AccorHotels has just announced a new brand targeted at – you guessed it – millennials. Called Jo & Joe, on first glance it's a mish-mash of ideas (based on a press release that breaks every rule of basic communication). All you need to know that it's cool. But if someone has to tell you that, is it? More
In a classic political compromise that gives with one hand and takes with the other, leaving no-one happy, the Australian Government has reduced its proposed working backpacker tax rate from 32.5% to 19% on earnings up to $37,500 but will pay for the revenue shortfall by increasing the departure tax by $5 to $60. More
Sydney, Sept 23, 2016: Fantastic speakers and a provocative program anchor the latest edition of TRAVELtech – Australia's leading online travel marketing, distribution and technology event – which returns to Sydney on Tuesday, September 27.
There's also excellent networking with 200+ delegates registered and plenty of time built into the day to make new contacts and catch up with old friends.
TRAVELtech is a fast-paced, issues-based event with loads of history (founded 1999) and a reputation for integrity and topicality. This year's theme is Disruptive Influences – The Story Continues and confirmed speakers include:
- Ben Angell, VP Marketing Asia Pacific, Norwegian Cruise Line
- Jon Beros, General Manager, Scoopon.com.au
- Tony Carne, General Manager, Urban Adventures
- Chad Carey, co-Founder, Chimu Adventures
- Katherine Cole, Regional Director Marketing, Hotels.com
- Gerry Comninos, CEO, RMS
- Frederic Chanut, MD, In Marketing We Trust
- Rod Cuthbert, CEO, Rome2rio.com
- Randall Deer, Managing Director, Ignite Travel Group
- Matt Evans, Analytics Lead Travel, Google Australia
- Brett Jardine, Commercial Director, CLIA Australasia
- Chris Hall, Managing Director, APT Group
- Ross Honeywill, Executive Director, Centre for Social Economics
- Peter Hopgood, General Manager, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
- Kurt Knackstedt, CEO, Troovo
- Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research
- Bruce Piper, Publisher, Travel Daily/Cruise Weekly
- Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns, World Animal Protection
- Chris Reed, Founder & CEO, SafeTravels.com
- Alexander Robinson, CEO, Airly
- Kelvin Ross, co-Founder, Dreamz AI
- Dan Russell, General Manager, CleanCruising.com.au
- Adam Schwab, Managing Director, Lux Group Limited
- Alex Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, SiteMinder
- Sean Sutherland, Head of Digital and E-Commerce, OTA Division at Flight Centre Travel Group
- Justin Wastnage, co-Founder Cine Souk
- Tim Welsh, Director of Social Media, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited
- James Woodford, co-Founder, YouCamp
TRAVELtech program highlights this year include:
- Latest travel and web research from Google and Roy Morgan
- Insights into the growing and disruptive world of travel deals from industry leaders
- Focus on the booming cruise industry including online and tech perspective
- Insta-Gratification, sort the wheat from the chaff in this marketing super session
- Learn from Australian based tech and online companies who have made it internationally
- Discover how one Aussie travel website is now getting more than 10m unique visitors a month
- Case studies, including one on Aunt Betty, Flight Centre's new 'startup' website
- Hear 'giving back' strategies progressive travel companies are employing to enrich the communities in which they operate
- Feel the energy from Australian travel startups as they compete in 'Pitch It To Me'
TRAVELtech is being held at Sheraton on the Park in Sydney from 9am to 5pm on September 27. Tickets cost $549 + gst.
For details and bookings please visit www.traveltrends.biz.
612 9882 1575
In early 2015, Kurt was appointed CEO of Troovo, a newly launched technology company focused on virtualising and completely removing manual intervention within transaction-based industries.
As CEO Kurt is responsible for all aspects of Troovo’s global expansion and is helping transform the way companies move to a fully virtual approach to their business operations.
In January 2014, Kurt assumed the role of President of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). ACTE is the leading industry body for advocacy, research and education for the global corporate travel industry. As President, Kurt is the senior volunteer leader of ACTE and serves at the order of the Board and the membership. Kurt’s term runs through the end of 2017.
