Archives for posts with tag: web in travel

Northstar Travel Media acquires Asia’s leading online travel content brand, Web in Travel

Secaucus, NJ USA – Northstar
Travel Media, the leading business-to-business information company serving the
travel and meetings industries, has acquired Web In Travel (WIT), a
Singapore-based multi-media platform content provider best known for its event
series related to online travel distribution in the Asia Pacific region. It
produces Web in Travel conferences in Singapore, Dubai, Thailand, Indonesia,
Japan and Australia.

The acquisition of WIT, which also
includes a news website, e-newsletters, blogs and video channels, expands
Northstar’s presence in Asia and follows the recent acquisitions of Travel
Weekly Asia, Travel Weekly China and Events China. Those brands and WIT are
part of the recently formed Northstar Travel Media Singapore Pte. Ltd.

The acquisition provides Northstar
with leading face-to-face events in Asia to complement the newly acquired
publishing brands serving Asian travel trade markets. WIT’s flagship conference
in Singapore is the premier event exploring online travel and the evolving
trends in marketing, distribution and technology in the Asia Pacific region.
Singapore Tourism Board recognized WIT as the Most Innovative Marketing
Initiative in 2009 and awarded it Trade Conference of the Year in 2010. 
Additional events include the just-concluded WIT Middle East, WIT Indonesia,
WITX: Women In Travel, WIT Hospitality Roadshow and WITNext, a mentoring
workshop for young professionals.

WIT’s Founder and Editor Yeoh Siew
Hoon, will become Editorial Director of Northstar Travel Media Asia and will
report to Bob Sullivan, Executive Vice President of Northstar Travel Media.
WIT’s General Manager, Gerry Pang, will continue to report to Siew Hoon, and
the WIT team will continue to run the business.

“The addition of WIT is an important
strategic move for our company and demonstrates our dedication to providing the
best information from all parts of the world,” said Thomas Kemp, Chairman and
CEO of Northstar Travel Media. “We’re delighted to have such smart, talented
people join our ranks and helping Northstar grow in the Asia Pacific region.”

“Joining forces with Northstar
Travel Media gives WIT wider reach, expanded resources and like-minded ambition
to expand the brand and take it to new places,” said Siew Hoon. “We are excited
to be united with Northstar Travel Media and optimistic that our partnership
will create a powerful new content and media business.”

About Web In Travel

Web In Travel is the forum for a community
passionate about travel technology, distribution and marketing. It is
headquartered in Singapore, with events in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia,
Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

As a multi-media platform content
provider, Web In Travel connects buyers and sellers through electronic
newsletters, blogs, video channels and conferences.

WITfeed: http://www.webintravel.com

WIT Events: http://www.webintravel.com/content.php?c=205&desc=WIT+EVENTS

About WIT: http://www.webintravel.com/wit_about.php

 Contact:
Gerry Pang

General Manager

Web in Travel
gerry@webintravel.com
+65 979 77730 / +66 87 887 6623

About Northstar Travel Media

Northstar Travel Media LLC is the leading
provider of news, information and data for the travel, meetings and hospitality
industries and parent of brands including Travel
Weekly, Travel Weekly China, Travel Weekly Asia, Business Travel News, Travel
Procurement,
PhoCusWright,
Meetings & Conventions, Successful Meetings, Meeting News, Events China,
Incentive, TravelAge West, Family Getaways, Explorer, Your Travel Insider
and Luxury Cruise News.

Northstar’s electronic directories – Travel Weekly’s Hotel and Travel Index,
Official Cruise Guide, and M&C Facilities Search and Successful Meetings
Facilities Search – provide in-depth data on hotels, meeting and convention
properties, and business travel in the United States and internationally.

In addition to its directories and periodicals, Northstar publishes a number of
online subscription information resources, including The Beat, Travel42, STAR
Service Online, Intelliguide Corporate and BTP24.

