2012, he returned to Japan. He moved to Tokyo as Country Manager of VisitBritain. In May 2017, he became the COO of the newly-established Central Japan DMO.
His career has been in and around tourism since 2000. In 2005, he graduated from the University of Leicester with a MBA.
Founder & ex-CEO, AGORA Hospitalities Co. Ltd.
Aya founded AGORA 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 it’s portfolio comprises of 13 boutique hotels and traditional Japanese ryokans.At its tenth anniversary year, she has left the management and takes her sabbatical to prepare for her next venture. 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).
Manager, Travel Investment, Recruit
Based in Tokyo, Aya is a leader of the travel investment team for Recruit. She has seven years of business development experience in the travel industry.
With Recruit, she has worked for its domestic services under “Jalan.net”, their outbound services, its OTAs- “ Mytour" ”Travel Book"in SEA, and its global investment team covering Europe, the USA and APAC.
Aya started her career with Recruit in 2004. She graduated from The University of Tokyo in 2002 and The University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics in 2004, qualified as a master of International Politics.
Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, BeMyGuest
Blanca Menchaca is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of one of the fastest growing tour and activities booking platforms in Asia, BeMyGuest.
In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Blanca is responsible for managing a highly multicultural Asian operation with teams spread out across Singapore, Philippines, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam Malaysia and currently expanding to India.
Prior to BeMyGuest, Blanca was the Global Head of Online Marketing at Wego where she built teams across Singapore, Indonesia, India and Middle East.
Blanca was born in Mexico but has gained most of her travel and e-commerce experience abroad, with 6 years in Australia and 8 years in Asia so far. She has been referred to by the industry as “the face of a new global travel generation”.
Vice President, Global Sales, Sojern
Brad has spent the last 20 years working in the online data, digital media and travel distribution fields. He is passionate about the benefits of using big data and new technologies to enhance digital marketing channels and consumer engagement. As the VP of Global Sales for Sojern, Brad leads a global team of travel and media sales experts to help many of the world’s top travel brands drive more efficient and meaningful engagement with their customers across cutting edge digital media channels. Brad’s team spans the globe with commercial offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Omaha, New York, London, Paris, Dubai and Mexico City.
Previously, Brad held senior leadership positions at TellApart, BlueKai and Yahoo. Brad started his career in the travel industry holding positions at Hotwire, WorldRes and Northwest Airlines.
Founder & CEO of QYER.COM
Bryan founded the original QYER.COM in his student dorm in Hamburg Germany 13 years ago. Now QYER.COM is becoming the largest Chinese outbound travel platform. Prior to that, Bryan has working experiences in some top U.S. and European IT companies including Yahoo and Philips.
Bryan has over 13 years’ experience in disruptive innovations. In 2014, he launched China's first travel lifestyle and aesthetics brand JNE. Bryan is also the producer of the magazine Fetish in China.
Chief Commercial Officer, SilverRail
Cameron drives the commercialisation of SilverRail’s suite of products and services, and is responsible for marketing, business development, and account management.
Cameron’s career has centered on the travel and hospitality sectors, focusing on finance and related pricing and distribution issues. He led Starwood Hotels’ e-commerce strategy in Asia Pacific and subsequently established a consulting business to Asia Pacific hotel chains specialising in e-commerce, revenue management and recruitment. He then joined Expedia and launched and developed its Asia Pacific hotel and activities business. This role also included board membership of NASDAQ-listed eLong, one of China’s leading online travel providers.
Back in Europe, he led business development for Expedia’s affiliate network and represented Expedia on the board of the rail ticketing business Voyages SNCF.
Head of Online Travel APAC, Amadeus
Chris Lee is based in Singapore, looking after overall online channel distribution strategy & execution plan from big global OTAs to regional travel meta players in Asia Pacific for Amadeus IT Group. Prior to Amadeus IT Group, he was heading the strategic partnership for Booking.com under Priceline Group to expand and develop key accommodation distribution channels such as Naver, Ebay, and Qoo10 in Asia.
Chris is a passionate Asian online travel business leader, having worked for a range of organisations from start-up to Fortune 500s including directorship to Sole business development role to established entities within APAC. During his LivingSocial (owned by Amazon Venture) time, he successfully sold TicketMonster, a top three e-commerce company in Korea to Groupon Inc. at US$260million in cash and stock.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from University of Nevada Las Vegas.
