We are currently building our 2014 speaker roster. In the meantime, please view the 2013 speakers below.
HV Holtzbrinck Ventures
Sven has been with HV Holtzbrinck Ventures since its foundation in 2000 and during this time supported companies such as Gameduell and AdScale from seed stage to market leadership. Sven is also in charge of the technology investments in the HV Holtzbrinck Ventures portfolio.
Prior to HV Holtzbrinck Ventures Sven spent several years at Scout24 Group where he was responsible for the launch of Immobilienscout as Lead Software Architect.
Sven began his career as a consultant at Hewlett-Packard, where he implemented his first Internet projects back in 1997.
Sven holds a Master degree in Information Technology from the Technical University of Munich and in 1996 received the research award from the Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation.
Founder and CEO
TourWrist licenses its 360-degree virtual tour viewer and spherical continuous capture pano technology (SDK) to integrate into travel companies’ apps and websites. If a photo is worth a thousand words, a pano is worth a thousand photos when it comes to researching, planning and booking trips. A dynamic public speaker and travel enthusiast, TourWrist Founder and CEO Charles Armstrong is a sought-after presenter at travel meets innovative tech conferences. Charles transmits key concepts in travel innovation supported by smart adoption of technology. His is an emphasis on revenue opportunities, technology efficiencies, and enhanced travel discovery experiences. www.TourWrist.com • support@TourWrist.com
Business Development Director
Jonathan Boffey has been in the technology industry for over 26 years.
He joined Triometric in 2009 as Business Development Director and identified that Big Data from online travel searches and bookings was an exacting record of company's opportunities, successes and failures, with customers’ experience measured by the timeliness, availability and relevance of the products and services being offered. Keen to provide visibility over what was then a black box, he led the creation & commercialization of Web Services Analyzer, a revolutionary system capable of capturing and analyzing over 100 million XML transactions per day and providing actionable business intelligence to enable companies to rapidly react to market demand & deliver a superior customer experience.
Prior to Triometric, Jonathan has worked held Senor Director positions at Veritas Software and Quadstone. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from University of Edinburgh.
Global Market Leader, Travel
Mike Carlo is the Global Market Leader for Travel at GlobalCollect BV. In this business development capacity, Mike has worked with major global airlines, OTAs and hoteliers in designing customer-friendly, company-efficient payment strategies. While at GlobalCollect, Mike has also worked with companies on alternate forms of payment in nearly 70 countries. Prior to GlobalCollect, Mike ran an online company in the food publishing industry, worked as an innovation leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers and started his career at Continental Airlines managing their capital budget through a tumultuous bankruptcy. He has a BA and MBA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
International Corporate Sales Manager
Kavi Choitram is a payments specialist at Elavon Merchant Services, with a specific focus on the Travel sector. Kavi has invested time in understanding the challenges faced by this complex, multinational group of businesses with respect to payments. In his business development capacity, Kavi and his team have driven bespoke solutions for their customers whether it be fraud related or interchange management, all the way adding value. Prior to joining Elavon, Kavi worked in both Corporate and Private Banking for a global institution. He has a BSc in Management and Economics from Kings College London.
Marie de Ducla
Industry Head Travel, Gulf
Marie looks after the Travel industry in the Gulf region. She has joined Google in 2010 and was managing top international travel accounts in the Google travel team in France prior to join Google Dubai in January 2012 to assist travel advertisers in the region to grow their online presence in MENA as well as in international markets.
Before joining Google, Marie held several position at Air France, the latest one being E-commerce Manager for www.airfrance.fr. Prior to joining Air France, she worked as a Business Development Manager in an outsourcing company and before that she was an Account executive at Mediacom Paris. Marie holds an MBA from ESCP Europe, and a Spanish litterature degree from la Sorbonne.
Product Director, Developer Tools
Phil Donathy, Product Director, Developer Tools, has responsibility for Travelport’s portfolio of developer tools. This includes product management for Classic API’s such as Galileo Web Services and XMLPro, also the global rollout of universal API, Travelport Developer Network and Universal Desktop SDK.
Developer Tools are an area of strategic focus for Travelport with significant investment in the universal API and universal Desktop SDK technologies aimed at making it easier for developers to work with Travelport’s technologies and reduce costs as well as creating new revenue streams. Since joining Travelport in 2009 Phil and his team have been focused on understanding the needs of developers in travel agencies as well as Independent Software Vendors and launched Travelport Universal API in 2010 and the Travelport Developer Network in 2011.