Northstar produces more than 40 face-to-face events including The PhoCusWright
Conference, PhoCusWright Europe, CruiseWorld, Global Travel Marketplace,
M&C InterAct, Successful Meetings Universities, The Beat Live, Tech Talk,
Business Travel Trends and Forecast Forums and the Travel Weekly Leadership
Forums.

Northstar also is an industry leader in marketing services, custom
communications, content licensing and database management serving the travel
and meetings industries through Northstar Marketing Solutions.

Based in Secaucus, NJ, the company
also has offices in New York, NY; Glen Ellyn, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and
Winston-Salem, NC.

Northstar Travel Media, LLC is a portfolio company of Wicks Group of Companies
LLC, a leading private equity investor in the information and business
services, communications, and media sectors.

www.northstartravelmedia.com

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All-star cast of founders and top brands assembled for WIT Dubai

A cast of top speakers, blending global and local expertise, has been
assembled for the inaugural Web In Travel Middle
East
to be held at the Sofitel The Palm
Resort and Spa
in Dubai on March 26-27.

The all-star cast includes
founders of some of the top online travel companies in the world namely
Trivago’s co-founder and CEO Rolf Schromgens, MakeMyTrip’s co-founder Keyur
Joshi, South Africa-based Travelstart’s founder Stephan Ekbergh and Travel.jp’s
co-founder & CEO, Kei Shibata.

Leading brands such as Google, Expedia, Skyscanner, Accor,
hotelscombined and Singapore’s Wego are also represented.

With a WIT signature being a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation,
the first WIT Middle East will also blend the global insights of top
entrepreneurs from around the world with leading players in the region’s
burgeoning start-up scene.

Fritz Demopoulos, a co-founder of Qunar, China’s leading travel search
engine and one of Asia’s biggest start-up success stories, will share a global
bird’s eye view of start-up trends. Since exiting Qunar after selling to Baidu,
Demopoulos is an active investor and advisor in start-ups around the world.

Giving his take on the start-up scene in the Middle East is Paul Kenny, founder
and CEO of e-commerce website Cobone, and travel website Triperna. Kenny, along
with Arya Bolurfrushan, recently set up Emerge Ventures, a fund for early-stage
investments in the region’s technology companies.

Emerge
Ventures recently closed its first investment fund MENA Fund I and has made its
first three investments within the UAE – The Impact Hub – a collaborative
incubator and co-working space to open in Souk al Bahar, Dubai; Lumba – a
Silicon Valley-based mobile gaming company focused on the Arabic-speaking
world; and Elevision – a new digital media network that broadcasts news,
information and advertisements from screens inside the lifts of premier towers
in the UAE.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made
and lessons learnt from local start-ups such as Albert Dias, co-founder,
marketing & technology Director, Musafir.com, Girma Wossenseged, managing
director, EmiratesYoo.com by Kuoni Travel and Pieter Sleeboom, co-founder and
COO, Triperna.com.

“A key signature of WIT events is the blending
of global knowledge and local insights to create a true exchange of learning
for both overseas and local delegates,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, editor and
founder of the Singapore-based WIT, which also
holds events in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and across the
region.

Visit Britain, Tourism Queensland and the Singapore Tourism Board will be
represented in a session about “The Outbound Promise: Understanding the Middle
East traveler” alongside local experts including Nasiruddin Mohammed Shafiq,
general manager, Regency Travel and Tours, Francis Dharmai, head of tourism, Al
Tayyar Travel Group and Mohamed Jassim Al Rais, deputy managing director, Al
Rais Tours and Holidays.

Hospitality brands with specialist knowledge such as Trust
International, a leading name in hotel distribution and Circos Brand Karma,
social media analytics and digital marketing firm, will bring their unique
insights to the first event in the Middle East to focus on travel marketing,
distribution and technology.