CEO, BeMyGuest Pte Ltd
Clement Wong is the founder and CEO of BeMyGuest. Prior to that, he worked with top travel companies in the world, airlines, hotels, online travel agencies, tour operators, car rental companies, helping them with their strategies and market research. He also advised blue chip banks and venture capital firms on their acquisitions in the travel space. Previously at Phocuswright, he was the head of research for the EMEA region. Prior to that, he was with Travelport, both in Marketing Solutions, working closely with airlines on their advertising and marketing strategies, and as a Strategy Analyst heading up global hospitality, car hire, travel agencies and tour operators research. At Euromonitor, he was in charge of travel and tourism research for the EMEA region, managing research, clients, research analysts and budget. He has also produced industry strategic analysis for various media and blue chip clients.
Co-Founder/Lead Developer, MEBUKU Inc.
Daiki was born in Japan and later moved to San Francisco for university and to learn about start ups.
He co-founded MEBUKU Inc on a simple idea: bring stories behind cultural spots alive. With this idea in mind, he created an audio guide app called Pokke, which guides listeners to famous tourist spots all over the world, bringing tourists closer to what they are seeing. He currently works on developing and designing both iOS and Android apps, having a huge passion for cutting-edge technology.
Founder and CEO, MyRealTrip
Donggun Lee is the founder and CEO of MyRealTrip. Lee launched the service in 2012, while a student at Korea University. In five short years, MyRealTrip became a go-to-marketplace for all things travel among Korean tourists. Currently, it provides over 8,500 tours in 340 cities around the world, and has collected over 60,000 authentic reviews from its customers.
Lee completed degrees in Business Administration and Psychology from Korea University. He also studied at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Koblenz, Germany as a foreign exchange student.
FutureEdu Tokyo Co-founder; Peatix.com Co-founder & Advisor, and Mistletoe, Inc. Fellow
Emi is an entrepreneur and an avid supporter of the startup and education ecosystem. After a stint in management consulting at Monitor and McKinsey & Co., Emi has held numerous senior management positions at Excite Japan, Amazon Japan, and Disney Interactive Media Group before embarking on startup journey to co-found Peatix.com in 2011. In 2015, Emi co-founded Unreasonable Labs Japan, a global social entrepreneur accelerator, and co-founded FutureEdu Tokyo in 2016 to advocate the importance of re-imagining education via film screenings, events, and a blog. Emi currently serves as a fellow at Mistletoe Inc’s Education Squad and is a member of several committees at Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Emi holds a B.A. in Economics from Keio University, an MBA from Wharton School, and an MA from the Lauder Institute.
Eric Gnock Fah
Co-founder, Klook Travel
Eric Gnock Fah is the co-founder of Klook Travel, Asia’s leading platform or travelers to explore and book a curated selection of activities. These amazing experiences are verified and vetted by Klook’s team of travel curators and made easily bookable online and on-the-go at unbeatable prices of up to 50% off.
Prior to founding Klook Travel, Eric worked in hedge fund and Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley, focused on consumer and travel companies in Asia. Originally from Mauritius, an exotic travel destination, Eric grew up speaking 7 languages and is a cultural explorer at heart.
Managing Director, Rentalcars Connect
Fraser joined Rentalcars Connect, the distinct B2B unit of Rentalcars.com in August 2015 as the Managing Director.
Fraser has over 25 years of experience in the travel industry, starting at British Airways as an Aeronautical Engineer on the graduate scheme and developed his career across a number of senior management positions covering not only Engineering but IT, Procurement and Ground Operations.
Prior to joining Rentalcars, he spent the last 11 years at the FTSE 100 European Travel TUI as Director of Engineering for the airline. Fraser later moved on to transform and modernise their traditional cruise business as Managing Director of Thomson Cruise. In October 2013, he was part of the TUI UK Board as Customer Operations Director, responsible for cruise as well as customer facing divisions covering Retail, Contact Centre and Overseas. He then moved to Director Distribution & Sales for all channels, ensuring a seamless consumer experience across Retail, Contact Centre and Online.
Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy and Services, Expedia group
Greg Schulze serves as Senior Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Services for Expedia group. His team serves Expedia, Orbitz.com, CheapTickets, ebookers, Travelocity, Wotif, lastminute.com.au, Hotwire and Expedia CruiseShipCenters.
He is also responsible for Expedia’s relationships with airlines, car rental companies and cruise lines, in addition to partnerships for connectivity, insurance, rail and tour operator packages.
Greg joined Expedia in 2005 to lead its air reporting and analysis practices. He subsequently assumed responsibility for package pricing and revenue management, building on his days at American Airlines, where he worked on the airline’s Internet pricing strategy. Most recently at Expedia, he served as the Vice President of Tour and Transport for supply partnerships throughout North and South America.
Greg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina.
