Speakers

  • Rod Bishop
    Co-founder and Managing Director, Jayride

    Rod is the co-founder and managing director of Jayride.com (ASX:JAY), the e-commerce marketplace for travellers to compare and book ground transport to and from airports around the world.

    Rod has deep experience in transport technology with a career spanning multiple transport initiatives across startups, private sector and NGO sectors, both domestically and overseas.

    Passionate and outspoken on transport issues, Rod is a huge believer that seamless mobility services are set to transform the world we live in, reinventing how and when we travel, and will do so with information technology, data and AI at the core.

    At Jayride.com, Rod has taken the company from two co-founders to over 100 employees, and now serves hundreds of thousands of travellers around the world every year from Jayride’s head office in Sydney, Australia

  • Marc Buchegger
    Head of Business Development Manager -EMEA region, TourRadar

    Marc Buchegger is TourRadar’s Head of Business Development Manager for the EMEA region and is responsible for growing TourRadar’s supply base, managing multiple operator accounts, and driving online integrations with various travel partners. His determination and passion for travel is integral to TourRadar’s growth as an OTA; he loves going to work knowing that he can fulfill dreams. Marc joined TourRadar in 2015 with a background in Marketing. Together with his global team members, TourRadar’s Business Development Team has successfully onboarded over 2,000 tour operators, offering more than 40,000 tours in over 200 countries across the globe.Born and raised in Austria, Marc always dreamt of exploring the world and immersing himself in different cultures. Marc lived in San Diego, California for eight years and received his Bachelor’s Degree in marketing from San Diego State University. His adventurous side keeps him on the look out for the next extraordinary journey, whether it be running a marathon in a desert, or trekking and hiking in unique places such as the Great Wall or the plains of the African savanna.

  • Peter Castellas
    CEO, Tasman Environmental Markets

    Peter Castellas is CEO of Tasman Environmental Markets, a market leading carbon offset provider for the voluntary and compliance markets that fills a much needed niche between buyers and sellers. Peter leads TEM’s integrated offerings including expanding services into international markets around consumer driven demand for offsetting and development of sophisticated digital sales booking technology that integrates carbon footprint calculation, carbon offset procurement and payment gateways . Peter was formerly the CEO of the Carbon Market Institute the peak Australia business association assisting companies in meeting the challenges and opportunities associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy. Throughout Peter's 25-year career, he has worked at the leading edge of the sustainable development agenda and has advised leading corporations, governments and financial institutions.

  • Royce Crown
    CEO, Monarc Global

    Royce Crown is Monarc Global's, Chief Executive Officer.  Monarc Global is an Global Distribution System for private aircraft charter.  As a helicopter pilot of 20 years, and more than 18 years experience in hospitality worldwide, Royce has always seen an undersupply in customer service in the private aircraft charter industry, in addition to the need for a more on-demand booking platform providing existing and potencial customers a viable alternative for viewing, booking and paying for private aircraft charter.

  • Jen Fein
    Founder and digital nomad, You live to travel

    Starting with a successful career in NYC leading the technical operations for the largest global email platform at the time, Jennifer then relocated to Melbourne to launch digital marketing products across APAC.  Now, as the co-founder of YouLive to Travel, she delivers solutions to transform the travel industry. Their signature product makes it easier to lead transformational group travel experiences. She is also the co-Author of "Ready to Launch?: Becoming an Entrepreneur in Australia" which captures her insights from the journey so far.

  • Nick Ferguson
    Director of Sales and Marketing, Princess Cruises

    Nick joined Carnival Australia in 2011, and in February 2018 assumed the Director of Sales & Marketing role for Princess Cruises – Australia’s Biggest Cruise line. Nick is responsible for driving growth for the Princess brand in Australia and New Zealand.  Prior to his role with Carnival Australia, Nick has held several marketing positions at Qantas and prior to that began his career working for a global advertising agency.

  • Tracey Foxall
    Regional Manager Oceania, Booking.com

    Tracey Foxall is the Regional Manager for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands based in Booking.com’s Sydney office, managing a team of 66 across the region. She joined Booking.com in 2011, initially focusing on the New Zealand market. Tracey has over 10 years of hotel industry experience, primarily in revenue management and also 3 years a Lecturer on a Diploma of Hospitality Management. She has a degree in Hotel Management from Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.