And with aviation playing such a vital role in the Middle East travel
promise, airlines and airports will be a key part of the agenda. Confirmed thus
far are Abdul
Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General, Arab Air Carriers Organization, Sameer Poonja,
Head of Digital Technologies, Emirates, Lewis Naim, head of marketing and brand
management, Dubai Airports and Cengiz Dirgimenci, online sales and marketing
manager for Turkish Airlines.

This is WIT’s first Middle East edition in recognition of the booming
online and ecommerce opportunity in travel.

“More speakers are being confirmed as we enter the new Year and we are excited
about kicking off WIT’s 10th anniversary with our first conference
in one of the world’s most exciting and untapped regions when it comes to
online travel,” said Siew Hoon.

Click here for
the programme

Register here

About Web In Travel (WIT)

Web In Travel is a community for anyone passionate about travel technology, distribution and marketing. This basically means if you love travel, and if you are a bit of a technology freak in terms of wanting to understand how technology is changing travel, you are one of us.

We provide news through our website and social feeds, and run events that are strong in content and different in style and delivery. We launched our first event in 2005 and have been spreading learning through events in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Our events include the flagship WIT Conference, WIT Japan, WIT Indonesia, WITX – Women Redefining Travel, WIT Bootcamp for start-ups and investors and WIT Summercamp, our coaching event for young professionals and entrepreneurs.

Our purpose is to take your mind to new places so that together, we can accelerate travel innovation.

To get in touch with us, please contact:

Gerry Pang         +65 979 77730 / +66 87 887 6623 gerry@webintravel.com

Angeline Rivera  +971 4 298 1775 angeline@webintravel.com

www.webintravel.com

The Web In Travel (WIT) Developer & Designer Challenge Extends Deadline for Entries1 October

2013 – SINGAPORE – The 2013 Web In Travel (WIT) Bootcamp features a WIT Developer & Designer Challenge, a first-time initiative designed to encourage developers and designers to try solve travel’s problems as defined by the four Challenges put up by the Challenge’s sponsors. To allow time for teams to finish their submissions, the deadline for entries has been extended to October 14.

To date, several compelling submissions have already been received. A panel of judges will select a shortlist of teams from the submissions received to present their solutions at the WIT Bootcamp. Student teams are also involved in the Challenge. The Bootcamp also features a panel of investors and experts, representing 8capita, GREE Ventures, Jungle Ventures and Venture Republic, who discuss their interests in travel and the start-up trends they’re seeing in the region. 

In its fifth year, the WIT Bootcamp has become the must-attend event for travel entrepreneurs, investors and innovators as it gathers speakers from around the world to talk about what’s new in travel technology – from experts in augmented reality to specialists in tours and activities, a hot space right now in online travel.

Speakers at the Bootcamp include

  • Carl Shepherd, Co-founder & Chief Strategy & Development Officer, HomeAway, speaking on entrepreneurship
  • Dr Roy Davies, Co-founder, Imersia, New Zealand, who will speak about Augmented Reality
  • Bonamy Grimes, Co-founder, Skyscanner, who will discuss the transformation from Geek to King

Visit webintravel.com to apply.  The media are welcome to attend. 

ABOUT WIT

Web In Travel (WIT) is a successful conference and community that discusses distribution, marketing and technology in the travel, hospitality and tourism industries. WIT has a reputation of facilitating start-ups and innovation. The theme of the conference this year is “The Asia Factor” which will examine the trends that are changing travel and Asia, the new models that are emerging and evolving, the new players that are changing the game and space and the markets and customers that are emerging in what is the Golden Age of Asia Travel.  

Seven Start-ups to Pitch at Web In Travel’s (WIT) Bootcamp

01 Oct 2013 – SINGAPORE – Seven start-ups have been selected to pitch live at the Web In Travel (WIT) Bootcamp on October 21, 2013 for the chance to be crowned Web In Travel’s Start-Up of the Year 2013. The seven semi-finalists – Grata, Voyagin, BeMyGuest, Ikut Ikut, Trip38, Travelatus and CherryPickedTravel– were shortlisted by a judging panel from a record 20 entries received for this year’s start-up competition, now in its fourth year.