Guillaume de Marcillac
Guillaume is the co-CEO of FASTBOOKING. A digital and business services specialist for more than 15 years, Guillaume de Marcillac began his consulting career at Bain & Company before joining Disneyland Paris, where he was responsible for strategic planning. In 2000, Guillaume participated in the creation of Egencia, an online business travel agency which was purchased several years later by the Expedia group.
He served as FASTBOOKING’s Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer from 2008 to 2012 and subsequently rejoined the company in May 2015 as co-CEO. Guillaume is a graduate of ESCP Europe and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
President, Tujia Holdings
Hai graduated from Tsinghua University in 1997, BS of Electrical Engineering and from Case Western Reserve University in 2000, MS of Electrical Engineering. He worked for Microsoft Redmond from 2000 to 2008, as a software development engineer and development manager. He then worked for Microsoft Beijing from 2008 to 2011 as a senior software development manager. In 2011, he joined Tujia.com as engineering director, and moved up the ranks from Vice President, to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Since November 2016, he has been President of Tujia Holdings.
Director, Overseas Market Development, Tourism Promotion Strategies, Marketing & Sales Planning, All Nippon Airways
Hakuhiko joined ANA in 1993 after graduating from Waseda University in Japan. He started working at ANA Tokyo office as a sales planning officer and subsequently took postings at Haneda Airport and also in Shenyang, China.
In October 2016, Hakuhiko moved to the present position. He is in charge of the sales strategy for inbound passengers to Japan and also the airline’s distribution strategy worldwide.
Okami, Kaikake Onsen
Hidemi is in her 10th year as an Okami (manager) in Kaikake Onsen.
Prior to taking over the family onsen , Hidemi joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as client/project site secretary. She also spent years in the airine industry with Japan Airlines before rejoining Accenture.
She started working at her family’s ryokan business when her husband decided to take over the Kaikake onsen, answering to a need in the family.
Hyunsoo is the co-founder of Allstay, an accommodation meta-search service for the Korean and east Asian markets.
Hyunsoo has worked in the finance department of Hyundai construction and engineering. His expertise is business development and developing localisation strategies. His goal for Allstay is for it to become the number one meta-search company in Korea, covering hotel and private accommodations.
Isa (Haruhisa) Saito
General Manager, Spacemarket Inc.
Isa Saito leads the business as General Manager at Spacemarket, a local onlinw MICE booking platform that provides the largest venue selection for all types of events. Before joining Spacemarket, he worked at Amazon Japan as a startup member of the Amazon platform in Japan.
He contributed to various projects related to the platform and category expansion and business maximisation for a variety of sellers in Japan. He also led product management of Amazon’s ad products in Japan. Prior to Amazon, Isa worked as an ERP, SCM consultant for the retail industry at SCSK corporation.
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.
Head of Sales & Marketing, Australasia & Japan for IHG
Appointed to this role in January 2016, Marcus oversees the commercial priorities for IHG and its brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
Marcus joined IHG in 2000 as Rooms Division Manager at Crowne Plaza Auckland, before becoming General Manager roles at Holiday Inn Penrith Panthers, Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport.
After a short stint with Accor, Marcus returned home to IHG as General Manager of Crowne Plaza Parramatta and then Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour. Since then he has been Regional Director Human Resources ANZSP and Director, Commercial for Australia and Japan, before taking on his current role.
Business Unit Executive, Watson Ecosystem, IBM Watson
Masaya Higuchi joined IBM in 1993 with 23 years career experience, of which 10 years as leadership position. His first career in IBM was Financial Planning from 1993 to 1998. Having an interest in a technical career, he moved to the software development laboratory in Yamato where he gained diverse expertise around enterprise middleware development, software technical sales support, large-scale service project engagement around Big Data from 1998 to 2004. He then started a leadership career in Software Strategy in 2005, Business Development from 2006 to 2007, Software Services from 2007 to 2008, Cloud Computing from 2009 to 2012, Smarter Cities from 2011 to 2012, Territory Executive for Tohoku/Hokkaido 2012 to 2014, IBM Watson Ecosystem, a Partner & Alliance 2015 to 2016, followed by the current role of Business Unit Executive of Watson Customer Engagement since 2017.
Chief Revenue Officer & VP – Strategic Partnerships, TrustYou
Being with TrustYou from the first day on, Michael Menzel has helped TrustYou create its own market and establish it as a world market leader in the field of guest feedback platforms.
As the Chief Revenue Officer and VP – Strategic Partnerships, Michael oversees all partnerships of the company, e.g. tour operators, hotel associations, technology partners, OTA’s, metasearch companies & GDS’s and many more.
Michael is a member of the senior management of TrustYou, an appointed member of the jury of the Bavarian Innovation Price for Tourism, and an appointed member of the Tourism Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria. Michael holds a graduate engineering degree in the field of Geomatics Engineering of the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe, Germany.
