WIT’s inaugural London event backed by major brands

WIT’s inaugural London event backed by major brands

WIT Europe has unveiled some of the brands backing its first event in London.

AccorHotels and Priceline are among the speakers, with the likes of Momondo Group and CarTrawler lending support.

Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder and managing director of WIT (Web in Travel), said: “There’s plenty of headroom for growth with online penetration still increasing across Asia, and the even bigger story is that of mobile, the game changer in the region.

“This is why WIT is bringing Asia to Europe this June 30.

“We feel the time is absolutely right for European travel brands to truly get Asia, while markets are at a time of transition – from traditional to digital, from group travel to independent, from emerging to emerged.

“Asia is no longer just aspiring, it’s inspiring in the way its travel industry has evolved.

“It used to be that what happened in the US would unfold in Europe and then Asia, but now with social, economic and political maturity, as well as a hunger for technological innovation, Asia’s coming up with stories of its own and leading the way in many cases.

“We want to bring these stories to Europe and we also want to learn from European travel brands which have expanded into Asia – WIT has always been about building bridges and the first WIT Europe in London is about building an online travel bridge between Asia and Europe.”

Momondo Group chief executive Hugo Burge, said: “Web in Travel long ago established itself as one of the premier global forums for exchanging ideas, getting the insight on innovation and for hearing from some of the sharpest minds in the online travel sector.

“Having built a reputation as the primary travel conference for Asia, it’s absolutely right it should now come to Europe to be a part of the fast-moving community here.

“This is a great opportunity for Momondo Group, at a point of rapid expansion ourselves, to be involved from an early stage in what we’re sure will become a must-attend fixture on the digital travel conference calendar.”

Dublin-based CarTrawler chief technology officer, Bobby Healy, said: “WIT Europe will act as a bridge connecting European travel innovators to this economic superpower.

“The vastness of this region is only matched by the size of the potential opportunity that it presents to companies like CarTrawler.”

Duncan Horton, chief executive of Travel Weekly Group, which is media partner, said: “We look forward to working with Siew Hoon and WIT to help promote this inaugural event in London. Lots of UK and European businesses are interested in expanding into Asia and we are expanding our own activities into this continent, so it is a good fit.”

Louise Daley, executive vice president and chief financial officer, AccorHotels Asia Pacific, said: “Globally Accor Hotels has 520,000 hotel rooms in 92 countries and opens two hotels every three days.

“In Asia, we currently have close to 26% of group hotel rooms and are opening one hotel every week.

“Our opening hotel pace and pipeline constitutes close to 50% of group development so this will give you an indication of how important APAC is to our worldwide growth.”

WIT Europe’s presenting partner is the Singapore Tourism Board.

Regional director, Europe, Tan Yen Nee, said: “South East Asia – and Singapore in particular – continues to represent a huge potential growth market for western tourism.

“As a technologically forward-thinking country within the region, and as a springboard to Asia, STB is delighted to be a presenting partner for the first WIT in Europe to bring key insights that we hope would inspire the travel ecosystem here to plug into the latest trends in travel technology and innovation across Asia.”

WIT Europe will be held at the Starr Cinema Auditorium at Tate Modern.

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