Say’s Yeoh Siew Hoon, WIT’s Producer, “It’s been encouraging to see the growth in interest in travel by both entrepreneurs and investors. When we first started our Pitch, it was difficult to convince entrepreneurs to one, even think of travel and two, to share their ideas in a public forum but in the last 24 months, we’ve seen a pick-up in momentum in interest, ideas and deals.”
She added “What is exciting is to see the confluence between the growth of travel and the evolution of digital in Asia and I believe the intersection of the two will open up new pathways and opportunities to the smart, bold and innovative.”

While last year’s Start Up Pitch attracted an abundance of social-based models, this year’s list is a mix of curated models, activities plays and mobile-only propositions; reflecting how travel is changing and demonstrating where entrepreneurs see an opportunity to insert themselves into the travel value chain.  

The semi-finalists originate from Australia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, India and Europe. Of the seven, three finalists will be picked at the WIT Bootcamp to go on to the Grand Finals on October 23, 2013 and pitch in front of an esteemed panel of judges at the WIT Conference. The winner will be announced at the closing of the event.

Start-ups that have made their debut at WIT over the years – among them, Singapore-based Flocations and Travelogy and last year’s Start-Up winner Trippiece, from Japan have had encouraging success. Each has received funding and now faces hard work to build up sustainable businesses. 

Last week, one of the WIT Start-Up alumni FlexTrip, a Tours and activities player was acquired by Nor1, Inc. the technology leader in upsell solutions in a move considered to be a nod to the growing interest in the tours and activities space. 

ABOUT WITWeb In Travel (WIT) is a successful conference and community that discusses distribution, marketing and technology in the travel, hospitality and tourism industries. WIT has a reputation of facilitating start-ups and innovation. The theme of the conference this year is “The Asia Factor” which will examine the trends that are changing travel and Asia, the new models that are emerging and evolving, the new players that are changing the game and space and the markets and customers that are emerging in what is the Golden Age of Asia Travel.        

Web In Travel Seeks Outstanding Digital All-Stars for Recognition

SINGAPORE – 4 September 2013 – Web In Travel (www.webintravel.com), a successful conference and community that discusses distribution, marketing and technology in the travel, hospitality and tourism industries, is seeking nominations to recognize companies or individuals that have made a difference in the digital travel space, either through a specific marketing campaign or an overall strategy. The WITOVATION awards are presented each year at the Web In Travel conference, which will be held October 21-23, 2013 at Suntec, in Singapore.

The judges for each of the award categories represent leaders in their fields and represent companies such as Facebook, Adobe and TripAdvisor.

The Award categories are:

Uber Social

  • The UberSocial Award will be awarded to the company or individual that exhibits the most awesome use of social media to tell a story; engage with customers to improve service; increase loyalty and improve revenues.

Absolute Mobile

  • The Absolute Mobile Award will be awarded for the company or individual that exhibits the brilliant use of mobile technology to engage customers; either pre-trip, in-destination or post-trip; in a manner that informs, inspires and transacts.

True Specialist

  • The True Specialist Award will be awarded to the company or individual that has crafted a specialist, deep-rooted niche through story-telling, consumer engagement and by delivering an outstanding experience

Pure Customer

  • The Pure Customer Award will be awarded to the company or individual that has demonstrated that it most understands the changing needs of the new customer and puts customer experience and customer service at the core of what it does.

Marketer of the Year – An Editor’s Choice

  • Will be awarded in recognition of an individual marketer or company who embodies the ethos of WIT: Creative, witty, respected, credibility, cutting edge.

Judging Criteria

1.  Medium/Media – a clear demonstration of great use of the medium (or media) in the chosen category – for example, in mobile, it is the use of a mobile device.

