Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit launches – with Cathay Pacific and Changi speakers

MUMBRELLA ASIA TRAVEL MARKETING SUMMIT LOGO EVENTS PAGEAviation will be one of the key themes at the Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit when it returns to Singapore on May 7, with a keynote speech by Cathay Pacific marketing chief Edward Bell and an in-depth question and answer session with Changi airport marcoms head Ivan Tan.

In addition, there will be expert speakers from Facebook, Japan Airlines, Expedia, Klook, Skyscanner, R3, TripZilla, Nielsen, the Travel Daily, Sofitel, Luxury Escapes, Quintessentially and TripAdvisor – to name but a few of those taking to the stage at the conference, which this year will be hosted at One Farrer Hotel.

Now in its second year, the summit will bring together hundreds of leading travel industry players. During the one-day conference, they will immerse themselves in the marketing challenges, trends, pain points and untapped opportunities within the travel space.

On the agenda will be a diverse range of topics including the keynote by Bell titled ‘Cathay Pacific: Repositioning a global brand after 25 years of marketing stability’.

Bell was bold with Cathay Pacific’s agency review

For in 2018, the Hong Kong-based global airlines Cathay Pacific switched agencies after 25 years with McCann – in order to bring in some “fresh thinking” from Publicis and VCCP.

It was a bold and brave move that resulted in a number of other carriers – including Singapore Airlines – following suit with their own global account reviews.

The man behind the decision to reboot Cathay Pacific’s marketing approach, Bell, will take delegates through the journey – outlining why it was necessary, the lessons learned along the way and the outcomes so far from his experience in Hong Kong.

Now general manager of brand, insights and marketing communications at the airline Bell was previously chief executive officer at FCB China. During a long and distinguished career he has also worked for the likes of Ogilvy and WPP. This session will be moderated by the Mumbrella Asia publisher Dean Carroll.

Delegates will also get to see the session titled ‘The world’s best airport: Behind the curtain of marketing and communications at Changi’.

Consistently voted the world’s best airport and with new developments in train including terminal four and the Jewel ‘lifestyle destination’, plus a starring role in the blockbuster movie Crazy Rich Asians, Changi is a marcoms dream.

It now serves more than 100 airlines flying to 400 cities in 100 countries worldwide. Every week, more than 7,000 flights land or depart from Changi – one every 80 seconds – effortlessly and efficiently in true Singaporean style, making it the envy of the world.

But the path to success has been long and winding, as witnessed by the group senior vice president of corporate and marketing communications Tan. He has been with Changi for a decade – before that coming from an agency and client background with  Weber Shandwick and SingTel respectively – and has guided the messaging along the way.

Tan has guided Changi’s marcoms

Tan will sit down with Mumbrella Asia publisher Dean Carroll to talk about the many ups and some of the downs. This question and answer session does indeed promise to provide a revealing and insightful glimpse behind the curtain at Changi.

We then have a session titled ‘Do influencers really have influence and, if so, which ones are worth your ad dollars? ‘.

In fact, influencers have become a polarising topic in the last year following incidents of fraud and fakery. Unilever has even halted work with influencers who buy followers, and other clients have followed that lead.

At the same token, surely there are positive stories to be told from brands which have seen the benefits of influencer campaigns? The panel will attempt to find out the truth so that you know where to put your ad dollars to get maximum bang for the buck.

On the panel representing the client side will be Akira Mitsumasu, vice-president of product, services and planning at Japan Airlines. From the media owner side, TheSmartLocal managing director Bryan Choo will join the debate.

Add to that, the Singapore-based influencer Xin Lin Khaw plus Kobe Global Technologies (award-winning influencer agency) founder and chief executive officer Evangeline Leong, and prominent influencer critic – and Right Hook Communications public relations director – Wesley Gunter.

Leong is in the pro-influencer camp

Moderating proceedings will be Facebook head of agency for Asia-Pacific, Neil Stewart – a man who is known for being slightly sceptical about influencers. He makes up what promises to be a compelling line-up and a truly compelling debate.

Tapping into a new trend will be the session ‘Understanding ‘bleisure’: The new trend of mixing business trips with leisure travel’.

It will feature new research from Expedia Group mapping out what influences ‘bleisure’ traveller decisions including their preferences, priorities, resources and financial factors, as well as what makes a destination appealing.

Delegates will gain a deeper understanding of how to reach, engage and convert bleisure travellers. The session will include actionable insights and the lowdown on destination marketing strategies.

The man delivering the intelligence will be Gianluca Armando, the Asia-Pacific regional director at Expedia Group. Armando has been with the company since 2008, having worked for the company in various countries including Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.

Moderating the session, and indeed the MC for the whole day, will be BBC news presenter and producer Sharanjit Leyl.

Sharanjit Leyl_Mumbrella Asia Travel Marketing Summit

The BBC’s Leyl will MC for the day

The audience will also get to witness a unique session on ‘Product placement and destination marketing: The Crazy Rich Asians bounce for Singapore’.

It was the film that took the world by storm in 2018, thanks partly to the stunning Singapore backdrop. As a result, locations and brands in the Lion City – like the Marina Bay Sands hotel and Changi Airport – expected a huge marketing boost from their silver screen appearance.