Prior to Travelport Phil held a number of commercial product management roles including heading up product management for a division of Sage software in the UK.
Research Analyst, Middle East
Ms. Faraj brings over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry to her post as a PhoCusWright analyst. Her career spans all divisions of sales, marketing, channel and distribution management divisions in the Middle East and Gulf. Mona started her career with Hilton International, then joined Rotana Hotels (newly established when she began in 1997 and now the leading regional hotel management company). Mona is currently holding the position of managing partner for Insights Management Consultancy LLC, which provides business consultancy services in the Middle East region for a wide spectrum of hospitality, tourism and service industry clients. She holds a degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.
Global Accounts Director, Travel
Bernd has joined Google in 2009 with the task to set up a global key account function within the sales organization. Over the last three years he has built a truly global team based in 9 different cities and 5 countries around the world managing the partnership with Google’s largest customers in the travel and tourism industry.
Prior to joining Google, Bernd worked for 10 years for Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading management and technology consulting firm. He was part of the management team for Germany, Switzerland and Austria and a senior member of the Global Transport team. He spent large part of his consulting career in the travel and tourism industry working for airlines, airports, air traffic service providers, government authorities and travel intermediaries in Europe, Americas, Middle East and Asia.
Bernd Fauser is a graduate of the European Business School (ESB) and holds a PhD in economics from Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL). Bernd is a German citizen.
Research Director, E-Commerce
Marriott International Inc.
Rob Johnston is the Research Director for Marriott International's eCommerce division. He is responsible for both qualitative and quantitative research focused on online/mobile strategies in the US and emerging markets. Prior to joining Marriott, Mr. Johnston focused on international market research where he conducted studies in over 40 countries, throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South America, East Asia, and the former Soviet Union. In addition to international research, Rob has developed consumer insights for several Fortune ranked, technology, media and nationally branded companies.
Cleartrip Travel Services Pvt. Ltd.
Tarique heralded Cleartrip’s foray into the Middle East, setting up and spearheading on of India’s leading online travel portals, in the UAE. Since its’ inception here 2-years ago, Tarique has dovetailed his business acumen and online expertise to leapfrog this business and turn it onto one of the regions’ foremost and preferred travel site. With a rich and varied experience of over 16-years in the travel and tourism industry with Profit Center Operations, Marketing, Business Development and E-commerce, Tarique has in the past, also worked at other global travel giants like Kuoni and Cox & Kings.
Director, Customer Service and Trust and Safety
Monroe Labouisse is the Director of Customer Service and Trust & Safety at Airbnb. He joined Airbnb in August of 2011 and he has global responsibility for all of the company’s customer service employees and risk management operations.
From 2001 to 2011, Monroe worked at eBay and PayPal, where he was responsible for consumer protection programs, overseeing both customer service and risk management for PayPal Buyer Protection and eBay Buyer Protection. He was general manager for PayPal’s business on eBay in North America from 2007 to 2009. While there he initiated the establishment of the first account management team and consumer protection program for eBay Motors.
Monroe first developed a passion for travel when, after graduating from Harvard, he bought himself a one-way ticket to Taiwan with the intention of exploring Asia for a year. Five years, 25 countries, and 3 continents later, including stops in Hong Kong, Singapore and Rangoon to work in investment banking and venture capital, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a career in consumer technology. He and his family still love taking international vacations and on their latest they visited volcanoes and tree sloths in Costa Rica.
Co-Founder and Editor
Kevin May is editor and co-founder of Tnooz.com, a B2B news service focusing on travel technology, online travel, digital marketing, social media, distribution and related disciplines. Prior to launching Tnooz in September 2009, Kevin was editor at Travolution and has also held other senior editorial positions at Media Week (UK), Essex Enquirer and the Police Gazette. He studied criminology at university and lives in Bishops Stortford, UK.
Head of Travel
Lee is the Head of Travel at Facebook where he is responsible for how Facebook thinks about and works with travel marketers. As head of Facebook’s global travel marketing industry efforts, he plays a lead role in developing the holistic strategy for the travel industry overall.
Prior to joining Facebook, Lee was Senior Director of Market Management for Expedia. During his five years at Expedia, he was responsible for managing hotel partner strategy and relationships across several regions including US, Canada, Asia Pacific and Oceania. Lee has also held sales and marketing roles with eBay, Telstra and Warner Music.
Lee holds a Master of Arts in Media from Sheffield Hallam University and a Masters of Business Administration from Warwick Business School.
