Industry veteran and former chief information officer of Cathay Pacific and chief executive of Abacus has been appointed as the boss of decentralised travel marketplace onboarding partner Simard.
Simard is a for profit company that will assist travel companies and payment processing specialists to integrate with the new decentralised marketplace built to revolutionise distribution by Winding Tree.
Joining Birch at Simard is Mathieu Tahon, as chief technology officer, and Bill Holgate, as vice president of sales and account management for north America.
Following COVID, blockchain marketplace Winding Tree expects to see significant scaling up of its platform in 2022 as travel firms in business and leisure travel look to make distribution more efficient, flexible and more secure.
Simard says its management team bring years of experience in the travel and blockchain that will “further advance the company’s mission to support those joining the decentralised travel marketplace (DTM)”.
Birch, who has held a number of positions in travel including seven years as president and chief executive at Asian GDS Abacus, said:
“While the current excitement is around so-called DeFi, in practice, the decentralisation of travel distribution, represents just as large an opportunity. I’m really pleased and excited to be given the opportunity to help make this transition happen.”
Tahon has over a decade of experience in developing cutting-edge technology for travel companies. He worked on developing payment solutions at Amadeus and before providing consultancy services for various airlines and travel businesses.
“As our society transitions towards the digital world, blockchain technology has proven to be extremely efficient at representing digital property and identity.
“In particular, autonomous and permissionless smart contracts are perfectly suited to make travel distribution more transparent, secure and cheaper to transact. My role is to make the technology easier to onboard and allow travel businesses to take full advantage of these new capabilities.”
Hogate’s extensive background in tech innovation in travel has seen him recognised as a pioneer of many widely used systems. He has previously worked for Frasca International, Lumo, and most recently as vice president sales and marketing at CorpTrav.
He said: “I’ve worked in business travel for a while, and today represents a great opportunity to really shift the trajectory for the better. There’s no denying that this is now a changing world, and it’s exciting to have an opportunity to make yet one more contribution to it.”
Simard describes itself as a value-added services provider to Winding Tree’s recently launched decentralized travel marketplace (DTM) offering technical assistance to firms who require support.
The new-generation Winding Tree DTM built on the Ethereum platform enables peer-to-peer transactions between travel suppliers and buyers, removing the need to involve traditional intermediaries.
“Connecting corporate customers with travel suppliers directly can generate value-adding benefits to travellers in terms of personalised offers, access to relevant information, data transparency, and cost savings,” said Winding Tree.