Hichame AssiCEO, HotelsCombined
Hichame Assi is CEO of HotelsCombined, the world’s leading hotel comparison platform. He joined the HotelsCombined team in 2010, bringing over 15 years of experience in ecommerce and online travel across Europe, the Middle East and APAC to the Sydney-based start-up. Now a multinational with a lean team of over 150 high-performers, Hichame has led HotelsCombined through its journey from start-up to scale-up and continues to lead the company’s growth and global expansion.
Hichame has an MSc in Ecommerce from the University of London, and in his spare time (?) can invariably be found reading about the fields of Open & Social Innovation, mentoring entrepreneurs in MENA and negotiating with his 8 year old son.
Fabian BartnickVP, Asia Pacific and International Business, LodgIQ
Fabian is the Vice President of Asia Pacific & International Business at LodgIQ overlooking all aspects and operations within the region as well as the commercial part of LodgIQ. Fabian’s career covers all sides within hospitality including property, regional and corporate level roles as well as consulting and technology vendor roles across 4 continents and 25 countries.
Shaizeen ContractorCRO, TFE Hotels
Shaizeen Contractor is a passionate and analytical hospitality professional, having grown up in hotels within a family run business. After completing her higher education in Australia, specialising in hospitality management, Shaizeen embarked on a journey of learning everything she possibly could about this very versatile and ever changing industry. She spent eight years working in top hotels in the USA, moving from a Management Traineeship in Orlando to Miami and Maine and eventually becoming Area Director of Revenue in New York City. She worked with brands and management companies including Marriott, Hilton, Crowne Plaza and several independents before moving back to Sydney to work with Accor.
In 2008, Shaizeen took on the challenging role of Director of Revenue for Toga Hotels and was promoted to the role of Group Director of Sales & Distribution for TFE Hotels in 2013. Shaizeen is now the Chief Revenue Officer for TFE Hotels (June 2016). Her current role involves driving strategy for revenue, marketing, sales and distribution for more than 70 hotels under the brands of Adina, Vibe, Travelodge, TFE Hotels Collection, Medina Serviced Apartments and Rendezvous Hotels in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Shaizeen’s passion is using data to understand the changing market and competitive environment, adjusting the business strategy in line with the brand promise, searching for new revenue opportunities and providing support to the amazing hotel and central support teams so that TFE Hotels can continue to deliver an exceptional guest experience. Shaizeen believes every problem is an opportunity and enjoys a new challenge!!
Yury GlikinArea Manager for Strategic Partnerships, Booking.com
Yury Glikin is the Area Manager for strategic partnerships at Booking.com, looking after the Oceania and India regions. He leads a team that creates strategic alliances with various online and offline brands who, in turn, distribute Booking.com to their member or client base.
He has been with Booking.com since January 2016 and prior to that, he had a variety of business development and sales roles in the travel, e-commerce and media industries, with brands such as HotelsCombined, MSN Australia and Orbitz Worldwide (now part of Expedia).
Nathan GrahamRegional Manager- Industry Sales APAC, American Airlines
Nathan Graham has joined the American Airlines team as the Strategic Sales Manager, Leisure segment, APAC. This role will have him directly overseeing the Leisure strategy for American Airlines’ online APAC markets including (but not limited to) Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China and Korea.
Nathan joins the team after a highly rewarding term leading the metasearch platform Cheapflights in Australia and New Zealand. Here Nathan was the face of the business and ultimately helped to grow these markets to be some of the most profitable for the business globally. Prior to Cheapflights Nathan delivered consistent success for the online advertising business, Travelzoo and Travel recruitment agency TMS Asia Pacific with a travel career reaching back to his first job.
Nathan has a love for travel and a career history which has provided him with a broad skill set and knowledge of leisure verticals within the industry. Nathan brings to American more than a decade of sales experience with a strong track record of leading high performing sales teams and is extremely excited to bring his broad knowledge of the travel industry and love for airlines to continue to build on American’s success in Asia Pacific.
Rhett HoltFuturist, Allotz
Allotz is an Australian company with a global presence in The Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company was founded to address the growing complications associated with digital and online distribution in the hospitality industry. As the resident futurist, Rhett is designing and delivering the sales strategy to enable Allotz to disrupt the hotel management technology industry.
Sam McDonaghCountry Manager ANZ, Airbnb
Sam McDonagh is Airbnb's Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand. He has over 25 years experience in senior management roles across Australia, the United States and Asia, at companies including eBay (10 years, from start-up management team in Australia, Finance Director and New Ventures Category Manager in the US to Director of Southeast Asia) and iiNet as CMO. Prior to Airbnb, Sam was General Manager and advisor to US-based Dollar Shave Club's Australian business.
Mark RizzutoCEO, Livn
Mark has seen travel from every angle, holding senior roles across the Airline, Retail, Corporate, Wholesale, Destination Marketing, Online, GDS and technology verticals, including GM Distribution & E-Commerce at Virgin Australia, Head of Retail Distribution Strategy & Partnerships at Helloworld and Managing Director Asia Pacific for Travelport.
Now the CEO at Livn, he is helping to shape the tours and activities sector while maintaining transparency, integrity and a healthy sense of humour. His love of travel, food and new frontiers, (all forms), keep him and those around him, highly entertained and engaged.
Atle SkallebergChief Digital Officer, Flight Centre Travel Group
Atle Skalleberg was appointed Chief Digital Office (CDO) for Flight Centre Travel Group in July 2016, shortly after Flight Centre Travel Group's acquisition of Studen Universe in December 2015, where he was the CEO.
In this capacity, Atle plays a central role in setting the strategy and improving the group's digital commerce capabilities - including its online presence, user experiences and booking services - to help Flight Centre become the global leader in blending offline and online travel services.
Prior to his time in travel Atle was part of an MIT technology startup and spent some time in management consulting. Atle grew up in
Norway, but lived in Boston with his wife and son until recently - he has now relocated to Brisbane.
Aseem VermaStrategic Partnerships & Marketing Professional, Expedia
Expedia is one of the largest online travel companies in the world, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the world's leading online travel brands. Collectively, the Expedia group brands cover virtually every aspect of researching, planning and booking travel.
Reporting to the Director of Global Partnerships, Aseem has full ownership and revenue responsibility for a significant portfolio of strategic partners in the AU & NZ region. The role involves the implementation of growth strategies for the partners, project management, managing internal & external stakeholders as well as owning and driving initiatives across the organization.
Jayson WestburyCEO, AFTA
Jayson Westbury has a long career in the Hotel, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism industry. He has held senior roles in all industry settings and now applies his efforts and mind as the representative of the travel industry both in Australia and around the globe as the Chief Executive of AFTA. He is the former Chairman of the World Travel Agency Association Alliance (WTAAA), current co-Chair of the World Tourism Alliance (WTA), a China base voice of the NGO's in tourism and a member of several federal government advisory committees. He strongly believes that all indirect travel distribution channels have a future and working together will ensure success for all.