Vice President E-Commerce Sales and Distribution
Rémy Merckx is VP e-Commerce Sales & Distribution for Accor Hotels. He is in charge of the global e-Commerce Sales & Distribution strategy for all Accor brands including www.accorhotels.com. He and his team are overlooking responsibilities for the acquisition strategy including search, affiliation, partnership, communication, e-Marketing and advertisement for www.accorhotels.com and the hotel branded sites. He’s obviously also in charge of the sales and commercial animation of the sites and is leading the international coordination with the countries for all e-Commerce topics.
Rémy is also is in charge of the global online distribution strategy for all Accor branded hotels. His distribution team is responsible for signing global agreements with major Online Travel Agencies (OTA) and optimizing the productivity and profitability of all distribution Global Strategic Accounts.
Rémy joined Accor in November 2010 after an extensive 10 years of experience with Expedia, Inc. the leading and largest Travel Company in the world with an extensive brand portfolio that includes Expedia, Hotels.com, Venere.com, Hotwire and e-Long. Rémy joined Expedia in 2001 as a Hotel Sales Manager for the UK market before moving end 2002 to a Regional Manager position for the Benelux market and finally in 2005 launching the newly created Hotel Global Strategic Accounts team. Previously, he held several management positions in the International Hotel Industry such as Hilton Hotels, Starwood Hotels, IHG.
Valyn Perini is an experienced travel professional with more than fifteen years in hospitality and travel operations, sales and marketing, systems, consulting, and software development. As CEO of OpenTravel, Ms. Perini oversees the operations of the organization, including developing and executing strategies to reach the goal of standardizing electronic distribution of traveler information in the travel industry.
Her hotel career with InterContinental, Westin and Swissotel spanned sales, catering, operations and systems from the property to the international corporate office. As a hospitality technology consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, she worked for cruise lines, hotel companies, technology vendors and the federal government. As the director of product strategy for Newmarket International, a software development firm that creates applications for the hotel industry, she oversaw product management and new product development.
Ms. Perini has worked in Atlanta, New York, Zurich and Washington DC. She now makes her home in Boston, Massachusetts.
Co-Founder and CEO
Roman has been involved in travel technology for over 15 years. His diverse background have allowed him to combine his scientific/analytic acumen from a Masters in Engineering with a natural talent for designing user interfaces. He has worked both as a hotel general manager and hotel revenue management consultant. Roman previously co-founded iNNtelligenz, a pricing intelligence webapp targeted at small & medium sized hotels. Currently Roman runs DealAngel - a hotel deals comparison site that finds hotels selling lower than their fair price, a.k.a. ‘real deals’. Roman has an MBA from Katz School of Business, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Nigel Pocklington became Chief Marketing Officer for Hotels.com in January 2012. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the marketing efforts for the brand across all global territories including Latin America, Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America.
Nigel joined Hotels.com in October 2007 as Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, before taking on the role of Vice President of Global Marketing & Strategy in April 2009.
Prior to joining Hotels.com, he was Director of Online Publishing at the Financial Times, where he was the board director responsible for all online activities, from the newspaper’s website, FT.com, to content licensing and mobile services. He was then recruited as CEO of Horsesmouth.co.uk, an innovative peer-to-peer online mentoring start-up.
Before moving to the Financial Times, he worked at the business’ parent company, Pearson plc, where he was Strategy and Development Director. He began his career with McKinsey and Company.
Nigel graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Modern History and an M.Phil in International Relations. He also has an MBA from INSEAD. Outside the office he enjoys travel, especially to climb mountains, and plays the ‘cello.
Co-Founder and CMO
Mauricio Prieto is co-founder of eDreams and Chief Marketing Officer and board member of ODIGEO, the group resulting from the merger of eDreams with GoVoyages and the acquisition of Opodo from Amadeus in 2011. ODIGEO is one of the world's leading online travel groups and the largest European OTA group, with more than $5 billion in gross bookings. Prior to eDreams, Mauricio worked in online product development and marketing for Charles Schwab in San Francisco. Before that, he worked in Booz Allen & Hamilton in Mexico City. Mauricio holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA from Princeton University.
