Sam Dobson – bio pending.
Sam Dobson – bio pending.
During his 15 year career James Gaskell has been a retail travel consultant, digital producer, software manager, technology strategist, IT guy, director in a global advertising agency, and more recently regional leader of one of the world’s most iconic online travel brands.
Back in the day James began working in the internet industry in the UK with the online pioneer OTC, which now forms part of the Lastminute.com/Travelocity group.
As a start-up this meant working in everything from corporate travel and back office management to content delivery, copywriting and software specification.
James returned home to Sydney in 2001 to join the management team of the Online Travel Corporation’s successful Australian start-up working with major TV and ISP brands to unlock the potential of e-commerce in its early days.
He's since worked for Australia’s largest travel franchise groups and global technology providers implementing innovative technology solutions, launching booking platforms and websites throughout the world.
A career change opportunity presented itself, and in 2008 James joined global media agency Initiative as Director of Digital Services and Operations working with clients like Hyundai, Kia, Bunnings, Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi.
James’s portfolio was later expanded to include commercial operations as that division hit all-time high profitability through technology strategy improvements and targeted commercial activity with publishing partners.
James was appointed Managing Director of Travelocity (ZUJI) Australia in August 2010 and following record breaking successes in 2011 he has was appointed to Managing Director Asia Pacific.
James helped lead the team through the sale of ZUJI to the Webjet Group in 2012 and relocated to Canada, working in planning and strategy for Travelocity during their transition to the Expedia platform.
James is currently Managing Director of Australia’s largest independent holiday provider Creative Holidays, a division of the international travel giant The Travel Corporation.
James’s portfolio also includes specialist touring and cruising businesses, shared services and commercial.
Wotif has got its mojo back and will next week launch the company's biggest-ever marketing campaign, re-positioning Australia's original online travel brand as "The home of holidays". More
On a flying visit to Sydney for Expedia's 10th birthday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has opened up about the travel giant's Australian business, the integration of Wotif, its "neutral" position on Google, and the pros and cons of selling TripAdvisor. More
Web travel company Online Republic, which operates numerous cruise, car rental and motorhome websites, has launched a new global events intelligence business called PredictHQ.
As Head of Business Development for Australia and New Zealand, Michael heads up all aspects of commercial partnerships for the Spotify service and software across the region.
Starting his career at Virgin Records in promotions and marketing over a six-year period, he then moved to the marketing team of Virgin’s parent company, EMI, as product manager during a significant rebuilding of their Australian arm.
In 2001 Michael relocated to London and worked at BMG as UK marketing manager, developing key brand partnerships for several artists and working with the direct marketing team to develop and implement digital customer acquisition and marketing strategies.
Returning to Australia in 2003, Michael joined Universal Music as Marketing Manager for international & domestic artists, shortly being promoted to Director of Marketing for Australian Artists.
Michael left UMA in 2008 to manage the ANZ operations for Omnifone, a global leader in the subscription music sector. In partnership with Vodafone he managed the launch of the first mobile music subscription service in the region.
Four years later, Michael joined Spotify, bringing over fifteen years of major label and digital music experience to locally launch the world’s biggest and most successful music streaming service of its kind.
Spotify launched in Australia & New Zealand at the end of May 2012 and has already cemented itself as the most exciting new digital music offering in the market.
A life long music fan Michael's other passions in life include surfing, the mighty Sydney Swans, and being a doting dad to his children Levi (5) and Liliana (3).
To check out Michael’s Spotify Profile, click here!
Paul is a co-founder and director of ASX listed Bailador Technology Investments Ltd (ASX:BTI), which focuses on minority investments in expansion capital opportunities in the information technology sector.
This role provides Paul with exposure to the latest technologies and business models emerging to take advantage of the rapidly changing environment in many segments including travel, finance, marketing, and communications.
Paul is Chairman of SiteMinder, a world leading provider of cloud based solutions to the hotel industry, with over 17,000 subscribers in more than 100 countries.
Paul is also Chairman of iPRO, a a leading provider of cloud based vendor management software; Director of Viocorp International, the Australian market leader in online video enablement; Director of directories business Yellow Pages New Zealand; Director of translation technology business Straker Translations; Director of social marketing platform, Stackla, and Director of the Rajasthan Royals Indian Premier League cricket franchise.
Paul’s business background includes 19 years principal investing experience in London, New York and Sydney, holding senior positions with leading private equity house, CHAMP, and the media focused investment house, Illyria.
Helloworld has lost more than 30% of its NZ network following the mass resignation of 36 United Travel franchisees. More
The Asian travel industry could be heading for a "massive" fourth quarter with industry-leading B2B wholesaler GTA reporting surging hotel room sales across its network. More
Great speakers, companies, program… Bookings for TRAVELtech 2015 are tracking really well with 200+ delegates already confirmed and excellent networking guaranteed. See a sample of who will be there: More
Reuters is reporting that Airbnb's bookings are expected to double this year from 40 million nights to 80 million nights, blowing away previous growth estimates. See story.
Travel agency group Helloworld has agreed to buy up to 10 New Zealand retail travel stores from Air New Zealand ahead of launching its brand there in 2016. More
The NSW Government has launched an assault on ride sharing company Uber, hitting 40 of its drivers with suspension notices and thousands of dollars in fines. Uber says it's shocked by the action and is taking legal advice. See ABC story.
Isabella Tipping, a country kid from Dubbo, NSW, is the brains behind kidzcationz.com, a new review website for children, giving kids a voice on how well hotels, restaurants, theme parks and attractions cater for them.
"I came up with this idea when Mum was filling out a TripAdvisor review after a family holiday," Isabella said. More
Stefan Cordiner, a Sydney-born serial tech entrepreneur, claims to be revolutionising the way people travel as the Regional Director for the leading hotel booking app HotelTonight.