Prior to Troovo, Kurt was with global mining giant Rio Tinto as the Global Category Leader for Travel and Expense Management. In this role based in Singapore, Kurt led Rio Tinto’s global Travel and Expense strategy with key suppliers focusing on improving the total Rio Tinto travel experience.
Before joining Rio Tinto, Kurt had numerous roles in travel and technology, and also ran his own consulting business. His travel industry career includes leadership positions at American Express Business Travel, Travelport and Rosenbluth International, and has also held product development and technology roles at First USA Bank, Aon/Hewitt and several dot-com start ups.
Kurt holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Indiana University, USA.
Kurt is based in Sydney, Australia and is a dual citizen of the USA and Australia.
For the past 20 years Kelvin has been an IT entrepreneur.
He founded KJR, a specialist IT consulting firm focusing on technology risk and QA, and has launched several technology startups.
Kelvin has a PhD in Safety Critical Software Engineering.
His career began as a Defence Scientist working on avionics for the FA-18.
He spent several years at the University of Qld Software Verification Research Centre, where he coordinated business development. He has held a number of national advisory roles in Software Engineering.
Over recent years Kelvin has focused on machine learning and big data. He is particularly focused on prediction and recommendation systems.
This is reflected in founding Dreamz.AI, an online travel platform using AI.
Ross Honeywill is a social scientist and internationally published author.
Working predominantly in North America and Australia he has spent 15 years measuring and mapping the evolution of consumer demand and the impact of disruptive innovation on the future of business and management.
Through his leadership role at KPMG (Asia/Pacific) and his current work at the Centre for Social Economics, Dr Honeywill has consulted to global and national brands.
His books have been published on 3 continents with the most recent an Amazon Top-100 bestseller in the business/consumer category. Based in Melbourne, Dr Honeywill is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania’s School of Business & Economics.
Great crowd at TRAVELtech 2016, held in Sydney on September 27. They enjoyed fantastic speakers, an excellent program and brilliant networking (not forgetting the best buffet lunch in town). See a sample of who attended… More
TripAdvisor says it will donate "at least US$5 million from its charitable foundation over the next three years to aid the humanitarian refugee crisis." The TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation has donated US$20 million to international charities over the past five years. Such actions are a growing trend among travel companies and will be covered in TRAVELtech session called Community – The Triple Bottom Line.
Randall Deer – Managing Director of Ignite Travel Group – is a multiple award-winning entrepreneur who has yielded exceptional success and growth for his innovative travel and tourism marketing company as he continues to challenge traditional travel practices.
After completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance & Accounting) at the University of Adelaide at the age of 23, Randall assumed the position of Body Corporate Manager with Ernest Body Corp Management where he managed over 2000 strata titled dwellings.
From there, Randall became General Manager of Australia’s largest privately owned management rights entity Strand Resorts, while at the same time representing the Australian Management Rights Industry to the Australian Taxation Office to secure the correct taxation treatment for serviced and strata titled apartments when the new GST system came into effect.
This successful lobbying subsequently saved consumers and strata title unit stakeholders millions of dollars.
At 27, Randall progressed to the coveted position of Chief Financial Officer of Breakfree Resorts where, among other accomplishments, successfully led a bid to raise $60million in IPO (debit and equity) to purchase 23 initial resorts which became the core of Stella Hospitality Group, now known as Mantra Group (a subsidiary of MFS and a $2 billion ASX entity). Randall’s key responsibilities included IPO management and financial compliance.
In 2005, Randall established what is today Ignite Travel Group (formerly RewardsCorp Group), and in eight years since its inception, has grown the lucrative company into a $85million business. Ignite Travel Group is a multi-channelled travel-marketing corporation that comprises two business divisions: RewardsCorp and The Holiday Centre (now renamed Ignite Holidays), who is also the parent company of the awarded My Holiday Centre and Group Buying Escapes.
Testament to the company’s upwardly mobile philosophy, which is inspired by innovation, The Holiday Centre, was named as BRW’s Fastest Growing Travel Business in 2011, 2012 and 2013 plus ranked highly amongst the Top 100 across all industries nationally for these years.
In 2011, Randall recognised the rapidly evolving online buying phenomenon driven by social networking sites and launched a new concept brand, Group Buying Escapes now re-branded to Holiday Exclusives.