  • Demi Kavaratzis
    Partner Marketing Director, Commercial Strategy and Services, Expedia Group

    Demi Kavaratzis is Partner Marketing Director, Commercial Strategy and Services, for Expedia Group which operates more than 200 travel booking sites in more than 70 countries.

    Demi’s partner-centric role  is focused on B2B communications and channel marketing across Expedia Group’s global network of 500+ air suppliers. She regularly commentates on air trends and is a passionate advocate for, and keynote speaker on, diversity and inclusion on behalf of Expedia Group.  

    Demi has worked with Expedia Group for more than a decade, holding a variety of senior roles for the business spanning supply-partner marketing and management across an air and lodging travel-supplier set.

    Prior to joining Expedia Group, Demi held several travel and tourism industry roles within Travel Management, Corporate and Accommodation segments, giving her a unique end-to-end view of the industry from supplier to leisure and corporate travel-distribution.

    Demi holds a Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Technology, Sydney. She is currently based in Australia.

  • Kurt Knackstedt
    Chairperson, Association of Corporate Travel Executives

    Kurt’s experience spans over twenty years and four continents, across technology, travel, procurement, leadership and marketing roles at multinationals, start-ups and his own consulting business. In early 2015, Kurt co-founded and was appointed CEO of Troovo, a technology company focused on virtualizing and removing manual intervention within transaction-based industries. Kurt is also currently Chairperson of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ ACTE Centre. He leads the Centre’s efforts in research, advocacy and community engagement, and prior to this from 2014-2017 Kurt served as ACTEs global president. An avid traveller for both work and play, Kurt is based in Sydney, Australia and is a dual citizen of the USA and Australia.

  • Karen Messitt
    Managing Director, Optic Insights

    Karen has developed award winning Advertising, Digital & Sales Promotion campaigns for a host of blue chip international brands across a range of industry sectors, some of which include Commonwealth Bank, Diageo, General Motors, Vodafone, Chevron Group, British Airways, The Hilton Hotel Group, Bayer, Colliers International, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Kraft, Cadbury, Goodman Fielder, Coca-Cola, Pepsi Group, Spar, Glaxo Smithkline.

    Karen is also Founder /Managing Director at OPTIC INSIGHTS which provides top end Retail Facial Recognition Analytics and Reporting. Currently we provide a solution which is first in market and our mission is to deliver insights to businesses via optics to streamline operations, improve customer experience and deliver R.O.I.

    Karen is also Founder of LOVE MY BUSINESS a Business Marketing tool that helps businesses grow their customer base via social media and analytics.

  • Roger Millar
    Group ICT Manager , Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia

    Roger has over 25 years’ experience working with information technology across a diverse range of industries including travel, hospitality, not for profit, civil engineering, education, call centre and retail.   He has held a variety of senior IT management positions with a particular emphasis on operational IT and cyber security.

    Roger has a doctoral degree in business administration and a master’s degree in business and technology.  His doctoral thesis focussed on the use and acceptance of technology within the Australian travel industry and included research on behavioural theory and the determining factors of technology selection.

  • Wayne Nagle
    Head of Travel ANZ & S.E Asia, Groupon

    Wayne is a charismatic e-commerce leader specialising in online travel. Under Wayne’s leadership, Groupon Travel has enjoyed five consecutive years of growth, successfully transitioning from a daily deals business to a global marketplace.

  • Jason Nooning
    GM, Global Air Distribution, Flight Centre Travel Group

    Jason Nooning is at the forefront of new developments in the aviation industry in his capacity as head of air connectivity and distribution at one of the world’s largest travel agency groups, the Flight Centre Travel Group.

    Jason, who is based in Australia and part of a global team, works with stakeholders around the world to coordinate partnership strategies and discussion frameworks which capitalise on the capabilities of IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) as well as innovative new GDS & API based technologies.

    In collaboration with key GDS partners Sabre and Amadeus, Jason has been actively engaged in industry forums to ensure future distribution solutions meet the operational requirements of today’s travel agencies.

    Originally from the USA, Jason is based in Australia at the Flight Centre Travel Group Global Head Office in Brisbane.

    Prior to joining Flight Centre in 2004, he studied Computer Engineering.

    His career with Flight Centre started in a retail shop in Sydney and has since included a diverse range of consulting, management and product development roles across the organisation’s businesses including several online and meta channels.

