All posts by Martin Kelly

Andrew Hughes, Vice President Hotel Sourcing Asia Pacific Middle East & Africa, GTA

Andrew Hughes, GTAAndrew started his hospitality career building big macs back in 1989, going on through university to open McDonald's in Tahiti as well as winning a scholarship to study in Germany.

Andrew spent the next few years as a European Tour Leader for Top Deck before returning to work for Kompas Holidays in Brisbane.  A stint doing a contract role as a pilot presenter with an Australian Travel Show led to a move to Sydney, and a sales role with Best Western Australia.

Andrew’s hotel career moved from a regional role with IHG in Australia and New Zealand, before relocating to Dubai to open Atlantis, the Palm Dubai, and two more openings for Moevenpick.

After 11 years in the hotel game, Andrew crossed the floor to the distribution space and relocated to Singapore and currently manages hotel sourcing for Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa, a region representing around 1 billion in turnover.

A 'big event guy', a couple of years ago Andrew drove a rickshaw across India for charity and spends his non family social time organising team members and friends to compete in ultra-marathon trail runs around Asia Pacific.

Bernie O’Keefe, Director of Marketing, Tangalooma Island Resort

Bernie O’Keefe is the Director of Marketing for Tangalooma Island Resort, representing the diverse range of accommodation, restaurants, activities, tours, and marine animal encounters that have forged Tangalooma as an enduring icon of Queensland & Australian Tourism for over 50 years.

Originally joining Tangalooma in 2013 as Director of Digital Business, his role has since evolved to take a more wholistic approach to shaping the broader marketing, branding, and product strategy which is still heavily influenced by his digital business background.

Prior to joining Tangalooma, he was the Director of Online at Hamilton Island commissioned to build & consolidate the digital strategy, resulting in the growth of direct sales channels, guest service experiences, and brand exposure through the delivery of projects that leveraging the commercial opportunities of each digital channel.

Previously Bernie was the eBusiness Operations Manager for ING Australia. During this time he was selected to manage the ING Global eInsurance Team fostering innovation projects to drive sales, social networking applications, and the rollout of a common analytics platform across offices in Australia, Hong Kong, China, Canada, The Netherlands and USA.

With over 16 years of sales & marketing experience in Australia, the UK, and Ireland; O’Keefe holds a Bachelor of Business in Marketing from Queensland University of Technology.

Adam Posner, CEO and Founder, Directivity

Adam Posner, DirectivityEstablished in 2007, Directivity has provided loyalty program and customer retention strategies for organisations in leisure and entertainment, accommodation, manufacturing and retail.

Adam Posner (CEO and founder) has been a data-driven direct marketer for 23 years. He started his loyalty life in the mid ’90's with a shopping centre loyalty program initiative called “Scratch & Save”.

Since then he has been involved in a range of loyalty and retention programs from large retail programs such as the flybuys program re-launched in 2012 as well as developing self-funding ‘Return on Loyalty’ models for pharmacy, entertainment, clubs and large franchise accommodation networks.

He is obsessed about helping clients build and maintain valuable loyalty programs that are profitable to the business and meaningful to the member.

He has developed the best-in-class process for building NEW programs and reviewing and revamping EXISTING programs.

Together with Citrus, he commissioned and co-authored two of Australia’s most 
in-depth research studies on consumers’ relationships with loyalty programs – For Love or Money – 2015 and 2013 and Share the Love – 2014).

The 2013/14 studies were placed 4th in the Top 10 most viewed marketing topics of 2014 by Marketing Magazine
Adam is also the author of one of Australia’s only practical book on loyalty programs – ‘Give-back to Get-back – 9 steps to a profitable loyalty program’.

Adam has been widely interviewed on loyalty and published in Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, Marketing Magazine, BRW, CMO, Colloquy, eConsultancy, AdNews, B&T and SmartCompany.

Adam has presented on customer loyalty and loyalty programs at Loyalty World (2013), The Customer Show (2014) and ADMA Forum (2012 and 2013), ADMA Retention Marketing (2014/2015), Customer TECHX Show (May 2015), Clarinden Global Faculty Director for July 2015 ‘Designing High Impact Customer Loyalty and Retention Programs’ as well as tailored loyalty keynotes for clients including RSL Vic, TAB, Choice Hotel Group, Accor Pacific, Horseland and Pharmore.


Cemlyn Jones, General Manager, Travelzoo Australia

Cemlyn Jones, Travelzoo AustraliaCemlyn Jones joined Travelzoo (NASDAQ: TZOO) in May 2008 and is General Manager of Travelzoo Australia.  Cemlyn has full accountability for business direction and growth for Travelzoo in Australia, which has 700,000 members opted in to receive Travelzoo offers.

Travelzoo is a global media commerce company with more than 28 million members in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, and 26 offices worldwide.

Cemlyn is a veteran of the travel industry having joined straight after university and working his way up from activity coordinator for teens to ski guide. In 2008 Cemlyn was approached by the Travelzoo CEO to join the team after he witnessed Cemlyn’s passion for delivering an outstanding customer experience on the ski fields.

Since moving to the Australian office Cemlyn has built a strong team of dedicated professionals, committed to providing only the highest quality travel editorial. Consequently, the Australian operation has enjoyed rapid growth in membership, loyalty and market awareness.

Cemlyn graduated from Swansea University with a degree in Media Studies, and is a Welsh UK national who has made Sydney his home for the last two years.

Donald Borg, Revenue Performance Director, IHG

Donald Borg, IHGDonald Borg is the Revenue Performance Director for InterContinental Hotels Group, with a very clear purpose to lead and inspire commercial team members on and above property to drive growth from all revenue streams across the 32 hotels in Australia, New Zealand, and PNG.

