2021 Agenda

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Tourism Insights and Trends in a COVID World

In this session, two of Australia’s leading women in travel – Tourism Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Coghill, and host of Getaway, Australia’s longest-running travel and lifestyle program, Catriona Rowntree – will discuss travelling in a COVID world. Susan will share insights on current tourism trends, and Catriona will share insights from her travels both domestically and internationally.

Susan Coghill
Chief Marketing Officer, Tourism Australia

Catriona Rowntree
Presenter, Getaway

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An Outsider’s Take on Australia’s International Border Debate

Australia’s international travel restrictions are amongst the toughest in the world, making it a very complex market for G Adventures to operate in. Join founder Bruce Poon Tip as he shares his thoughts on the tough border stance Down Under, and explains how the adventure travel player is working around it.

Bruce Poon Tip
Founder, G Adventures

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From Disruptor to Key Partner: Airbnb’s Pandemic Journey

Airbnb has traditionally been viewed as a disruptor of the travel industry, but the short-term rental giant has also played a key role in tourism’s recovery from COVID-19, particularly in Australia. Join Airbnb’s Country Manager, Susan Wheeldon, as she shares the company’s local journey through the pandemic, and how it plans to continue working hand in hand with other players in the travel industry.

Susan Wheeldon
Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand, Airbnb


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Rising Up in a Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has continued to innovate and invest, making the most of the opportunity to grow brand awareness while others were consolidating. Tune in to hear from NCL President and CEO Harry Sommer, as well as APAC Vice President and Managing Director Ben Angell, who will share global and local perspectives on the path ahead for the cruise line and the broader sector.

Harry Sommer
President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line

Ben Angell
Vice President and Managing Director, APAC, Norwegian Cruise Line

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Food, Glorious Food: The Key Ingredient of Peru’s Reboot Recipe

Peru was a popular destination for food-focused travellers pre-pandemic, and the country is relying on its gastronomic appeal to woo tourists back once again. Join Promperu’s Trade Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand, Mario Vargas, and Sydney-based chef Hugh Piper, as they discuss what makes Peruvian cuisine so unique and share the best places for Aussies to experience the destination’s culinary delights, once it is safe to do so.

Mario Vargas
Trade Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand, Promperu

Hugh Piper

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Keeping Air New Zealand’s Brand Promise, With Manaaki at the Core

Manaaki is a Maori term which means to care, respect and offer hospitality to others. In this session, Air New Zealand’s General Manager of Sales for Australia, Paul McLean, will explain how the airline delivers on its brand promise of Manaaki to customers, staff and its trade partners.

Paul McLean
General Manager of Sales, Australia, Air New Zealand


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Bubbles or Uncorked?

What does a post-COVID world look like for the travel industry and what happens before that? Dr Norman Swan, co-host of the popular Coronacast podcast and commentator on the ABC’s 7.30, will give context about the current pandemic, and talk about how we’re going to get out of this.

Dr Norman Swan
Host of ABC RN’s Health Report, co-host of Coronacast and commentator on ABC TV’s 7:30

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Helping Communities Cope Through COVID

During this time of uncertainty, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) has remained fully committed to supporting the 125,000 community members worldwide that rely on the organisation. In this session, AKP’s Executive Director, Keith Sproule, will share some examples of how it is taking action as the world adapts to the ‘new normal’.

Keith Sproule
Executive Director, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy

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Tourism for Reconciliation: The Time is Now

At this moment when Australians are travelling domestically, the industry has a powerful opportunity to promote and support First Nations tourism as we work together towards reconciliation and a fairer Australia for all. Join Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton and Patricia Adjei, who is on Intrepid’s Reconciliation Action Plan committee, as they reflect on tourism’s role in reconciliation and provide tips on how to support and advocate for First Nations businesses and suppliers.

James Thornton
CEO, Intrepid Group

Patricia Adjei
Head of First Nations Arts and Culture, Australia Council for the Arts

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Reinventing, Rebranding and Retaining for Post-COVID Success

Flight Centre Travel Group has wasted no time in redesigning core parts of its business to weather the COVID storm and come out the other side leaner and meaner. Founder and CEO Graham “Skroo” Turner talks through the rationale behind these big business decisions, and highlights the opportunities that lie ahead.

Graham Turner
CEO & Founder, Flight Centre Travel Group

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Enter the ‘Phuket Sandbox’: Thailand’s Reopening to the World

Join Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific), Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, as he details the destination’s reopening to international tourists, starting with Phuket. This session will also feature HiveSters CEO and Chief Of Fun, Achiraya Thamparipattra, who will share how the social enterprise plans to bring back its popular local experience tours.

Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya
Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and the South Pacific), Tourism Authority of Thailand

Achiraya Thamparipattra
CEO & Chief of Fun, Hivesters

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Getting Back to Business: The Future of Work and Travel

The way we work and travel has changed dramatically over the past 18 months. Join American Express Global Business Travel CEO Paul Abbott as he predicts the future of business travel and what trends and habits are here to stay.

Paul Abbott
Chief Executive Officer, American Express Global Business Travel


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Taking a Transparent Approach to the Restart of Cruising

With uncertainty still clouding the restart of cruising in Australia, Aurora Expeditions recently made the tough decision to postpone its local program. It’s this upfront, transparent approach that CEO Monique Ponfoort believes will be crucial in restoring the confidence of the cruise line’s customers, staff and trade partners.

Monique Ponfoort
CEO, Aurora Expeditions

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Remaining Relevant in a Tech-driven World

The COVID-induced slowdown in travel has forced those in the industry to work extra-hard in order to remain top of mind with customers, and technology is playing a big part in their success or failure. In this session, Thuy Carroll, founder and CEO of Tweet World Travel Group and TKG Platform, explains what travel companies should be looking for in a tech partner, and how digital assets can improve the customer experience..

Thuy Carroll
CEO & Founder, TKG Platform & Tweet World Travel Group

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Rebuilding Confidence With Technology

Collette has spent the current travel slowdown tinkering with its technology. President and Chief Brand Officer Jaclyn Leibl-Cote will share how this has gone a long way towards not only improving the wholesaler’s offering, but also rebuilding the confidence of customers and agents.

Jaclyn Leibl-Cote
President and Chief Brand Officer, Collette