Ignite Travel Group employs over 100 staff and continues to progress into a global player in the travel-marketing sphere. Its head office is located on the Gold Coast, Queensland; a satellite office in Sydney and logistics support office operated in the Philippines.
Randall’s vision is to continue to leverage the business’ core competencies into incremental vertical channels and expand its national and international presence; transforming both existing and original travel and tourism ideas into working models with vast consumer appeal.
James and Prue Woodford are the founders of YouCamp.
James is an author of seven books and a journalist with over twenty years experience in both newspapers and radio, including Radio National's Background Briefing program and as an environment and science writer for the Sydney Morning Herald.
Prue has twenty years experience as a park ranger and natural resource manager.
She has extensive experience liaising with landholders including rehabilitating mine sites and negotiating private land conservation agreements. In 2015 she completed a masters degree in Environmental Science.
Flight Centre has launched a travel start-up accelerator called Little Argas, named after a hippy trail bus once piloted by founder Graham Turner in the early days of his first company, Top Deck. More
Jon is the General Manager of Scoopon, part of Australian owned e-commerce leader – Catch Group.
Scoopon launched in 2010 where Jon has led the company from start-up, through a period of immense growth while pioneering this disruptive industry.
With a customer first mantra his focus is on connecting people to a lifetime of discovery and experiences.
A builder and leader of high performance teams, he’s passionate about start-ups, innovative business models and is an expert in cultivating environments which fosters rapid growth.
Jon has over 15 years’ experience in Loyalty Marketing, working in the Travel, Leisure and Hospitality sectors.
He has designed, built and implemented customer acquisition and retention campaigns for corporates across the UK and Australia.
The global digital advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook – and the rising cost of advertising that comes with it – threatens online innovation and may precipitate a second tech crash, warns Simon Ryan, CEO of Dentsu Aegis, Australia's biggest digital media buyer. More
Asian hotel website Agoda has teamed with some of the world's leading airlines to launch PointsMAX. Bookings on its site now earn points with loyalty programs including Velocity Frequent Flyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Asia Miles, United Mileage Plus and American Airlines AAdvantage.
Flight Centre has continued its acquisition spree by buying a 49% stake in the Ignite Travel Group, which operates the Holiday Exclusives, MyHolidaycentre and RewardsCorp businesses. More
Chris is the Founder of SafeTravels. After starting his career as a management consultant, gaining a vast amount of experience across various industries, and later as a Product Development Manager in the smart utilities space Chris decided to try his luck at his own start-up.
SafeTravels initially started as a small project based on an idea he had after several travel (mis)adventures but has rapidly evolved into a fully fledged mobile app platform for travel companies.
Travel products are the most popular online purchase for Australians according to a Sensis survey of 800 individuals and 1000 businesses. Airline tickets topped the rankings, while hotel reservations came in third. Overall, 71% of Australians now buy stuff online, up 10% on 2015.
MERITON Serviced Apartments opened its newest property at Southport today, a skyscraper stretching to 55 levels.
Accommodation starts at level 25 and features 208 one, two and suites with sweeping views across the Gold Coast beaches and hinterland.
Meriton has been growing rapidly on the east coast and is now one of Australia's largest accommodation operators.
Nothing – not murder, congestion, increasing pollution or a mooted booze ban – can interfere with the passion Australians have for a Bali holiday.
According to the the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics the number of Aussies visiting Indonesia (ie Bali) during July was 112,000, up an incredible 23% year on year, making it our favourite destination for the month. More
Chris Hall has been in travel industry for over 25 years. During this time he has held roles in sales, marketing, product development, executive management, and Board positions.
His career in the industry has seen him work within the wholesale, retail, touring, and cruising sectors. Along with various roles in the industry Chris also was on the CLIA Board for a number of years.
He holds a Business degree in Management and Marketing which has provided a solid platform for his executive career.
Chris’ first foray into the industry was in 1986 with Insight – the leading European Tour Operator at the time. He held many positions over the 10 years he was with this organisation.
From reservations, operations, on road sales and many other roles- Insight provided a broad education of the tour operator landscape and the industry in general.