2.  The Message – what was the message and how well was it delivered?

3.  Creativity – in concept, execution and delivery

4.  Connection – rather than being cool for cool’s sake, how well did the campaign connect with its intended audience? What tangible results/metrics did it achieve?

5.  The X Factor – a specificity that is unique to each category

Nominations

Written nominations should be sent using the template above to nursyaz23@gmail.com or you may submit your nomination in the form of a 3-minute video, telling the judges why you should win.

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS SEPTEMBER 10, 2013.

Winners will be selected by our panel of judges and be given a presentation slot to share their story at the WIT Conference. The judges’ decision is final.

For more information about WITOVATION, please visit http://webintravel.com/witconference2013/witovation-awards/

– ENDS –

ABOUT WIT

Web In Travel (WIT) is a successful conference and community that discusses distribution, marketing and technology in the travel, hospitality and tourism industries. WIT has a reputation of facilitating start-ups and innovation. The theme of the conference this year is “The Asia Factor” which will examine the trends that are changing travel and Asia, the new models that are emerging and evolving, the new players that are changing the game and space and the markets and customers that are emerging in what is the Golden Age of Asia Travel.     

MEDIA CONTACT

Illka GobiusPINPOINT Public Relations, M: +65 9769 8370, E: illka.gobius@pinpoint-pr.net

ABOUT WIT

Web In Travel (WIT) is a successful conference and community that discusses distribution, marketing and technology in the travel, hospitality and tourism industries. WIT has a reputation of facilitating start-ups and innovation. The theme of the conference this year is “The Asia Factor” which will examine the trends that are changing travel and Asia, the new models that are emerging and evolving, the new players that are changing the game and space and the markets and customers that are emerging in what is the Golden Age of Asia Travel. 

“Midas touch” investor joins judges for the annual Web In Travel conference’s Start-Up Pitch

26 Aug 2013 – SINGAPORE – Jixun Foo, the Singapore-born-and-educated managing partner of GGV Capital, based in Shanghai, will join a panel of judges for the WIT Start-Up Pitch 2013, powered by Abacus Ventures, at the 9th edition of the Web In Travel conference held at Suntec from 21-23 October 2013.

Foo is known for his “Midas Touch” – he was ranked 11th on “The Midas List 2007” by Forbes and has been annually awarded one of “Best Venture Capitalists” by Forbes China since 2006. In 2012, he was recognized as one of the Top 10 Venture Capitalists by Zero2IPO and also named to the 2012 Venture Capital 100 by Always-On. He was one of the first to invest in Baidu when he was a director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures. He joined GGV in 2006 and the company has US$1.6 billion capital across four funds.

Today, he serves on the board of directors for Qunar, Youku-Tudou (NYSE: YOKU), Tujia, MediaV, and Douguo. He is also very actively involved with Meilishuo.com, UCWeb, AAC Technologies, Chaoli and Meihua (600873.SS).

As a venture capitalist focusing on the Internet and mobile sectors, Jixun Foo is interested in anything that disrupts and as such, he is keeping an eagle eye on mobile. He is particularly interested in travel due to the size and complexity of the industry which lends itself well to disruption. “Travel is a very interesting space. It’s huge. Everyone loves to travel. It’s fragmented. It needs sorting out,” he said.

He added “mobile first” models were particularly interesting, because consumer behaviour was changing so fast with mobile devices. “Each of us has several devices now,” Foo says, as he points to his array of gadgets. “A traveller, when he lands at a destination, needs help with knowing where to stay, what to do and what to see. Mobile devices lend themselves nicely to this need”.

As part of Foo’s personal mission to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore, he’s part of a team of angel investors that looks to help start-ups find their feet. For instance, he is on the board of Flocations, the marketplace for tour packages.

– End –

Notes to editors:

  • To enter, startups can submit their entries at http://www.webintravel.com. The deadline for submissions is August 31.
  • Interviews with the speakers mentioned may be arranged. Please contact our press relations officer at the contact details below.

