08:00 AM – 09:00 AM | Checking In & Coffee
09:00 AM – 09:10 AM | Big Picture: Travel Trends That Matter

Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, WIT

09:10 AM – 09:30 AM | Face Time: Laurence Loh, Founder, Arkitek LLA, Penang

A pioneer In heritage conservation, he brought The Blue Mansion to life, winning the top prize in the Asia Pacific UNESCO Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2000. His passion lies in balancing heritage conservation with commercial viability. How does he do that? And what’s his vision for the future?

09:30 AM – 10:00 AM | Meet The Entrepreneurs Changing Their World Their Way

Author Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance), said, “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Meet our cast of dreamers who have done and continue doing and take lessons from their journeys.

  • Andrew Dixon, Nikoi/Cempedak Islands, Indonesia
  • Simon Wong, CEO, Triquetra.sg, Singapore
  • Uttara Sarkar Crees, Gyalthang Eco-Travel, China
10:00 AM – 10:20 AM | Face Time: Chris Ong, Founder, Georgetown Heritage Hotels

He found his hospitality roots in Galle, Sri Lanka and answered the call to return home to Penang to start a collection of heritage-inspired hotels. The former banker talks about his journey and the purpose of it all.

10:20 AM – 11:00 AM | Small in Size, Big In Dreams

Creativity is the mother of necessity. When you don’t have the budgets, you’ve got to be resourceful and imaginative. A look at the independent, boutique hotel sector and their challenges and opportunities.

Presentation: Tech woes, be gone: How an independent hotel can fight back – Jack Tan, IdeaWeaver Consulting

• Christine Tan, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Asia Pacific, Fastbooking
• Chee Sek Thim, Owner, Sin Keh
• Amran Ahmed, Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat and Ambong Pool Villas, Langkawi
• Low Teng Lei, Ren I Tang

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM | Break
11:30 AM – 11:50 AM | Face Time: Yap Mun Ching, AirAsia Foundation

She runs the AirAsia Foundation which supports social enterprises in travel. Find out how you can be part of its latest Destination: GOOD initiative and programmes to support social entrepreneurship growth in the region.

Interviewer: Bettina Chua Abdullah, Business News Anchor, Content Producer, Entrepreneur

11:50 PM – 12:15 PM | Room For Dreams

Meet the startups who’ve built their dreams in the hospitality sector and how they are empowering hotels with new ideas and tech.

  • Jason Jeeshen Lee, Softinns Hospitality Solutions
  • Dan Lynn, Zuzu Hospitality Solutions
  • Erica Annuar, Marketing Lead, Tripfez
12:15 PM – 13:05 PM | Experiences: The Last Frontier

Tours & activities have become the highest invested category among travel startups in Asia. Last year, startups across Asia, from Klook to BeMyGuest, raised healthy rounds to pursue expansion plans. How can you get onboard?

  • Stephen Joyce, CEO & Co-founder, Rezgo
  • Graham Hills, Chief Commercial Officer, BeMyGuest
  • Aaron Sarma, Founder, Touristly
  • Sriram Vaidhya, Head, Trips, Southeast Asia and India, Airbnb
  • Robert Basiuk, Borneo Adventure, Kuching, Sarawak
13:05 PM – 14:05 PM | Lunch
14:05 PM – 14:25 PM | Face Time: Edmond Ip, Vice Chairman, Artyzen Hospitality Group

With more than 40 years of hospitality experience, Edmond Ip has been recognized as an industry in novator, receiving amongst many awards, the Trailblazer Award from Horwath HTL Asia Pacific and Lifetime Achievement awards at the China Hotel Industry Leadership Summit (HVS) and China HotelStarlight Awards. His career spans working with global brands such as Hyatt and Intercontinental Hotels Group, and developing and co-founding Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts. Today he’s heading a group that wants to create a new kind of hospitality experience for a new generation in Asia.

14:25 PM – 14:35 PM | Blockchain 101 and its Applications For Travel. Or Not?

It’s the hottest word on the block. But what does it really mean? We ask someone who’s been keeping a watch over the latest developments in blockchain technology to shed light on the topic and examine its possible applications for travel and retail.

Mohan Belani, CEO & Co-founder, e27

14:35 PM – 15:05 PM | A New Way To Live, Work and Play

Technology has empowered all of us to change the way we work, live and play. We assemble a cast of individuals who have followed their passion and carved out their own niche in life.

• William Khor, Airbnb host
• Wan Imran Wan Abdul Rahaman, Director Paper + Toast
• Angelld Quah, COO, FundedByMe

Moderator: Mohan Belani, Co-founder, e27

15.05 PM – 15:30 PM | Demand Generation Using Search, Content & Data

How can travel marketers, from tourism boards to individual businesses, get smart about using search, content and data to target customers at the right point of the customer journey? Our panel of experts share tips.

  • Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic
  • Katy Gallagher, Senior Sales Director, Sojern APAC
15:30 PM – 16:00 PM | Using Events, Social & Content To Build Community & Audience

Meet the individuals who have used events, social and content to build up communities and their audiences, and
get tips on how you too can reach and engage with more customers.

  • Yeap Mei Yi, General Manager, Peatix
  • Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, Artist
  • Germaine Yeap, Action Actress

Moderator: Bettina Chua Abdullah, Business News Anchor, Content Producer, Entrepreneur

16:00 PM – 16:20 PM | Coffee Break
16:20 PM – 16.50 PM | Open Space & Breakouts

Save & Exit In this closing session, we bring it all together to get into the nuts-and-bolts of how independents and creatives can empower themselves in the age of digital. Pick the facilitators and circle you want to join and brainstorm ideas and key takeaways, and walk away armed with a list of actionable items you can implement in your business right away. Facilitators will appoint a team leader who will present a 3- minute summary of discussions.

Circle 1: Using Events, Social & Content To Build Community & Audience
Facilitators: Yeap Mei Yi, General Manager, Peatix & Germaine Yeap, Action Actress

Circle 2: How an independent hotel can drive better revenues and profits
Facilitators: Dan Lynn, Zuzu Hospitality Solutions & Jason Lee Jeeshen, Softinns Hospitality Solutions

Circle 3: Growing Your Tours & Activities Business In the Digital Era
Facilitators: Graham Hills, Chief Commercial Officer, BeMyGuest & Stephen Joyce, CEO, Rezgo

Circle 4: Demand Generation Using Search, Content & Data
Facilitators: Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic & Katy Gallagher, Senior Sales Director, Sojern APAC

Circle 5: How To Be A Successful Host
Facilitators: Sriram Vaidhya, Trips, SEA & India, Airbnb & William Khor, Airbnb Host

16:50 PM – 17:10 PM | Group Presentations & Open Forum
17:10 PM – 17:20 PM | Wrapping It All Up
18:00 PM – 20.00 | WIT Indie Cocktails

Come celebrate the close of our first WIT Indie with an experience that’s all about Indie and Penang.
Venue: Georgetown Wines, 19-19A, Leith St, Georgetown

* Programme subject to change