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Travel Leaders to Meet in Bangkok on 7 September 2010

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Travel leaders will gather in Bangkok on 7 September 2010 to discuss the latest trends in travel distribution and marketing that are affecting the Thai travel industry.

A networking event will also be held to introduce industry leaders to students of travel, tourism and hospitality in an effort to groom tomorrow’s tourism leaders. The events will be hosted by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI) Asia Pacific, who are teaming up WIT-Web In Travel, to bring Asia Connect as well as WIT*e, the inspiration and mentoring event run by WIT, to Bangkok.

Organized by HSMAI Asia Pacific, Asia Connect is a one-day conference, focused on imparting new knowledge and skills in the travel distribution and marketing space to hospitality professionals. WIT*e – Inspiration & Mentoring is an evening event aimed at grooming tomorrow’s tourism leaders in Asia Pacific.

“We are delighted to work with WIT, the leading media platform in the travel distribution and marketing area, to bring Asia Connect Thailand and WIT*e to Bangkok,” said Craig Fong, Director of Marketing & Sales of Möevenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket, a founding Board of Directors member for HSMAI Asia Pacific and the event organizer for the Thai event. “The sales and marketing arena for travel and hospitality is becoming ever more complex, with several new channels opening up. This requires hoteliers to keep abreast of new trends and issues, in order to understand the challenges and capture the opportunities.”

Yeoh Siew Hoon, the producer of WIT–Web In Travel said, “We seized this opportunity to bring WIT*e to Thailand from Singapore, because we are firm believers in grooming tomorrow’s Asian tourism leaders. If travel and tourism students are mentored by industry professionals, they will to continue to be inspired to remain in the industry. All a young person needs is for someone to give them a chance.”

“Industry professionals who attend WIT*e, as evidenced at previous events held in Singapore, are equally inspired by the enthusiasm of the young. WIT*e is about connecting future leaders with industry professionals so that both can learn from each other,” Yeoh added.

The one-day Asia Connect conference and WIT*e networking event will be held at the Dusit Thani Bangkok. Asia Connect will run from 9am to 5pm while WIT*e will start from 6pm at the same venue, the Vimarnsuriya Room.

Asia Connect will kick off with a high-level travel leaders panel, moderated by Yeoh Siew Hoon. Taking part in the discussion will be Laurent Kuenzle, Managing Director, Asian Trails, Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO, Thai AirAsia, Morris Sim, Co-Founder & CEO, Circos Brand Karma, Jennifer Cronin, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Dusit International and Grahame Tate, Managing Director, IDeaS.

Other topics on the agenda include:

- Market Trends: Mid-Year “Temperature Check” by Jonas Orgen, Area Director – Asia, STR Global and Kris Lim, Associate Director – Strategic Intelligence Centre, PATA
- Future of Brands on the Internet by Jinn Powprapai, Managing Director of McCann Erickson
- Strategies and Tactics to Optimize GDS Hotel Distribution by Brett Henry, Vice President – Marketing, Abacus International
- Positioning Thailand as a “Preferred” MICE Destination by Akapol Sorasuchart, President Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)

At WIT*e, the same travel leaders featured in Asia Connect’s opening panel will share their career stories and advice with travel and tourism students and young talent.

In addition, Alex Lombardi, Regional APAC HR Director, of Amadeus which maintains regional its headquarters in Bangkok, will share his insights on their organizations’ latest global recruitment practices, along with new skills that are an advantage in an industry that’s increasingly being driven by technology. Amadeus has 219 offices worldwide and employs a total of 8,999 people.

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