Digital Travel 2019

April 08 - 10, 2019

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, CA

DAY ONE: Dreams & Plans, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019

7:30 am - 8:35 am Continental Breakfast & Registration for All Attendees

8:35 am - 8:45 am Welcome Remarks and Icebreaker

Krishna Patel - Program Director, Digital Travel Summit

Krishna Patel

Program Director
Digital Travel Summit

8:45 am - 9:00 am Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Chris Stacey - Vice President, Commercial, UpLift

Chris Stacey

Vice President, Commercial

9:00 am - 9:20 am KEYNOTE “You are Here” – Positioning Yourself with Respect to Ongoing and Future Trends

Eliot Hamlisch - Senior Vice President, Worldwide Loyalty & Partnerships, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Staying on top of current events and changing consumer expectations is a balancing act akin to find your location on a map that is always moving.  We’ll start the mental journey into the strategic discussions of the next three days by thinking about:
•Things change every three months, what are recent developments of note and what can we expect next?
•When GDP drops, travel drops, what companies are doing to combat  uncertainty caused by trade problems
•Any new or pending mergers and acquisitions and their impact
•Pending disruption from players including Google and Amazon


Eliot Hamlisch

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Loyalty & Partnerships
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

9:20 am - 9:40 am FIRESIDE CHAT From “S.O.S” to “Bienvenidos” - If You Don’t Like What People Are Saying, Change the Conversation

Nancy Trejos - Travel and Hotels Reporter USA TODAY Leah Chandler CDME - Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Puerto Rico
Upset travelers, massive delays, accidents, natural disasters – the travel industry deals with more than its fair share of negative press.   This session will delve into how Discover Puerto Rico has been taking the viral impressions generated in the wake of disastrous Hurricane Maria and turning them into a vehicle to share a new message aimed at rebuilding the island’s reputation and tourism economy.

Nancy Trejos

Travel and Hotels Reporter


Leah Chandler CDME

Chief Marketing Officer
Discover Puerto Rico

As we researched our program agenda it became clear: the cruise companies are the cool kids, and you want to hear from them!  Let’s set sail and explore though this discussion with a hop off, hop on again when it comes to the stuff of seafaring dreams including:
·         Wearables at sea
·         Leveraging relationships with travel agents
·         Forging strong relationships with customers across audiences

Chris Stacey

Vice President, Commercial


Andrea Shey

Director of Loyalty Marketing
Celebrity Cruises


Jonathan Stephen

Sr. Manager, Mobile Strategy & Digital Engagement
Norwegian Cruise Line


Victor Hernandez

Director, Digital Marketing and CRM
Windstar Cruises

10:20 am - 10:40 am CASE STUDY Experiences That Travel Well: How To Create Unique Experiences For Today's Digital Globetrotters

Jean-Marc Bellaiche - Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer, ContentSquare Yassine Hachem - Vice President New Businesses & Acquisitions Synergies, AccorHotels
UX-perts from global leader in hospitality Accor will join forces with ContentSquare's data gurus to reveal the ins and outs of a great digital journey. Learn how to deliver experiences so seamless your audience will come directly to you for bookings. Hear advice on how to boost conversions on ancillary sales. Get tips on expanding your membership base, and keeping visitors engaged all the way to conversion.

Jean-Marc Bellaiche

Chief Strategy and Partnership Officer


Yassine Hachem

Vice President New Businesses & Acquisitions Synergies

10:40 am - 11:20 am #Cronuts #Caffeine #Conversation #NewInsights #Networking Break in the Solutions Lounge #Want

11:20 am - 11:40 am FIRESIDE CHAT The Best Vista Ever – Getting to the Lookout Point that Gives You a Clear View of Your Customer

Simon Lejeune - Head of User Acquisition, Hopper Alex Otrezov - Head of Search & Experimentation, Uber
This fireside chat  will feature a peer to peer interview on how each company  is leveraging customer data to get a fuller view of his/her needs as they prepare for or are actively traveling. 
•Considering how your offering may tie into the larger set of travel services needed    
•How can we get all the data, get all the nuances, read into that and make conclusions?
•Is AI real or a buzzword?

Simon Lejeune

Head of User Acquisition


Alex Otrezov

Head of Search & Experimentation

11:40 am - 12:00 pm CASE STUDY Welcoming the Digitally-Savvy Chinese Traveler

Humphrey Ho - Managing Partner, Hylink Travel
In 2017, we saw over 129 million Chinese travel abroad. As an increasing number of Chinese set their sights on international destinations, how should your brand prepare for, and engage with, this burgeoning and technologically-advanced traveler? To be successful in the China market, it is imperative to understand the unique consumption patterns and evolving needs of this complex consumer. Humphrey Ho will offer an update on the Chinese traveler profile, share insights on their preferred activities and experiences, and how your brand can target them at all stages of their travel experience. 