President & CEO, Ishin Hotels Group
Michael Nigitsch is an Austrian with 33 years of international hotel management experience. Out of these, 23 were spent with Hilton International in Europe, Africa and Asia where he was vice president for Japan and Micronesia. He has since been with Ishin Hotels Group for the last 13 years.
Senior Director, Japan Airlines Overseas e-commerce & Marketing
Nobuhiro has been with Japan Airlines for over 25 years in the field of e-commerce, International and Domestic Sales, Passenger servicing, and Administration, serving in Paris, Milan, Sapporo, Osaka, and Tokyo.
Nobuhiro has come to be the key element in the success of not only Japan inbound marketing, but also contributing to the growth of JAL e-Commerce with daily UU of 500 thousand, monthly PV of 200 million and daily sales of over 1 billion yen (US$9 million).
Chief Executive Officer, Expedia Asia
Jonty Neal is the Chief Executive Officer of AAE Travel, a joint venture between the Expedia group and AirAsia, and is responsible for the overall strategy and operations of the Brand Expedia Asia Group and AirAsiaGo brands for more that fifteen travel booking sites in the region. Prior to being named chief executive officer, he served as the chief financial officer of the company, where he was responsible for all aspects of finance as well as corporate strategy and business analytics.
Neal brings with him a wealth of experience in the Global Online Travel. He joined Expedia in 2003, based in London where he supported Expedia’s early European businesses. He then progressed in his career to take on an active role in Expedia’s Asia Pacific market entre and expansion strategy, and was a key contributor in driving the business growth in the Asia region. Neal moved to Asia in 2007, where he spent three years supporting the Asia Pacific business from Beijing and Hong Kong. He then moved back to the Global Headquarters in Bellevue in 2009, to help build out the Expedia Global Marketing function, before relocating to Singapore in 2013 to lead the joint venture Finance team.
Neal holds a Mechanical Engineering degree (with Honors) from the University of Nottingham, and is a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
CEO, Ikyu Corporation
Jun currently serves as CEO of Ikyu Corporation.
Prioir to joining to Ikyu in 2013, Jun was in management consulting business for 10 years at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 2003 - 2009 and at AlixPartners in 2009 - 2013.
When Jun was in AlixPartners, he worked for Ikyu as a management consultant and joined to Ikyu afterwards.
Jun was in a trading business at Mizuho Bank during 1997 - 2001.
Jun received MS in Scientific Computing from Stanford University and BS/MS from Keio University
Head of Sales Planning & Support, Jin Air
With over 20 years of experience working in the Korean Air sales headquarters at corporate office and the Japan branch as an expert on Japan, in 2014 he transferred to Jin Air, a Korean Airlines subsidiary. Presently Park Jung Woo serves as the GM of the sales planning & support team responsible for pricing policies and external affairs. An amateur calligrapher, he graduated from Sungkyunkwan University specialising in Political Science and Diplomacy.
President of China, North Asia, AirAsia
Kathleen Tan was appointed as President of China, North Asia in June 2016. The appointment marked her return to AirAsia after a one- year hiatus from the corporate world.
In her new role, Tan will provide leadership and strategic direction to AirAsia in Greater China, where she will continue to strengthen the airline’s network and brand presence, establish and maintain relationships with key Chinese government agencies such as the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and travel and tourism bodies to advocate for growth-friendly policies and assist with the establishment of the AirAsia China joint venture.
Tan was previously AirAsia Regional Head of Commercial and Senior Vice President of China from 2004 to 2013 before heading to AirAsia Expedia to be Chief Executive Officer. At AirAsia, she championed a wide range of ancillary and partner products, and transformed the brand into one synonymous with travel, fun and cool. Under her watch, fleet size increased from 17 to 143 aircraft, revenue surged 14-fold to over RM5 billion and the airline secured the first of many Skytrax World's Best Low-Cost Airline awards.
CEO, Venture Republic
Kei co-founded Venture Republic Inc. As CEO, he took the company public in 2008 after 7 years of operation. Over the last 13 years, Kei has built the various online vertical media including “Travel.jp,” “Hotel.jp,” and “coneco.net” (online comparison shopping engine).
Kei also serves as an active investor and board member of various startups including Telunjuk (Indonesia) and Trip101 (Singapore).
With his extensive knowledge of online travel, e-commerce and his strong entrepreneurship, Kei is responsible for driving the company by shaping its strategy, making commercialization efforts and building organization.
Previously, Kei worked at Mitsubishi Corporation for 11 years, playing a key role in company’s largest M&A deal to acquire the Lawson Inc., one of the largest convenience store chains in Japan.