    Jason has an extensive background in airline offer and order management, as well as air content optimisation through legacy distribution technology.

  • Simon Pearce
    Head of Digital Technology & Delivery, Jetstar

    Simon is an IT professional with extensive experience across a range of industries, accustomed to working closely with senior executives to deliver desired outcomes.

    He has spent my career delivering software projects, programs and portfolios to enable new functionality, products and ultimately customer value. Starting as a developer he has progressed through roles focusing on Project Management, business engagement and team leadership. As he has become more experienced his focus has shifted from delivering directly to creating an environment allowing teams to deliver.
    At Jetstar, he is responsible for Software Development and Project Delivery of Jetstar's customer facing channels

  • Les Ritchin
    Chief Information Officer , Globetrotter Corporate Travel

    Les is the Chief Information Officer of Globetrotter Travel, one of Australia’s oldest and largest independent travel agencies. Globetrotter is a full-service boutique corporate travel agency with a national footprint, which also incorporates leisure and incentive-management divisions. Globetrotter’s diverse technical requirements have resulted in a large and diverse IT department, dedicated to multi-faceted internal and external service delivery.

    As CIO, Les heads the IT department and is responsible for creating, maintaining, and leading the execution of Globetrotter’s information and communication technology strategy, policy and functions on an ongoing basis. Les believes that the managed service-providers that will win in tomorrow’s marketplace are those that adopt an Enterprise Service Management approach to their operations.

    Les has over 20 years’ experience in IT, with 14 of those spent in ITIL-aligned environments. He was a management consultant for six years before being lured back to industry by Globetrotter’s fantastic organisational culture. Les holds an MBA from The University of Western Australia, and the ITIL Managers’ Certificate in IT Service Management.

  • Adam Schwab
    Co-Founder, Luxury Escapes

    Adam Schwab is the Co-Founder of Luxury Escapes, one of Australia’s largest home grown pure play ecommerce  business with more than 250 employees, operations in four continents and turnover of more than $400 million. From a standing start less than six years ago, more than half a million people take a Luxury Escape each year, while Luxury Escapes has one of the highest net promoter scores globally in any sector (NPS 72).
    Luxury Escapes was named #1 on the AFR Fast 100 Company list in 2013 and again in 2017 and #1 in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 while Adam was the Young CEO of the Year in 2015 and was nominated for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 (Southern Region).

  • Marianna Sigala
    Director of the Centre of Tourism & Leisure Management (CTLM), University of South Australia Business School

    Professor Mariana Sigala is Professor in Tourism and Director of the Centre of Tourism & Leisure Management (CTLM) at the University of South Australia Business School. She is also an academic member of the CERM PI team of UniSA.

    Professor Sigala has a PhD from the University of Surrey as well as a Certificate of Advanced Academic Studies from the University of Strathclyde and an MSc in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey.
    Professor Sigala is a widely published authority in the area of Service Operations Management and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications in Tourism and Hospitality. She also has an interest in e-learning models and pedagogies, having published several research studies in these areas. Professor Sigala’s research is multi-award winning featuring several best paper awards in international conferences and academic journals, such as papers published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management and the International Journal of Hospitality Management.

    She is currently the co-editor of the international journal Journal of Service Theory and Practice, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the founder and advisor editor of the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Cases. Professor Sigala is also the founder of the ICHRIE Johnson and Wales Case Study Competition, which she has successfuly chaired from 2011 to 2017.
    Professor Sigala has also served on the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Information Technology, Tourism and Travel (IFITT) (as Membership Director); the International Council on Hospitality, Restaurant and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE) (as Research Director, 2008 - 2010); the Hellenic Association of Information Systems (HeAIS) (as Publicity Director); and the Executive Board of the European Council on Hospitality, Restaurant and Institutional Education (EuroCHRIE) (as President, 2004 - 2005).

    Professor Sigala currently serves at the executive boards of the International Federation for Information Technologies and Travel & Tourism (IFITT) and Council for Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE). 
    In 2016, Professor Sigala has been awarded the prestigious EuroCHRIE Presidents’ Award for her lifetime contributions and achievements to tourism and hospitality education.
    Professor Sigala joined the UniSA Business School in 2015 and brings more than 13 years of international academic and teaching experience to the UniSA Business School and the School of Management.

