The Phocuswright Conference Reveals Its 2017 Programming

The Phocuswright Conference Reveals Its 2017 Programming

Speakers will include executives from Priceline, Google, HomeAway, AccorHotels and more By: Mary Pat Sullivan
<p>Gillian Tans, president and CEO of, took the stage at The Phocuswright Conference last year. // © 2017 Phocuswright</p><p>Feature image...

Gillian Tans, president and CEO of, took the stage at The Phocuswright Conference last year. // © 2017 Phocuswright

Feature image (above): Sector Spotlight at The Phocuswright Conference 2016 // © 2017 Phocuswright

The Details

The Phocuswright Conference

Phocuswright has revealed its programming, and nearly 30 game changers will join the Phocuswright team on center stage at The Phocuswright Conference, Nov. 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fla.

“We are here to bring you the future of the industry from the leaders who will make it happen,” said Alicia Evanko, vice president of events for Northstar Travel Group. “Center Stage is where discussions come to life that helps all of us better see the future and where and how technology solutions will fit.” 

Executive interviews conducted by Phocuswright and Travel Weekly leadership on Nov. 8-9 will tackle China, India, OTAs, Meta Search, online reviews and much more. Interviews will include: International, Ltd. CFO Cindy Wang; MakeMyTrip co-founder and group CEO Deep Kalra; and Stephen Kaufer, president and CEO of TripAdvisor. The Nov. 8 closing interview will be the dream to pursue for many in the audience, as Glenn Fogel, Priceline Group’s CEO and president, will talk about how his company became the first travel entity to join the $100 billion club, hitting that capitalization mark this past summer. 

Executive interviews on Nov. 9 will include Johannes Thomas, managing director and chief revenue officer for Trivago GmbH, and Mark Okerstrom, president and CEO of Expedia, Inc.

Keynote presenters, taking the stage on November 9, include Google’s Oliver Heckmann, vice president of travel and shopping, and Inc’s president John Kim. Google, already the largest media company in the world, will give a glimpse into what’s next for Google Travel. And then, Kim, just a year into his leadership role at the vacation rental marketplace giant, will offer his take on the future and his data-driven, tech-forward approach to the highly competitive private accommodation market.

Interspersed on Center Stage will be a series of high-energy, inquisitive executive roundtable discussions led by Northstar Travel Group leadership from Phocuswright, Travel Weekly and Northstar Travel Group Asia. Three leaders in the user experience realm will talk to the future of the new UI. This discussion will explore sharing, speaking, driving and all consumer touchpoints altered by today’s reality. Speakers for this session will include: Sam Lessin, co-founder of Fin; Peter Sellis, director of revenue product for Snap Inc.; and Shaun Stewart, director of operations for Waymo. 

Siew Hoon Yeoh, Editorial Director, Northstar Travel Group Asia and Founder, Web In Travel, will lead an executive roundtable entitled: “The Next Big Thing.” She will be joined by panelists including: Steve Hafner, co-founder and CEO of Kayak; Frederic Lalonde, founder and CEO of Hopper Inc.; and Brad Gerstner, CEO of Altimeter Capital. They will tackle how to satisfy the everchanging needs of today’s traveler and how technology’s role continues to change.  

On day two, Center Stage will open with an executive roundtable. This morning wake up session will bring the money voices to the stage. The session, entitled “Street Talk” will tackle the intersection of finance, investment, M&A, IPOs and the world’s largest industry of travel and tourism. Panelists for this session include: Mark Mahaney, managing director of RBC Capital Markets; Rachael Rothman, senior analyst for gaming, lodging and leisure at Susquehanna Financial Group; Eric Sheridan, managing director for UBS; and Lloyd Walmsley director for Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. The session will be moderated by Jake Fuller, managing director for Guggenheim Securities LLC.

Then the discussion will turn to the Trump effect and the travel industry. This panel, entitled “Travel in the Age of Trump,” will dive into the questions the policies of the not-so-new administration have raised about the future of travel and tourism. This roundtable assembles leaders at the forefront of our industry's interaction with government and public policy to help all attendees understand these developments and prepare strategically for the years ahead. Confirmed panelists include: Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association, and Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. The moderator for this session will be Arnie Weissmann, Vice President and Editor in Chief of Travel Weekly. 

The hotly debated accommodation market will be the next topic. In the session “Accommodation Upended” panelists will debate what is best in distribution. Panelists will include: Tammy Peter, vice president of hotel distribution strategy and support for Wyndham Hotel Group; Romain Roulleau, senior vice president of digital and e-commerce for AccorHotels; Sam Shank, co-founder and CEO of HotelTonight; and Joan Vilà, executive chairman for Hotelbeds Group. Lorraine Sileo, Phocuswright’s Senior Vice President, Research and Business Operations, will moderate this discussion. 

Nearly 2,000 attendees are expected to register. To be sure you have the pulse of the industry's future, register today to attend.

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