Stefan has a strong background in creating and growing technology ventures, most recently as co-Founder of a global digital concierge app called “Lime&Tonic” which he successfully built out across five countries.
He set up his first company in Europe in 2003, launching one of the first online financial services businesses, and following this went on to co-found a CNBC award-winning real-estate portal.
Stefan also established a consultancy business for start-ups involved in various EU-funded start-up initiatives and was instrumental in restructuring WHL's travel portal, growing its network to over 90 destinations.
Stefan was recently named as one of the top 100 most influential people in the UK tech scene by TechCity, has been featured in numerous publications globally, and is an active mentor and speaker.
As Regional Director for HotelTonight, Stefan has been the driving force behind the successful Australian launch of Silicon Valley start-up turned global mobile app power player HotelTonight including Australia’s first luxury travelling hotel suite.
He has a passion for creative marketing and doesn’t believe in a work-life balance.
A survey of 900 travel agents across 48 countries reveals a slim majority (51%) are now using Global Distribution Systems more often to book hotel rooms. More
It's finally happened and the gloves are off.
Google is taking on its biggest travel customers – the online travel agents – with a new commission based ad program for hotels.
They'll be charged "industry standard" commissions for bookings generated through Google Hotel Ads rather than the standard cost per click through AdWords. More
I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the word 'personalisation' has been made up or hijacked by marketers and management consultants. You know like up-sizing.
That's because there's nothing personal about personalisation, which is so often used to justify the carpet-bombing approach to travel marketing we endure these days. More
Alex is the Managing Director of Luxico, Australia’s leading luxury home rental company, which she founded in 2013 with her husband Tom.
Luxico has grown rapidly in the past two years with demand for its stylish properties at record levels as savvy consumers increasingly seek out alternatives to hotels and serviced apartments.
It’s the latest in a number of successful businesses that Alex – who started her career as a film production manager – has created in the past 15 years.
These include an advertising agency specialising in high-end branding work, a diamond trading business and a men’s clothing retailer.
She has also worked as a strategic consultant to Melbourne Airport, acquiring an in-depth understanding of domestic and international travel markets.
Alex has a Masters in Advertising from RMIT and is the mother of two daughters.
She is currently based in Sydney, expanding Luxico’s presence and inventory in this key market.
Virtual cards are becoming a standard payment method within the travel industry and according to the numbers it’s happening faster than you may think! More
The online travel world just got a little smaller with Expedia yesterday completing its purchase of Orbitz Worldwide after an investigation by the US Department of Justice concluded that that "the acquisition is unlikely to harm competition and consumers." More
NewBook eManagement Technology provides services to multi-property groups and to a range of hospitality industries including Resorts, Hotels, Motels, Apartment complexes and Holiday Parks.
NewBook enhances reservations management, streamlines all accounting and billing, reduces staff overheads and improves marketing and sales performance for all types of accommodation.
Having reached over $7 million dollars’ worth of online bookings each month in Australia NewBook has quickly become known as the most exciting, new Property Management System in Australia.
Easy to use software lets users move seamlessly from managing bookings, to housekeeping and even email marketing.
NewBook’s Online Booking Engine directly integrates with client websites ensuring that guests never have to leave the website to make a booking. Aside from custom branding Newbook offers an array of features within the booking engine like upselling guest notifications, 2 way sms, email survey marketing and having the ability to dynamically offer products or services moments before guests confirm their booking.
Newbook provides a number of integrations with existing Third Party Software to assist with their client’s business operations. Integrations range from Accounting Software Packages (e.g. Xero), Payment Gateways (e.g. BPAY), POS Systems, Social Media, Google Analytics, Wireless Internet, Phone Systems, Electronic Doors/Gates and much more.
The all in one Property Management System also integrates with Online Travel Agents (OTA's) including Booking.com, Agoda, Trip Advisor and Facebook, and Channel Managers like SiteMinder, Netroomz and ResOnline, which feed tariff and availability data to sites like Wotif.com, Hotels.com and other Global Distribution Systems.
For clients with more than one property NewBook’s Corporate Module allows them to manage any number of properties from a single interface. They provide guest insights and chain-wide reporting that help to maximise revenue, identify cross-property selling opportunities and intuitive management of rates and tariffs.
NewBook is synonymous with providing the most recognised and up to date service by listening to what their clients want and providing a level of customer service that is second to none.
It's just been revealed that Priceline's stake in Chinese OTA Ctrip is now at 11.5% and worth USD1.9bn. Seeking Alpha says, "last year Priceline struck a deal to buy up to a 10% stake in Ctrip, partly through a $500M convertible bond, while this May it committed to invest another $250M". See note.
The board of travel group Helloworld has ended talks to buy Australia's biggest inbound operator, the AOT Group. More
The TripAdvisor user-led juggernaut powers ahead with 15.6m visits to its Australian website during August – more than 6.5m ahead of Booking.com, the next most popular travel site on 9m, according to the latest Experian Hitwise statistics. More
- JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY! -
Time is fast running out to book your place at TRAVELtech Disruptive Influences next Thursday.
There's a great crowd already booked - don't miss out.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to partner with us.
The Game Has Changed
No Vacancy Australia 2016
No Vacancy Australia will be back bigger and better than ever, returning Sydney on March 15, 2016.
The working theme is 'The Game Has Changed'.
As always the one-day conference will be anchored by a punchy, issues-based program featuring analysis, presentations, panels, case studies and the latest industry statistics.
The major focus is on the internet, distribution, marketing, innovation, consumers and technology.
No Vacancy, held annually since 2007, has an outstanding track record with an international reputation for strong programs, honest interaction, entertaining speakers and excellent networking.