About the WIT Start Up Pitch Judging Panel

New members of the panel of judges include Rei Kawano, Analyst with Gree Ventures, who focuses on consumer internet in South East Asia. She is currently working closely with three companies: BerryBenka – Indonesian fashion eCommerce, Luxola – Singapore-based beauty eCommerce and UrbanIndo – Indonesian real estate online market place.

And Anurag Srivastava, Managing Partner of Jungle Ventures, an early investor in Travelmob, for which he has since exited with the acquisition by HomeAway, will also join the panel this year.

Returning to the panel are Fritz Demopoulous, CEO of Queen’s Road Capital, and Kei Shibata, CEO of Venture Republic, Japan. Demopoulous has set up his own fund following his successful exit from Qunar which sold to Baidu and has been making investments in travel start-ups in emerging markets. Shibata, whose company recently sold its shopping comparison site, coneco.net, to Yahoo! Japan, has also set up a subsidiary in Singapore to scour for travel start-up opportunities in emerging markets.

The Competition

The judges pick from a shortlist of candidates who pitch live to conference delegates and the judging panel at the Grand Finals at the WIT Conference, October 22-23. Travel startup companies 0-3 years, are encouraged to register. They first workshop their ideas with mentors, then pitch against each other at the WIT Bootcamp on October 21, preceding the main conference.

This year’s WIT Start-Up Pitch is powered by Abacus Ventures, which is making strategic investments in travel. Abacus Ventures director Rani Francois Marie-Saad will also a member of the judging panel.

“More names are being added to the panel. What we want is to put together a panel that represents the most astute minds in investment, entrepreneurship and e-commerce, and people who are passionate about travel. These judges also believe in coaching and mentoring start-ups,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, editor and founder of WIT.

Success

The WIT Bootcamp in 2013 will feature a panel of the Start-Up Pitch winners of previous years. Last year’s winner, Trippiece, a social travel planning site in Japan, recently received US$2 million funding and will be expanding in Southeast Asia.

About Web In Travel

Web In Travel (WIT) is a successful conference and community that discusses distribution, marketing and technology in the travel, hospitality and tourism industries. WIT has a reputation of facilitating start-ups and innovation. The theme of the conference this year is “The Asia Factor” which will examine the trends that are changing travel and Asia, the new models that are emerging and evolving, the new players that are changing the game and space and the markets and customers that are emerging in what is the Golden Age of Asia Travel.

New Zealand's House of Travel is WIT's Groovy Marketer Posted on 19 Oct 2011 at 09:23 am

House of Travel, New Zealand was hailed as Web In Travel’s first Groovy Marketer at its annual conference this week as part of its inaugural WITovation Awards 2011, presented by Amadeus Asia.

Pctiured: Niall White of House of Travel

The Christchurch-based tour operator was chosen by WIT for an innovative mix-and-match game on Facebook, which was such a huge success that it will be launching another game shortly.

The Mix and Match game, which allowed players to match friends with holiday prizes, was played in two rounds over 28 days. In all, it attracted 68,070 unique players, saw 279,613 competition entries with a 13-minute average time spent per session and resulted in 37,128 total hours engagement with its customers. It also gathered 16,000+ new Facebook Likes (fans) over the period.

“Groovy Marketer”  was the only editorial choice in the WITovation Awards, the rest of which was through a nomination and judging process.

Said Ms Yeoh Siew Hoon (pictured right), editor and founder, WIT, “It was a hard decision because there are a lot of companies doing good and fun things in digital, and there were some of the obvious more high profile examples.

“But I chose House of Travel because one, as a traditional tour operator, it is battling against the odds in a world turned topsy-turvy by technology and changing customer behaviour, it operates in a very small market – four million people – so it has to be extra creative; and New Zealand is really far from anywhere so every trip it sells is almost a longhaul one except if it’s just across the ditch; and it’s in a space which has been regarded as slow to move into the new areas like social media.