He has over 20 years of experience in the hotel industry spread across Europe and Australasia, with a foundation within operations and later in Revenue Management and Commercial, mostly on property.

He has a passion for the growth of others, supported by his commitment and focus on his own ongoing personal development.

Outside work, Donald has a passion for travel and fitness.

Later this year he’ll be combining the two, having just signed up to run his first marathon overseas at his country of birth, Malta.

Matthew Burke, Analyst and BDM, STR Global

Matthew Burke, STR GlobalMatthew Burke is the Business Development Manager – Pacific STR Global – leading the growth in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

He has over a dozen years of experience in hospitality, with Hyatt and IHG in various roles including revenue management.

With a passion for analysis of the hospitality industry he works to increase the engagement in hospitality data intelligence and clarify the decision making for hospitality, research and investment companies in the Pacific.

Matthew frequently presents the latest trends and updates at industry events in the region.

STR Global track supply and demand data for the hotel industry and provide valuable market share analysis for global hotel and investment companies and agencies across the globe.


Grant Colquhoun, Senior Director of Account Management APAC, TripAdvisor

Grant Colquhoun, TripAdvisor

Grant Colquhoun is Director of Account Management for TripAdvisor in Asia Pacific.

Based in TripAdvisor’s regional Headquarters in Singapore, Grant is responsible for its click-based advertising business in Asia Pacific and manages the accounts of leading online travel agencies and hotels with a team of 11 staff.

With a career in travel spanning over 20 years, Grant began working for Sabre Holding in Global Account and Product Development.

This was followed by Travelocity, which saw him leading a hotel contracting team of 40 staff.

Grant has a passion for discovering new places and recently visited the Somerset Coast in the United Kingdom.

His next stop will be enjoying the beaches of Zanzibar and wildlife of Tanzania.

Peter Waters, Director – Hotel Distribution, Amadeus IT

Peter Waters, Head of Distribution, Global Hotel Group, Amadeus ITAs the Director of Hotel Distribution, Peter Waters is responsible for the expanding the range of content in the Amadeus hotel marketplace and the sale of this content to Amadeus travel agency, hotel & airline customers globally.

Prior to joining the Hotel Business Unit in 2012, Peter was the Director of Corporate & Business Solutions responsible for the sale & servicing of IT solutions to Amadeus largest business travel agency & corporate customers.

Based in Sophia Antipolis (France), Peter has also been responsible for creating & deploying the commercial strategy, product portfolio & marketing mix for the Amadeus’ travel agency customers globally.

In this role he led the merger & consolidation of teams from multiple disparate companies and groups in Sophia Antipolis, Antwerp, Halmstad and Miami into a single global marketing & sales unit.

Peter first joined Amadeus a member of the Amadeus e-commerce team that managed Amadeus’ entry into the corporate segment with the e-Travel Management & the SAP Travel Management solutions.

Prior to joining Amadeus in 1998 Peter spent seven years as a management consultant for American Management Systems and Deloittee Consulting specialized Business Process Reengineering & the pan-European implementation of ERP systems in the banking and automotive sectors.

Peter has a M.A. in Mathematics from Oxford University and a M. B.A from INSEAD.

Steve Richards, Head of Commercial for Best Western Australasia

Steve Richards Best Western Australasia Head of Commercial Steve joined Best Western Australasia as General Manager, Sales & Marketing in 2013. He was appointed the company’s Head of Commercial in 2015, leading Best Western’s brand development, revenue management, sales and digital marketing efforts for the region. Previously, Steve worked for The Travel Corporation for 10 years across four major brands during that time: Contiki (UK), Creative Holidays, Inspiring Journeys and AAT Kings in sales management roles.

Girish Jhunjhnuwala, Founder & CEO, Ovolo Hotels Group

Girish Jhunjhnuwala Girish was born and raised in Hong Kong. After completing secondary school, he went on to graduate from the University of Southern Californiain 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He was honoured with Outstanding Alumni of the Year award from USC in 1992. Girish kicked off his career in 1984 when he beganmanaging his family’s Hong Kong based OEM watch business. As the new millennia ticked over, he saw that the watch industry was regressing and decided that it was time to move on to a new business he was passionate for. He then decided to get into the real estate industry, acquiring and opening his first Hong Kong serviced apartment in 2002, which went on to become the flagship Ovolo. Since then, Ovolo has evolved and the company currently owns and operates five hotels and one serviced apartment properties in Hong Kong as well as one hotel in Melbourne and two in Sydney. Ovolo is now taking its brand to a larger, international audience. Girish was given the prestigious honour Owner-Operator Award at the 2012 DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards for his sterling leadership of Ovolo Group and overall contribution to the region’s business community and received HotelsWorld 2015 Deal of the Year Award for his acquisition of BLUE Hotel in Sydney. Ovolo was most recently given a Certificate of Merit at the HKMA Awards in 2015, a quality award that showcases the leadership, strategic planning, customer focus and management of the company. Outside of Ovolo Group, Girish is the Chairman and majority shareholder of Shalimar Paints Ltd., publically listed company in India. His business interests extend further to companies under the Singapore-based Hind Group umbrella. Girish is also an active member of Hong Kong Young Presidents Organization (YPO) through which he networks and shares ideas with fellow business operators and entrepreneurs. Girish is married to Sarika and they have 3 children, Avni, Avisha (daughters) and Shivang (son). Avni and Avisha have graduated and they are involved in the family business for taking care of Ovolo CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), whilst Shivang is still studying. Apart from business, Girish enjoys yoga, hiking and is also a wine aficionado.