Kei received a BA of Law from Keio University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Vice President, E-commerce Strategy, i.JTB
Ken Joined i.JTB in 2016 as VP of e-commerce strategy. Prior to i.JTB, he worked in both corporate and B2B online travel agencies including HRS – a German-based global hotel solution provider to large enterprises – to develop the business as managing director & president of the Japan office, and Expedia as North Asia general manager. His online career started at eBay in 2008 to introduce and launch cross boarder trade. He's based in Tokyo with his family.
COO, Venture Republic Inc.
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.
Executive Manager, Recruit Lifestyle Co.,Ltd.
Kenichiro Miyamoto started his career at sales at Recruit after graduating from Rikkyo University in 1990.
Since then, he has been served as the Group Manager, Sales Manager and Media Produce Manager at the Recruit's automobile division. In 2010, he has been elected as the Sales Manager of the Recruit's travel division, in charge of the accommodation facilities throughout Japan.
He was appointed as the head of travel division for Recruit Lifestyle Co.,Ltd. in October 2012 and currently holds the same position.
Masashi is the CEO of Voyagin, a marketplace for authentic local experiences in Asia, based in Japan and Singapore. Prior to Voyagin, Masashi worked for AT Kearney and Cyta.jp, a startup for private lesson marketplace in Japan, which was acquired by Cookpad in 2013. While he worked at Cyta.jp, he started hosting international guests in his apartment in Tokyo and eventually became the top Airbnb host in the city, hosting several hundred guests in his living room over the course of 3-4 years. Based on his own travel and hosting experiences, he decided to create a travel marketplace for visitors to Japan called FindJPN in January 2011. This eventually evolved into Voyagin in Dec 2012.
Director, Market Management - Japan & Micronesia, Expedia
Michael Dykes leads Expedia Lodging Partner Services in Japan & MIcronesia, managing a team of more than 50 professionals throughout the country to recruit and maintain relationships with lodging partners, giving them tailored revenue management consultation to grow their business across Expedia’s 200+ travel booking websites. He also regularly liaises with influencers in the press, government and travel industry, and is playing a key role in Expedia’s contribution to Japan’s goal of 40 million inbound travellers by 2020.
Michael joins Expedia with a robust background in IT leadership, serving over 12 years in various roles at Microsoft including Director of Corporate Accounts and Director of SMB Sales, giving him experience with clients of all sizes from small business to large enterprises.
Michael grew up in Japan and the U.S., and has native level proficiency in Japanese and English, as well as business level proficiency in German. He earned his BS in Applied Mathematics, with a focus on Computer Science, and a Minor in German from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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.
CEO & Co-founder, Circos Brand Karma
Morris Sim is CEO and co-founder of Circos Brand Karma. Circos's consultancy services help hoteliers sell more rooms and F&B covers directly, and its training services help hoteliers learn how to utilise digital marketing to maximise revenue.
As Senior Director of Marketing at Microsoft, Morris developed communities and social networks from 2002-2005 to improve Microsoft’s brand perceptions and market share worldwide. Before that, he was CTO of PoloRalphLauren.com , the first e-commerce site from a major design/retail shop. Morris also serves as the Executive Director for Trisara and Boathouse on Kata Beach, both independent luxury resorts in Phuket, Thailand.
Morris is a graduate of Stanford University.
Managing Director, APAC, Booking.com
In 2013, Oliver Hua became Managing Director Asia Pacific at Booking.com. He is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s business strategy in APAC.
Before Booking.com, Oliver was with eBay for over 8 years, holding a number of senior positions. Before eBay, Oliver worked for 7 years as a senior executive at consulting firms, including McKinsey & Co, Booz & Co, and Stern Stewart & Co., working with local and global clients in Asia, Europe and the U.S.. Oliver was also an entrepreneur and co-founder of technology startup Luban.com.
Oliver received his Bachelor degree in Economics from Beijing Foreign Studies Institute; he has a Master of Business Administration degree from China Europe International Business School in Shanghai and IESE in Spain.
General Manager, Ctrip Japan
Peter Yoshihara is the General Manager of Ctrip Japan. His primary responsibility is to promote the Ctrip brand throughout Japan and increase the usage of its Japanese-language site. Previously, he worked as Regional Director of Marketing for Hotels.com (part of Expedia Group) for Japan and Korea.
Co-founder, Sozo Ventures
Phil Wickham is a veteran bay area venture capitalist and startup entrepreneur. Wickham is a charter class member, CEO Emeritus and Executive Chairman the Kauffman Fellows, a global network of leaders in innovation and capital formation. He is a co-founder of Sozo Ventures, a $275M platform of funds with offices in Palo Alto and Tokyo.