A year on from its release, what are the outcomes for Singapore? Did the product placement work? Was it the destination marketing triumph the likes of the Singapore Tourism Board painted it to be?

Our exciting panel of media and marketing speakers will look at the evidence. They include Nielsen customer insights leader Garick Kea, who worked previously for Isentia and BlackBerry, and the editor of Singapore Airlines in-flight magazine (SilverKris) Jalean Wong, as well as the J. Walter Thompson Intelligence APAC director May Yee Chen.

Also joining them will be Joji Jacob, the co-founder and creative partner of Singapore independent creative agency BLK J and the entrepreneurial TripZilla founder and chief executive officer Winnie Tan.

Moderating the session will be the R3 principal and co-founder , who can name among the clients for her consultancy work the likes of Singapore Airlines, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Visa and MasterCard.

Goh will moderat the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ panel

Which brings us to the Chinese-focused session ‘Marketing to outward bound tourists from China – knowing the fundamentals’.

In 2017, Chinese tourists made 130 million trips abroad – spending an astounding US$115 billion; meaning China is now the highest spending nation when it comes to travelling.

But with cultural differences and language barriers to overcome, how exactly can travel brands outside of China tap into the country’s huge pool of tourists – who are just hungry for new experiences abroad?

Putting forward their insights will be our eclectic panel of speakers – with all sides of the market represented. They will include Luxury Escapes head of growth marketing for Asia Ravish Doctor – someone who has worked in the past for Skyscanner, SingTel, Nokia and Shell.

Also in the mix will be Leverate Media Asia vice-president of consulting Meutia Adryana – winner of the ‘Under-30 Achiever of the Year’ category at the Mumbrella Asia Awards in 2018.

On top of that, also joining will be Sofitel Singapore director of marketing and communications Walter Santos Navarro and Quintessentially Singapore managing director Da Yu Au, as well as TripAdvisor Asia-Pacific vice-president of display Cindy Tan and former BeMyGuest founder and chief executive officer Clement Wong – also vice-chairman of The Pacific Asia Travel Association.

Adryana has had a winning year

Moderating this sessions will be JCDecaux Singapore marketing and communications director Isaline Duminil. In a distinguished career, she has worked for L’Oréal, LVMH and TBWA among others.

Also on the bill is the session ‘Brand-building in a digital age ruled by programmatic advertising. Can it be done?’

Some industry grandees have suggested that brand-building is no longer fashionable, having taken a back seat to programmatic in the digital age – when ad spends are under ever greater scrutiny.

But is that really true? Is it a black and white choice between spending on programmatic to get a short-term return and betting on a long-term play of traditional brand equity campaigns? This diverse industry expert panel will attempt to get to the heart of the matter, looking at the issue from all sides – including that of the client, agency and online travel agency.

Joining the line-up is Omnicom Media Group Asia-Pacific chief executive officer Tony Harradine, a man who has already made his mark at OMG since taking the hot seat last year. Flying in from her San Francisco base to join us will be ADARA chief marketing officer Carolyn Corda – a Yale University graduate who previously worked for Accenture.

Harradine will talk programmatic and brand-building

You will also hear from the Klook head of regional marketing for South East Asia and the Middle East Marcus Yong – who previously worked for Scoot and the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Plus Skyscanner senior director and head of growth for Asia Paul Whiteway will be onboard as will ex-Googler and investment banker turned travel blogger Mar Pages. And the session will be moderated by Digitas Asia-Pacific chief strategy and transformation officer Justin Peyton, who is also a board member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau for South East Asia and India.

Then we have the session titled ‘The next iteration of marcoms – moving beyond traditional formats to immersive engagement’.

We know for sure that the days of putting out a press release to journalists and a traditional ad to consumers in order to spread the word about your product are long gone. Nowadays, marcoms professionals can use a wide array of mediums from influencers and programmatic to experiential and thought leadership.

But which is the most effective channel and why? How do we work smarter? And what does the next iteration look like for marcoms? All these questions and more will be debated in this lively panel discussion.

Among the panel members will be Vim & Vigour PR founder and managing director Lynda Williams, who has a number of travel clients in her company’s portfolio. Then there is Sinclair founder and chief executive officer Kiri Sinclair, winner of’ the ‘Agency Leader of the Year’ gong at the Mumbrella Asia Awards in 2018.

Is ‘immersive’ the way forward? Sinclair will ask

Also on the panel will be the investor and Travel Daily chief executive officer Brett Henry, plus FCB Asia-Pacific marketing and corporate communications director Evelyn Hsu and the ADK group chief creative officer Rob Sherlock. Moderating this session will be the Mumbrella Asia editor Ravi Balakrishnan.

Get your discounted earlybird tickets today for just AUD$299 now before the full price deadline kicks in.

For sponsorship enquiries, please email the sales manager Wilfred Wong at And for content queries, do reach out to the publisher Dean Carroll at

Any other questions relating to the summit should be directed to the event manager Lauren Venables at lauren@mumbrella.asiaFor further information visit the event website here.


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