Advisory Board

  • Hichame Assi
    CEO, 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 Bartnick
    VP, 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 Contractor
    CRO, 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!!

  • Julien Coste
    Sr. Sales Manager , TripAdvisor

    After many years of travel and a career in media, Julien Coste now heads up display media on the world’s leading travel website TripAdvisor, for the region.

    A history filled with international travel included extended time in South East Asia, and 5 years in the South of France. His passion for media was responsible for the creation and ownership of several small businesses including within the online space.

    The temptation of travel and the opportunity to mix it with publishing led to the role of International Advertising Manager at Global Publishing. More recently he was responsible for Partnerships at Lonely Planet BBC Worldwide, before joining the TripAdvisor Media Network, (including brands such as Cruise Critic, Dimmi, Viator).

  • Yury Glikin
    Area Manager for Strategic Partnerships,

    Yury Glikin is the Area Manager for strategic partnerships at, 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 to their member or client base.

    He has been with 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 Graham
    Regional 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 Holt
    Futurist, 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 McDonagh
    Country 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 Rizzuto
    CEO, 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.

  • Aseem Verma
    Strategic 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 Westbury

    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.