“Yet it has managed to stay on top of changing trends and changing customer behaviour with other things it’s done and this year, launched this Facebook campaign that was both groovy and fun. The idea of a slot machine-type competition, I thought, would work so well in the Asian context given that two of the world’s biggest gaming destinations are now here – Macau and Singapore.”

In the other categories:

Pictured: Cleartrip’s Satyajeet Singh with the award

Cleartrip India was awarded Mobile Mover – the judging panel, led by Timothy Hughes, CEO of Getaway Lounge, Australia, chose the Indian OTA’s mobile apps for their excellent user experience, simplicity and ease of use. “Simply excellent. Booking process very fast, easy to use, and if you have an account it is even easier,” was a comment. See Cleartrip mobile.

Pictured: Accor’s Maria Taylor saying thanks

Accor Australia was the Social Groover for its creative celebration of its 20th anniversary which revolved around the message “A lot can happen in 20 years – share your moment” and it invited the public to share life changing moments around their website. The judging panel, led by Morris Sim, CEO and Co-founder of Circos Brand Karma, praised the campaign for its “stories, likeable characters and authenticity”.

Added Sim, “In this year’s Social Groover entries we saw interesting use of social media for branding. The winning entry, Accor Australia, connected with users emotionally in its use of memories, pictures, and videos through multiple channels.

“Accor integrated users sharing their experiences in social media with traditional marketing channels such as broadcast and retail. As social media becomes mainstream, marketers will incorporate social channels as part of the overall brand engagement, and Accor’s campaign can be used as a successful case study.”

(Watch video here)

Ibis on Bencoolen, Singapore won in the Groove Specialista for its successful viral Pay What You Want campaign when it opened its doors with the judges, led by Jens Uwe Parknity, managing director, Expedia Affiliate Network, saying that other than it being a novel idea, it had a clear message, demonstrated consistent use of regional social media networks and blogging sites, and delivered measurable results. The campaign generated 10,000 registered members from over 100 countries, a total of 80,000 addresses were collected and it attracted 57,000 unique visitors. It also resulted in substantial room revenues.

Pictured: A jubilant Puneet Dhawan from Ibis on Bencoolen

Pictured: AirAsia’s Frank Bateman with the trophy

• The Customer Lover award went to AirAsia. The judges, led by Timothy O’Neil-Dunne, managing partner of T2 Impact, said it came to a close call between AirAsia and Cleartrip but “we believe that Air Asia with its reach and pedigree of loving its customers just edged out Cleartrip’s entry”.

The judges commented, “Air Asia’s approach is very user-friendly and appeals to a wider market with varied demographics. The use of a named Avatar gives the service a personality and creates an online rapport with the user. This service exceeds customer expectations regarding budget airlines where cheap equates minimal service.”

Added the judges, “We also want to give honourable mention to Banyan Tree who submitted in a separate category as we believe that they provide a special kind of love for their customers.”

GetFlight is a winner!

Picture: GetFlight’s Ian Cumming celebrating with judge Don Birch

Meanwhile, in a live competition round today (October 19) GetFlight won the Grooviest Start-Up. At the WIT Bootcamp on October 17, Monday, seven start-ups pitched to a panel of investors and advisors, out of which three finalists – FlextripGetFlight  and TourPackages.sg – were chosen. The panel of judges included investors from around the world, and also featured two representatives from the Business Angel Network of South-east Asia (BANSEA).

The WITovation awards

The WITovation awards are aimed at recognising companies or individuals which have made a difference in a chosen field, either through a specific marketing campaign or an overall strategy, in the digital travel space.

‘We congratulate all our winners who have shown creativity and innovation in an exciting space in travel and hopefully they will inspire others to follow,” said Ms Yeoh. “We also want to thank our judges for putting in the time and effort and to those companies who sent in their nominations, thank you for supporting our inaugural awards.’