  • Craig Smith
    Information Systems Manager, APT Travel Group

    As an IT professional with a history of successfully developing and delivering IT projects, Craig has over 20 years’ experience in delivering innovative IT solutions within the Financial Services and Travel Industries. This includes both onshore and offshore projects working directly with internal and external customers.

  • Josh Wicks
    Head of Partnerships, Travello App

    Josh Wicks is the Head of Partnerships at Travello, a social network for travellers being used in over 180 countries. 30-year old Wicks began his career in Brisbane as a digital marketer, working in a busy agency before making a career change to joining adventure entrepreneur John Sharpe as Marketing Manager for his foundation business Riverlife. He quickly rose through the business tackling a number of roles before becoming General Manager in 2013, at just 24 years old. In 2015 Josh led the groups expansion to additional locations and successfully won the first tender for a commercial activity, nearby the D’Aguilar National Park.

    In 2016 Josh moved to London and worked as a management consultant on various projects in FMCG, start-ups and service industries before his passion for travel brought him back home working for Topdeck and Back-Roads brands between their London & Brisbane offices. Josh has a Bachelor of Business from Queensland University of Technology and Master of Business Administration from Griffith University and has visited 27 countries and counting.

  • Jonathan Williams
    Marketing Director, Klook

    As the Marketing Lead for Klook in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Jonathan Williams is responsible for promoting the platform and thousands of inspiring experiences to Australian and New Zealander travelers. Based in Klook’s Sydney office, Jonathan oversees integrated marketing efforts to build Klook’s brand presence in the ANZ region, ranging from social media campaigns and affiliate partnerships to marketing activations.
    Originally from London, Jonathan is a seasoned marketer and avid follower of tech innovation. He began his career driving growth at PayPal and later launching key products for Google in Australia, including Google My Business and Google Pay.

    With a passion for travel and adventure, Jonathan enjoys coming up close with nature and exploring the great Australian outdoors. During his free time, he teaches kitesurfing or practises his Spanish while exploring South America.

  • Fabienne Wintle
    Vice President, Discovery Coast Tourism & Commerce, Town of 1770 and Agnes Water

    Fabienne (Fabie) is a digital strategist who excels in her field of empowering tourism professionals to make the most of digital technology in their business ventures. She is an advocate for digital self-sufficiency within businesses and her hands-on approach has enabled thousands of small and large business owners with the tools and knowledge to make a living from Tourism.
    Fabienne’s special blend of digital know-how, tourism knowledge, her training and coaching skills, ability to think outside the box and a natural gift for communication make her a sought after consultant, workshop facilitator and speaker in her field.

  • Caleb Yeoh
    CEO, Travel by Bit

    Caleb is building the bridge between digital currency and mainstream business starting in the travel and tourism sector. Caleb also believes digital currencies can be used to provide transparency and trust in public institutions whilst also providing privacy and freedom for individuals.
    As a board member of Blockchain Australia, Caleb champions digital currency adoption through thought leadership and speaking events.
    Prior to founding TravelbyBit, Caleb performed a range of corporate roles in large companies including Deloitte, Origin Energy, CS Energy, Santos, BHP Billiton, and most recently Shell Australia.
    Having formerly worked in Shell's government relations and commercial teams, Caleb's current focus in TravelbyBit is managing key stakeholders in both the digital currency and traditional business space to facilitate mainstream use and acceptance of this nascent technology.
    Caleb holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney majoring in Commercial Law and Accounting, and a post-grad diploma in Engineering from Queensland University of Technology. He has been a qualified Certified PracticingAccountant (CPA) for over 10 years.

  • Sarah Yip
    Managing Director, KEASE International

    For the past 14 years Sarah has created a reputation for innovative learning programs that embed learning outcomes. She is highly sought after for her consultancy, facilitation & public speaking skills throughout Australia and SE Asia.

    Sarah is the accredited principal facilitator for GENOS Ignite, Wiley Everything DiSC, 5 Behaviours of a cohesive team and Productive conflict programs. Requested as a keynote speaker, Sarah is well respected on an international level as a subject matter expert in Applied Emotional Intelligence, Mindful Leadership and Applied positive psychology in the workplace.

    Clients praise her ability to deliver measurable results. Sarah’s strength is her ability to work in partnership with an organisation to create relevant learning programs that ensure learners and engaged and motivated.