Senior Director, Research
Mr. Quinby is a travel industry veteran who enhances PhoCusWright's research team with his keen insights, diligent analysis and industry relationships. As senior director, research, he is a key contributor to The Global Edition, Special Projects and Custom Research, and oversees The Asia Pacific Edition. Douglas has been designing and leading PhoCusWright research for many years, including PhoCusWright's U.S. and Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview publications. He has led several seminal studies on social media and traveler reviews, travel agencies, the vacation rental markets in the U.S. and Europe, the local tours and activities market, global distribution systems and more. Douglas is a recognized expert on online travel and travel distribution and is frequently cited in leading media outlets including Bloomberg, CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is also a sought-after speaker and moderator, and has presented PhoCusWright research at numerous travel industry events around the world.
Prior to joining PhoCusWright, Douglas led his own firm providing strategic research, communications and marketing services to travel technology companies. He has also served as director, marketing and communications for Atinera and as packaged travel and technology editor for Leisure Travel News. Douglas is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music.
Senior Director, Research
Ms. Rheem leads PhoCusWright's consumer research practice, contributing articles, reports and webinars as well as spearheading Special Projects and custom client engagements. Since joining PhoCusWright in 2008, she has launched PhoCusWright's Consumer Travel Report series and has worked to establish PhoCusWright as the research authority on how consumers around the world make travel decisions. As an industry expert, she is a sought after speaker and is quoted frequently in trade and consumer media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TIME Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler.
Carroll also leverages her experience in hotel distribution for publications including PhoCusWright's U.S. Online Travel Overview, and oversees content for the PhoCusWright Research Subscription: European Edition. Prior to joining the team, Carroll spent six years working for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in various positions encompassing hotel operations, sales and global online distribution. She holds a Master of Management in Hospitality from Cornell University and a BA in Economics from New York University.
Co-Founder and CMO
Roman is the Co-Founder and COO 9flats.com. Previously, he was the Head of International Operations at groupon.com, world‘s largest daily coupon offerings site and worked at Accenture Strategy Consulting. Roman has a Master of Business Administration from European Business School, Germany, and Master of Computing, Unitec, New Zealand.
Vice President, Research
Lorraine Sileo is vice president, research, at PhoCusWright Inc., a division of the company she launched in 1998. PhoCusWright's global marketplace intelligence is the industry standard for segmentation, sizing, forecasting, trends, analysis and consumer travel planning behavior. She is quoted frequently in consumer and trade media and has authored numerous publications (including PhoCusWright's U.S. Online Travel Overview reports. Lorraine has testified at hearings held by the National Commission to Ensure Consumer Information and Choice in the Airline Industry, charged by Congress to examine the impact of online distribution on the travel industry. Lorraine was previously an adjunct professor at New York University's Graduate Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. She has analyzed the business and consumer electronics marketplace for various publications and media companies for over 20 years.
Vice President and Managing Director, International
Stephen has been a pioneer of data-driven marketing throughout his career and loves building out international businesses. He started as the Marketing Director and one of the first employees at Air Miles, an innovative joint venture in the UK with British Airways, with separate companies in Canada, Spain and The Netherlands. Following the sale of this business, he moved on to launch Safeway’s innovative loyalty programme. He then shifted into digital advertising when he joined Overture as Managing Director, EMEA. After Overture was acquired by Yahoo! for $1.7bn, he became Managing Director for all aspects of the Yahoo! European Consumer business. He then moved to become the CEO of Qype (recently acquired by Yelp). Stephen is also a non executive director and advisor to several other internet businesses.
Vice President, Package Travel
KAYAK Europe GmbH
The 34-year-old German is responsible for the package holiday business. Valentin has many years of experience in the industry. After studying economics, journalism and political science in Munich, he started his career as editor at the German national daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung before joining the Comvel group in Munich, one of the fastest growing tourism companies in Europe. In that position, he was responsible for Brand Marketing and Public Relations of weg.de, a German travel website. In addition, he acted as Managing Director of the tour operator FERIEN tourism within the group. Subsequently he moved to Unister group in Leipzig as Director of Strategy & Marketing. Valentin was also CEO for the internationally active Travel24.com PLC.
Riko Van Santen
Vice President, Digital Strategy, Loyalty and Distribution
Kempinski Hotels S.A.
Riko is based at Kempinski's headquarters overseeing the Distribution, E-Commerce, Revenue Management, and Loyalty disciplines. In this role Riko is setting the strategic direction of the company with regards to all distribution and e-commerce initiatives, as well as the overall revenue management and pricing structure deployment of the group. Riko furthermore is tasked with optimizing Kempinski's guest engagement and retention models as one of Global Hotel Alliance's founding members.
Prior to joining Kempinski Hotels, Riko was based in Paris, France where he oversaw 1,100 properties under 7 brands, as Vice President Distribution and E-Commerce at Starwood Capital's Louvre Hotels Group.