Humphrey Ho

Managing Partner
Hylink Travel

The struggle bus with the most seats in the travel industry these days seems to be the one for folks working to creating a customer data layer that they can really market from.  We’re talking the one that makes better personas, faster, so you can be smarter and more triggered in deploying personalized campaigns.  This is a global aspiration that is great in theory, “damn difficult” (in the exact words of your peers) to do in reality.  How can we begin to wrap our brains and arms around customer segmentation?

•You’re as old as you feel! It’s about more than millennials. If you really want to target you have to look at sub-segments and understand: its not age specific its behavior and interest specific.  
•How do you identify these people and leverage their info in your marketing tactics?  

Chris Stacey

Vice President, Commercial


Joyce Bliss

Global Marketing Director
Enterprise Holdings (National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car)


Andrew Wilson

Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau


Michael Osborne

CEO & President

12:40 pm - 12:50 pm TECH TEASER: I Could Never Afford That Trip. Wait... Can I? #Amazing

Sara Wyman - Vice President, Travel, Affirm Inc.


Sara Wyman

Vice President, Travel
Affirm Inc.

12:50 pm - 1:50 pm #Networking #Lunch #Delicious

Stackla Lunch + Learn

12:50 pm - 1:50 pm Fueling Booking Decisions with Real Traveler Content
Social media and smartphones have given rise to the era of visual content — changing the traveler's journey from inspiration to booking.
Our recent survey revealed that 86% of people say they have become interested in traveling to a certain destination after seeing social images from friends, family or peers. By leveraging this content you can stop wasting time and money producing picture-perfect visuals or buying inauthentic stock photos for all your marketing activities – instead you could be tapping into the wealth of real photos and videos travelers create and share online everyday.
Key Takeaways:
-Learn how you can leverage user-generated content (UGC) to create integrated customer experiences throughout the booking journey
-Hear how real travel brands are seeing up to a 65% reduction in content costs and 33% boost in bookings
-Review the latest trends on the types of content consumers find most influential when planning travel
If you have interest in attending, please email

ROUNDTABLES: A highlight of Digital Travel, roundtable discussions are your best opportunity to deep-dive into discussions and idea-share with your peers. You pick 2 themes during this session.
ROUNDTABLE 1  Turning Conference Takeaways into Tangible To-Do's: Every Little Bit Helps
Discussion Leader: Marie Wickham, E-Commerce Officer, Qatar Airways
ROUNDTABLE 2 What Was Your Best Promo This Year, and Why? 
Discussion Leader: Brian Angello, Director of Marketing - Resorts & Cabins, The Dollywood Company
ROUNDTABLE 3 This Is Unreal – Spotting and Deterring Fraudulent Bookings 
Discussion Leader: Ata Gokyildirim - General Manager of Asia-Pacific, Forter
ROUNDTABLE 4 Dominate Inboxes and Hearts with Proven E-Mail Marketing Optimization Tactics
Discussion Leader: Austin Bliss, President, FreshAddress

ROUNDTABLE 5  FOMO, No Mo’ - Marketing to your traveler’s bucket list with authenticity, inspiration and impact
Discussion Leader: Tedd Evers, CEO, TripTuner

ROUNDTABLE 6 You Have My Data, Why Don't You Know Me? Modernizing Existing Customer Assets to Drive The Perfect Next-Gen Guest Experience
Discussion Leader: Scott Gorny, Vice President – Executive Client Partner, Publicis Sapient

Marie Wickham

Marketing Officer
Qatar Airways


Brian Angello

Director of Marketing - Resorts & Cabins
The Dollywood Company


Austin Bliss



Tedd Evers

Founder & CEO


Ata Gokyildirim

General Manager of Asia-Pacific


Scott Gorny

Vice President – Executive Client Partner
Publicis Sapient

2:50 pm - 3:30 pm #MoreCoffee #MoreNetworking #CantBelieveAllThatIAmLearning #WishYouWereHere

Track A: Creating FOMO

3:30 pm - 3:40 pm Chairperson’s Afternoon Address
Lucas Luxton - Director of Tourism Partnerships, CrowdRiff

Lucas Luxton

Director of Tourism Partnerships

Track A: Creating FOMO

3:40 pm - 4:00 pm CASE STUDY We Wanted to Be #1 on TripAdvisor… and Now We Are
Christine Loose - Vice President – Lodging & Wellness, Kohler Co.
When it comes to strategic placement of your brand in the minds of would-be customers, social sharing and reviews are more important than ever.  Christine will share how she and her team set their sights on the top TripAdvisor listing in their market, and the steps they took to get there.
·         Applying Six Sigma strategies to create a strategy
·         Reframing “removing friction” in terms of minimizing guest discomfort
·         Training your staff to drive reviews without pitching guests


Christine Loose

Vice President – Lodging & Wellness
Kohler Co.