Senior Director of Hotel Marketing and Revenue Management - APAC
In his role with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Puneet is responsible for revenue management and distribution initiatives for Asia Pacific.
Puneet has worked in various hotel and regional level roles in revenue management and distribution. For the last 18 years and has been responsible for implementing a wide range of projects including Automated Revenue Management System, Revenue Leadership Training Programs, Pricing Reforms and Next Generation Distribution Platforms.
Puneet has also been involved in various industry wide initiatives being on the Board of Directors of Hotel Electronic Distribution Networking Association (HEDNA) and an active member of the Leading Hotels of the World International Rooms, Revenue Management and Distribution Advisory Board. He is also the Chair for the HSMAI Asia Pacific Revenue Management Advisory Board.
Ryan Kangjoon Lee
Ryan Kangjoon Lee, Head of Travel, Leisure and Culture Business Group at Ticket Monster, Inc. (a.k.a., TMON)
Exhilarated by products, services and technologies that are disruptive and innovative in nature, Ryan enjoys working with entrepreneurs who dare to dream a big dream and who possess caliber and leadership that is enough to inspire other stakeholders to join and help make meaningful and positive impact to people’s lives.
Prior to joining Tmon, Ryan had served for more than a decade as a partner at SoftBank Ventures Korea where he led a number of investments mainly in internet/mobile services, gaming and technologies in Korea and around Asia, and served as a board director and/or observer for tens of companies.
Tokyo Branch Manager, Korea Tourism Organization
Since joining the Korea Tourism Organization in 1989, he has served over 10 years in key Japanese branch offices including Tokyo and Osaka, and is considered a Japan specialist. He has also served has the director of key divisions at the corporate headquarters in Korea, and since 2016 has been the head of the Tokyo branch. He graduated from Korea University majoring in History.
Director Commercial Strategy, APAC, Travelport
Scott Barber, Travelport’s Commercial Director for Strategy has regional responsibility for the strategic vision for the group aligning industry advancements with Travelport’s focus.
He has been with the group for over eight years holding a number of key roles across a range of departments, giving him a wealth of knowledge on the operations of both Travelport and its customers. Originally from the UK, Scott has been based in APAC for over 10 years, including living in Sydney, and now Singapore. His broader experience includes working in the airline, hospitality, wholesale and travel industries, giving him a great depth of knowledge across many areas of the travel industry.
Representative Director & CEO, Peach Aviation Limited
Inoue was born and raised in Shonan, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan and received his B.A. in Law from Waseda University in Tokyo.
From 1982 to 1990, he was employed at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., engaging in thermal power plants.
From 1990 until 2011, Mr Inoue held senior management positions in Japan and abroad with All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. and was Director of Corporate Affairs – Asia immediately prior to being chosen to lead the project team that resulted in the birth of Peach Aviation. He was named Representative Director and CEO of Peach in 2011.
Inoue is fluent in Japanese, English, and Chinese (Mandarin)
Founder and CEO, SQUEEZE Inc.
Shinichi is the founder and CEO of SQUEEZE Inc., a start-up that provides hosting infrastructure and other IT solutions to both the hospitality and real estate industries in Japan as well as overseas. Before founding SQUEEZE, Shinichi worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs Singapore, after which he moved on to work with the display sales team at TripAdvisor Singapore.
SQUEEZE Inc. has provided property owners with mister suite, a service using automation and crowdsourcing to profitably run vacation rental properties and hotels and accommodate visitors to Japan, as well as suitebook, a reservation management system allowing for the efficient management of short-term rentals. SQUEEZE Inc.’s goal is to become a worldwide leader in the field of hospitality tech.
Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Amadeus Asia Pacific
Simon is an ‘out of the box’ thinker who enjoys challenging the status quo. He leads Amadeus' Corporate Strategy and Business Development team in Asia Pacific.
Simon's role is to identify new business opportunities and partnerships for Amadeus in the region, with a focus on distribution and new business lines such as payments, travel intelligence, and rail. He also heads up Amadeus Next (www.next.amadeus.com), a programme to nurture, mentor and partner with travel startups to create the leading APAC travel tech startup community.
Prior to joining the Amadeus Asia Pacific management team in 2005, based in Bangkok, Simon lived and worked in Nice, France. Beginning his career with Amadeus France in 1992, Simon worked in various roles within Finance and Management Accounting. After eight years, he left to create his own business focused on Management Consultancy and Private Equity in the IT & Telecom sector. It was this consultancy role that eventually led him back to Amadeus a few years later.
Simon holds a BA Honours degree in International Business, he speaks fluent French and his hobbies include surfing and motorbike touring.