Previously he was Vice President of Electronic Distribution & ICT for the Golden Tulip Hospitality Group, hosting Central Reservations and Distribution solutions for multiple hospitality groups including TOP International, Pacific Hotels, Derag Hotels, and Stella, following revenue and rooms division roles at Utell, Pegasus Solutions and Okura Hotels.
Accomplishments include the pioneer launch of hotel brand website using RSS technology, Mobile-Device distribution, and on site guest reviews.
Riko speaks at various hotel schools and industry events on Distribution, Digital Commerce and Revenue Management, and has served on HTNG's board as Vice President, on HFTP EHTEC's Advisory Council, HEDNA'ss European Advisory Committee, Pegasus Solutions' Customer Advisory Board, and HSMAI Europe's Digital Marketing Advisory Board. Riko graduated with an Honours degree in Hospitality Management from Middlesex University, London, and holds a degree in Japanese business studies and various software administration qualifications.
Henry is a Managing Director at DC Partners, a leading European mid-market corporate finance advisory business, where he heads up the Leisure and Retail team.
Since joining DC in 2000, Henry has advised on a wide range of corporate finance transactions, which includes private and public disposals and acquisitions, as well as providing advice to corporates, private equity houses and management teams.
In the European travel sector, Henry’s has advised a wide range of businesses in different sub-sectors, including: eTraveli, Hoseasons, LateRoooms.com, Lowcost Travel Group, On the Beach, Page & Moy, Thomas Cook and Travel Republic.
Henry is a History graduate from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Prior to joining DC, Henry qualified and practiced as a solicitor in the corporate group at the European law firm, Eversheds.
Henry can be found at: http://uk.dcadvisory.com/People/Page-2/ and http://www.linkedin.com/pub/henry-wells/7/3a4/779
Philip C. Wolf
Years ago, a lonely entrepreneur embraced the controversial idea that quality of information would differentiate winners and losers in the then-burgeoning information age. That entrepreneur was Philip Wolf; the year was 1994. The company he founded, PhoCusWright Inc., is now the premier source for travel, tourism and hospitality intelligence, and nearly every industry presentation has at least one slide that says, "Source: PhoCusWright." He began his travel career in May 1989 heading a small agency. After two decades of analyzing and scrutinizing market trends, Philip has built a brand around his trademark catchphrase: "Strategically correct, not politically correct." He is the architect of the annually acclaimed PhoCusWright Conference and has taken the stage one-on-one with many of the industry elite. A sought-after speaker around the world, he has addressed audiences on five continents and is frequently quoted in consumer and trade media. Philip was named to Travel Weekly's "Club 33: The Most Influential People in the Travel Industry." Formerly an adjunct professor at NYU's Graduate Center for Hospitality and Tourism, he is currently a distinguished lecturer at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Philip has served as board director for companies on three continents, currently for travel search engine developer Hopper Inc., India's MakeMyTrip, Russian OTA oktogo.ru and mobile application developer QuickMobile. In addition, he serves as board advisor for European OTA ODIGEO, commission recovery specialist Net Trans, and accommodation booking provider BookingMarkets. Prior to PhoCusWright, Philip was CEO of a venture-funded software developer and travel booking engine pioneer. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University. Decades after first espousing the power of Internet travel, Philip continues to spark industry epiphanies... and leave audiences buzzing. Download Philip's full bio.
Regional Director, Marketing & Operations Middle East & North Africa
Amadeus IT Group S.A.
With nearly 20 years of travel Experience, Ahmed was appointed as Regional Director, Marketing & Operations for Middle East and North Africa in October 2010, following successful stints as Head of Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) Program, and as Regional Markets Director from August 2009-September 2010. Ahmed first joined Amadeus as General Manager of Amadeus Egypt in 2006, where under his leadership Amadeus Egypt was able to become the country’s undisputed GDS leader and technology provider for the entire travel trade.
Prior to Joining Amadeus, Ahmed worked for several global blue chip companies,
Such as American Express Travel, as Director of Operations, Showtime network, as Regional Manager, Retail, Middle East and North Africa, and in Kanoo Travel as Regional Head of E-commerce and Travel Operations. Ahmed in his previous roles proved his mettle as a senior travel executive skilled at building and scaling new divisions, as well as setting and successfully achieving business objectives within a short time frame.
Ahmed specializes in business re-engineering and he holds a B.A of Business administration, from the University of Cairo, and speaks both English and Arabic fluently.