Karun Budhraja, Regional Director, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Amadeus, said, “Amadeus is very proud to be associated with the WITovation awards in its first year. These awards recognise innovation and excellence and they are two things we like to aspire to ourselves. This year it’s all about finding your groove and I hope the WITovation awards go forward in leaps in bounds in the same say that WIT has.”

Grooviest Start-Up to be recognised at WIT Bootcamp

SINGAPORE – Up to 10 entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors and mentors during the WIT Bootcamp: Entrepreneurship & Innovation held on Oct 17, as part of the annual Web In Travel conference.

The WIT Start-Up Gallery, supported by BANSEA (Business Angel Network of Southeast Asia), will surface a string of new start-ups in the digital travel space with entries from Australia, US, China and Singapore.

The winner, “Grooviest Start-Up”, will be announced on Oct 19 during the main WIT Conference by the panel of judges which includes investors and business leaders from the US, Europe, China and South-east Asia.

Other innovators will also be recognised at the WIT Conference which is launching its inaugural WITovation Awards 2011. In line with its theme, “Find Your Groove”, winners will be announced in these categories – Social Groover, Mobile Mover, Groove Specialista, Customer Lover and Groovy Marketer of the Year.

Presented by Amadeus Asia, the awards are by nominations only and judging is done by a selected panel of experts.

THack@WIT

Apart from the Bootcamp, the WIT Conference, in its seventh edition, has expanded this year to include a new event – THack@WIT, Asia’s first open travel hackathon being organized in partnership with travel technology news website, Tnooz.

The 24-hour hacking event for developers, sponsored by Abacus as the exclusive GDS and Expedia Affiliate Network, will take place at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa & Spa, Siloso 4, on Oct 16-17, the Sunday before the WIT Bootcamp and Conference kick off.

THack is Tnooz’s unique event which brings together travel industry APIs and the development community to brainstorm and create new digital travel products and web or mobile-based tools.

Developers from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industry are welcome to attend, as well as engineers and technicians from local academic institutions in the region. The event is free for developers to attend and participate.

WIT Conference

Meanwhile, the main two-day conference on Oct 18 and 19 is on track to attract close to 500 travel and tourism leaders keen to debate and learn about the fastest growing segment of travel in the fastest growing travel market in the world.

Up to 80 speakers will convene under the WIT umbrella to discuss leading edge trends such as mobile, social media, group deals and learn about how changing customer behaviour is impacting in markets such as China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan.

“Disruption is taking place at all fronts – from the economy to natural disasters to technology and changing customer behaviour. WIT will be the place to focus thought leadership in how companies can navigate their way through this disruptive, confusing landscape,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder and Editor of Web In Travel.

The WIT Conference takes place alongside ITB Asia at Suntec City 18-19 October 2011.

ABOUT WEB IN TRAVEL
 
WIT-Web In Travel is Asia’s leading travel distribution, marketing and technology conference. 2011 is the seventh year the conference will be run. It was started by journalist Yeoh Siew Hoon.
 
WIT is different to traditional conferences in terms of content, delivery and attitude. The content is deep, rich and meaningful. The delivery is varied, diverse and impactful. The conference has an attitude that challenges speakers to be at their best – no sales speeches and platitudes, but provoking and thinking – and delegates to question, discuss, debate and challenge. With each WIT, the conversation gets better and the discussion more interactive.
 
In 2007, WIT introduced questions by SMS and allowed audience voting by SMS as well for best debators, best speakers and best pitches. In 2010, WIT, in association with Circos Brand Karma, built a interactive Q&A platform using Twitter for the conference. We are using technology to reach out to an ever widening network of colleagues with similar passion, engaging them through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, newsletters and micro events, WIT*e – Inspiration & Mentoring networking forums, leading up to the main conference to be held on the 18-19 October, 2011 at Suntec City in Singapore.