Stephen has been working as a travel & tourism technology consultant since 1995. In 2007, his company launched Rezgo, a cloud based software as a service tour and activity booking engine for small and medium sized tour operators. Stephen has travelled extensively and believes strongly in the lasting economic benefits of local experiences. Rezgo was developed to provide small local tourism businesses with the capabilities to harness their potential and take full advantage of new and emerging technologies.
He was the Chair of the Open Travel Alliance for five years and is passionate about travel technology and distribution. Stephen loves public speaking and speaks regularly at conferences around the World. He is always happy to share his experiences and knowledge and contributes frequently to Tnooz.com, a leading travel technology media website.
In addition to his tourism initiatives, he is an active participant in ongoing business improvement in his community and was a Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors for the Coho Society, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Pacific Club for three years.
Vice President – Business Development Asia Pacific, Worldpay
Stuart is an experienced business leader, spending the last 19 years' operating across the mobile, telecommunication and payments industries in companies such as Worldcom and Vodafone. This also included seven years in a U.S. based telco startup leading the setup and growth in Australia and APAC. Today, he leads the commercial team for Worldpay across Asia Pacific. Although born and bred in the U.K., he has not lived there since 1999, finding his way to Singapore via the Netherlands, Ireland and Australia. Stuart has worked and led teams in different growth stages, multiple sales channels and across different geographies. He is passionate about technology, customers and an active startup mentor in Singapore.
General Manager, KDDI Corporation
He currently serves as General Manager of Advanced Service Development. His responsibility is to expand the life design service and “KDDI” Economic Zone.
His career has been in and around Internet services since 2011. He founded an incubation program (KDDI ∞ labo.) and a corporate venture fund (KDDI Open Innovation Fund). Most recently, he led a team of a video streaming service with executing a strategy planning, promotions and product managements.
In addition, he has experienced government relations and global network development in NY office.
Founder & CEO, Loco Partners Inc.
Takaya Shinozuka is the founder and CEO of Loco Partners Inc. He founded Loco Partners in Sep. 2011, and launched the online booking service, relux that focuses on the Japanese luxury travel market, and exhibits the most comfortable Ryokan and Hotels in Japan.
Before founding Loco Partners, he began his career at the jalan.net, Travel Division of Recruit Holdings in 2007.
CEO, Rose Hotel Yokohama and Chungking Szechwan Chinese
Teddy Lee is the CEO of Rose Hotel Yokohama and the Chungking Szechwan Chinese Restaurant brand, a chain of 16 restaurants located in Yokohama, Tokyo, Okayama and Nagoya. The Chungking brand also manufactures food and confectionery items that are sold nationwide at their souvenir shops and online.
He is not only focused in the tourism business but also actively involved in the development of the Yokohama community. He is currently the Chairman of the Yokohama Chinatown Development Association and the Director of Yokohama Convention Visitors Bureau.
Teddy is a graduate of National Taiwan University.
Principal Entrepreneur, Skelter Labs
Ted is a serial entrepreneur by heart, and by practice. In the 90s, he cofounded and led the engineering team of Serome Technology, which successfully listed in KOSDAQ. Then he moved to the U.S. where he co-founded Dialpad Communications, which was later acquired by Yahoo! Coming back to Korea in 2007, he led Google Korea's engineering and product team for 7 years. In 2014, he left Google to start Skelter Labs, a startup studio focusing on AI & Machine learning technologies.
Managing Director, DG Incubation Inc
Terry joined DG Incubation (DGI) in March 2015 as a managing director and leads investments in Japan and U.S.. He primarily focuses on Media, SaaS, and IoT sectors.
Prior to joining DGI, Terry served as head of Japan at CyberAgent Ventures (CAV) where he conducted and led investments in seed/early stage startups. His past investments include being the first investor in Relux and Retty.
Before his experience at CAV, he worked for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he served clients in Media, Consumer Goods, and Pharmaceutical industries.
Terry received a B.E. from Keio University and an M.S. in Engineering and Management Systems from Columbia Universit.
Vice President Marketing, Agoda
Timothy Hughes is the Vice President Marketing of Agoda (a Priceline Company). Agoda.com is Asia’s premier and fastest growing online hotel reservation with more than 130,000 hotels in 37 different languages. Timothy is a “retired” blogger and pundit. Previously he was the editor and publisher of one of the top online travel industry blogs (the BOOT: the Business Of Online Travel) and a writer at the Travel Tech and Online Industry blog Tnooz. Tim is a former lawyer and venture capitalist. As a venture capitalist and consultant he helped a number of start-ups (inside and outside travel) secure funding, set up online media companies, managed investments in public companies and held regular client briefing sessions for a brokerage house. When practising as a lawyer he represented technology, new media, Internet, telecommunications and broadcasting clients in Australia, Europe and Hong Kong. He first joined the online travel industry in 1999 and has worked for top tier online travel companies in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Tim has a Bachelor of Commerce and Hons Law Degree from the Australian National University.