Following this Chris joined Escape Holidays (part of Harvey World Travel). At this time vertical integration in the industry was limited and Harvey World Travel were one of the first retailers to commence operating their own in house wholesaler.
As a start up business there was much to learn about wholesaling but also about the relationship between retail and wholesale.
In the mid to late 1990’s Chris managed the George St Sydney branch of Queensland Travel (part of Tourism Queensland).
After many years in the tour operator and wholesale arena, retail was a whole new ball game.
Charged with the overall management of the business including staffing, finance, preferred products, systems, and marketing – this role was end to end business management with a strong focus on customer service.
Finally Chris joined APT in 2001 as General Manager Marketing & Sales, in 2008 he became the CEO of APT, and today is the APT Group Managing Director.
The APT Group is a global tour and cruise company operating programs in Australia, NZ, Canada, USA, Europe, China, Russia, Vietnam, Myanmar, South America, Africa and India, under a number of brands including APT, Travelmarvel, Captains Choice, and Botanica.
The Group is an owner and operator of many of its products including river cruising, expedition cruising, luxury lodges and four wheel drive vehicles. It is a company focussed on customer service and exceptional product delivery in the touring and cruising sector.
We have no idea, not a clue. That's the clear message to the travel industry from Australia's anti-competition watchdog, which has lost the plot, making two contradictory decisions about the the same issue – the right (or not) of suppliers such as airlines and hotels to offer cheaper prices through their own online channels than they do through retailers. More
The aviation equation is simple – lower fares equals more passengers (although long-haul to troubled Europe is the exception), and that was the case for airlines during July, according to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association. More
Intrepid Travel is investing $1m in its Urban Adventures community tourism brand to turbo-charge the day-tours initiative, which this year will host 130,000 customers on 600 different tours.
Alex Stewart is a seasoned leader in the online and technology space.
For more than a decade, Alex was associated with Ninemsn – Australia’s largest online consumer portal – where he served as Director and Chairman of the Board, as well as a number of executive roles, including Director of Sales, Director of Content and, most recently, Chief Operating Officer.
During most of his time at Ninemsn, Alex also held senior management positions within Microsoft for 13 years, helping to build Microsoft’s online advertising sales business in the U.S., growing its MSN businesses across the Asia Pacific and reigniting its consumer product and marketing focus in Australia.
Prior to that, he worked for a number of years in strategic consulting, specialising in healthcare, telecommunications and high tech, including for Bain & Company in the U.S.
Alex is a passionate leader with a strong drive for operational excellence.
As COO, he is today responsible for leading SiteMinder’s Service Delivery, Infrastructure & Operations, HR, Learning & Development and regional teams, and plays an integral role in SiteMinder's ongoing plans for global expansion.
Justin Wastnage has been an awarded short film maker, run a video production company and worked for four years as a travel journalist.
After starting his career at a television technology startup Static 2358, Justin worked in aviation journalism for Flight International, where he pioneered trade show video blogs.
Most recently he was a director at the tourism industry association Tourism & Transport Forum and he is principal at a travel industry consultancy Message Shapers.
Justin Wastnage is now the founder and chief executive of Ciné Souk – a travel video blog platform.
Chad Carey is the co-founder of Chimu Adventures, Australia’s leading South America and Antarctica wholesaler.
Formerly a Civil Engineer, Chad had slowly become enthralled with travelling – to the point that he threw in his day job and go head first into learning how to create a start-up travel business in 2004.
Although Chimu Adventures was only founded only 12 years ago but has quickly become one of the most innovative and dynamic players in the Australian Travel Industry.
Chimu Adventures have had a focus on sustainability and helping local communities since inception and it’s not just lip service – it’s built into the DNA of how the company works.
A strong entrepreneurial spirit together with a passion for technology has lead Ben into a number of start-up ventures throughout the years.
As a self-taught techie Ben’s out of the box thinking has led to a number of interesting and innovative solutions and ideas that have proved successful in both his own ventures and in applications and in previous employment roles.
With a background in Social Media and Digital Marketing in the travel sector, Ben joined Dr Kelvin Ross to form Dreamz.AI in September 2015 when seeing the opportunity that existed in applying Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to travel.