Track A: Creating FOMO

4:00 pm - 4:20 pm Eyes Full of Language: Global Content Marketing Done Well, at Scale
Jamey Bainer - Director of Strategy & Planning, PACIFIC
Many travel brands struggle to do content marketing right in their own country, but how do you tackle it across multiple regions, where one botched translation or unintended cultural offense can cost you not just a customer, but an entire country? We’ll walk through case studies from Expedia, eBookers and to show you how to develop a localized content strategy to build you brand and your business results at scale.
Discussion topics include:
  • Building region- and country-specific strategies
  • Leveraging local partners
  • Identifying and acting on behavioral differences across regions
  • Working with culturally relevant influencers
  • Translation and localization done well
  • Driving scalability through global applications and local executions
  • Measuring true business impacts of content marketing (that’s right folks, we’re talking ROI!)

Jamey Bainer

Director of Strategy & Planning

Track B: I'm Dreaming Of...

3:30 pm - 3:40 pm Chairperson’s Afternoon Address
Kenneth Purcell - Founder & CEO, iSeatz

Kenneth Purcell

Founder & CEO

Track B: I'm Dreaming Of...

3:40 pm - 4:00 pm CASE STUDY Leaning into the Detours on the Way to Personalization: We’re Working On Doing Some of It, It’s Not Perfect, Here Are Our Learnings to Date
Jason Dahlin - Senior Director, Digital Commerce, Choice Hotels International has been bringing their A Game to drive continuous optimization, intuitive usability, and record breaking revenue growth.  Like a perfectly photographed social media post, there’s more to this great story than meets the eye, and a whole bunch of bloopers that don’t make it into the frame. Jason is going to share how new initiatives to improve personalization have been going for his team, what they have learned, and how they plan to recalibrate their approach to get closer to their vision for serving their customers.

Jason Dahlin

Senior Director, Digital Commerce
Choice Hotels International

Track B: I'm Dreaming Of...

4:00 pm - 4:20 pm TECH STOP CASE STUDY This Is Unreal – Spotting and Deterring the Nightmares of Fraudulent Bookings
Dean Locke - Head of Business Development, Riskified Fernando Montoro - Director, International Strategy,

Dean Locke

Head of Business Development


Fernando Montoro

Director, International Strategy

Track C: Lookout Point (Invitation Only) (Travel Only)

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm How Are You Redesigning Your Customer Experience to Reflect Evolving Digital Habits?
Mario Ciabarra - Founder & CEO Quantum Metric Jessie Lewis - eCommerce, Technical Product Owner, Alaska Airlines
“How can we keep up with changing customer expectations and habits” is THE driving question for many travel executives as they seek to stay relevant and drive bookings.  This exclusive session will provide insights from Alaska Air with respect to ongoing efforts to keep pace in the digital ecosystem followed by the opportunity for in-depth, face to face discussion of your reactions to this challenge in a closed room setting.  

Jessie Lewis

eCommerce, Technical Product Owner
Alaska Airlines


Mario Ciabarra

Founder & CEO
Quantum Metric

Brand, platform, and online communities are providing exciting opportunities for people to connect and find travel inspiration.   This panel will share different ways they have been working to meet the would-be travelers needs to feel this sense of connection and promise when dreaming of or planning a trip. 

Lucas Luxton

Director of Tourism Partnerships


Nicole Brown

Senior Director, Brand Partnerships


Kristen Vasan

Director, Strategic Platform Partnerships


Mark Murray

Head of Travel

•Top questions for advertisers  to ask when  talking to a vendor in the space 
•How do you calculate the return?
•Gauging the quality of the ad space
•Strategies for spotting and managing fraud   
•How to informing your programmatic choices using your first party data
•Wins and fails in look alike audience targeting 


Kenneth Purcell

Founder & CEO


Alex Sutton III

Director, Digital Acquisition
Avis Budget Group


Amanda Johnson

Director, Media & Digital Marketing
Herschend Family Entertainment


Chris Amenechi

Vice President, Revenue Management
Copa Airlines


Topic 1: Dealing With Cultural Change

Topic 2: Growth & Repositioning The Brand Promise

Topic 3: AI and Other Shiny New Things – Buzzword or Solid Strategy?

Topic 4: The Next Big Innovation In Travel

4:30 pm - 5:10 pm Lookout Point Afternoon Margarita Making Class

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Taste of California Welcome Party

After five amazing years in Las Vegas, we're thrilled to explore a new corner of the world with you.  Share your thoughts on the first day of content with your fellow attendees and journey together to the regionally themed stations where you can sample a curated selection of local wines and beers from different areas of the Golden State #happyhour