Territory Lead for Host and Community Operations, Airbnb Japan
Tom is in charge of home sharing business in Japan, and also conducts partnerships for Airbnb hosts.
Prior to joining Airbnb, Tom worked as a strategy consultant and a Business Development Executive at IBM Business Consulting Services, Hewlett-Packard Japan, and PwC Advisory LLC.
Tom received his BA in Law from Tokyo University.
Vice Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)
Yasuto Kawarabayashi currently serves as Vice Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
He entered the Ministry of Transport and was assigned to the Administration Division, Ports and Harbours Bureau, MOT in 1987. He successively assumed the position of Deputy Director of the International Air Transport Division at the Civil Aviation Bureau, former Ministry of Transport (MOT) in 1998.
He was then seconded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving as Counsellor, Permanent Delegation of Japan to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 2003 to 2006, and continued working with the MLIT as Director of 4 divisions; the Financial Affairs Division, Railway Bureau in 2007, International Exchange Promotion Division, Japan Tourism Agency in 2009, Passenger Transport Division, Road Transport Bureau in 2013, and finally with the Budget and Accounts Division, Minister’s Secretariat in 2015. He has been the Vice Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency since 2016.
He holds a B.A. in the Faculty of Law from University of Tokyo, an M.B.A. from Columbia University, USA.
Yeoh Siew Hoon
Founder & Managing Director, WIT
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”.
Chief Officer Commercial, Peach Aviation Limited
Morii joined a major advertising agency in April 1989 and assumed key roles in sales and marketing. He then made a career move to the biggest restaurant chain in the food industry in November 2014 where he was appointed director/executive officer and general manager of marketing. He Joined Peach Aviation Limited in August 2016 where he took on his current role.
CEO, Skyscanner Japan K.K.
Yoshiya Kinuta joined Skyscanner Japan, a joint venture between Skyscanner Ltd and Yahoo Japan Corporation, as CEO in April 2016. He presides over the operation and promotion of the business as head of the company in Japan.
He joined Yahoo Japan in 2008 after working for EMC2 Corporation in the United States, Accenture and Overture in Japan. At Yahoo Japan, he managed specialized media business, Yahoo! Transit, Yahoo! Real-Time Search and other services. He was also a key member of the team that worked on switching Yahoo! Search’s advertising distribution system to Google’s system.
He began his career in 2003 as a software engineer. Since then, he has gained a wide variety of experience including developing software and leading businesses.
Vice President, Life and Leisure Company
Business Manager of Travel Business, Rakuten, Inc.
Yoshiyuki Takano is Business Manager of Travel Business, Rakuten Inc. since Jan 2017.
He started his career at Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd. and joined Rakuten, Inc. in 2002. Firstly, he worked for Rakuten Ichiba (EC business) and moved to Rakuten Travel in 2004. After serving as Manager of Advertisement Department, Manager of Marketing & Web Design Department and Vice Manager of Travel Business, he became Business Manager. He dedicates his expertise in digital marketing, data analysis and customer support to Rakuten TravelÅfs growth.
Yoshiyuki earned a Masters degree at Waseda University.
Senior Director, Regional Vitalization Support Department, Regional Economy Vitalization Corporation of Japan (REVIC)
Yumiko is responsible for the $52M tourism fund established by the Japanese Government and private financial institutions to develop the sector in regions of Japan. Yumiko was previously Executive Director of GRANVISTA Hotels and Resorts, hotel asset manager at Goldman Sachs Realty, and consultant at Arthur Andersen and KPMG.
Yumiko holds MBA in hospitality from IMHI Cornell / ESSEC, BA from the University of Sacred Heart, and has completed Strategies for Leadership program at IMD.
VP of Investments and Investor Relations, Ctrip
Shiwei Zhou is the head of both the Investment and Investor Relations departments at Ctrip. He leads the team to make both strategic and financial investments on behalf of the company and coordinates the efforts to interact with Ctrip’s investors. Before joining Ctrip, he worked in equity research on both the buy side and the sell side in the U.S., covering technology, real estate, and hospitality stocks. Prior to that, he worked in a private investment fund, making direct investments in the real estate market.
Zhou received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California, a Master of Science from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Engineering from Tongji University. He is a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA).
We will be confirming more speakers in the coming weeks.
Watch this space.