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 The SHY Report... Library  (Click title to read article)

Regular columns on trends and issues in the hospitality industry by one of Asia’s most respected travel editors and commentators, Yeoh Siew Hoon.

Letter from a Traveller: What Will It Be Like in the New America?
Two weeks ago, I was in Amsterdam and you couldn’t find a more liberal country than Netherlands where the coffee bars serve more than caffeine and where the people speak several languages just because they have to, situated as they ar...
Tony Fernandes on Retirement, Egos and One AirAsia.
Early October, Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes was awarded Airline Executive of the Year by CAPA (Centre for Aviation) in Amsterdam; In giving this award, CAPA said, 'AirAsia is back at the front of the pack and Tony has once again shown why he i...
Future is in Generic Apps and WeChat is Paving Way for Western World, says KLM’s Pieter Elbers.
For an airline that’s celebrating its 97th birthday, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has done a pretty good job of innovating in the digital space, it was the first airline to start using Facebook Messenger to communicate with its custo...
Letter from Nikoi: Nine Lessons from 12 Years of WIT.
I am lying on the beach in Nikoi Island, a private island retreat, off Bintan, Indonesia, this island in the Riau Archipelago was developed by former Australian banker Andrew Dixon and his partners into a back-to-nature resort for stressed ...
Momondo’s Burge on Brexit, Emotion, Meta and Startups.
Yeoh Siew Hoon catches up with Hugo Burge, CEO of London-based Momondo Group, to discuss, among other things, the impact of Brexit, the need for emotion and purpose in today’s world of travel, the evolution of meta and the investments...
Five Qualities of Superior Leadership and What Makes Effective Digital Talent.
It’s all very well to say you want to embark on a 'digital transformation' – as every company and his dog seems to be doing today – but it’s another thing to have the leaders and team who can deliver it
Hooray, We Have Moved on from Toilet Rolls: Hartman on Innovation and Integration.
It was good to see veteran hotelier Richard Hartman on stage at Hotelsworld Sydney being recognised for his contribution to hospitality – he received the conference’s 2016 Global First Award – and in fa...
Inspire True Hotel Loyalty by Making Your Programme Stand Out.
A recent survey showed that almost two-thirds (61%) of travellers find loyalty programmes and points do impact their choice of vacation spots
Tern to Inspire and Arm Travel Talent and Startups with New Skills.
As technology disrupts travel, fresh skills are being required of industry professionals and new jobs are being created in the fast-growing segment of online travel
Accor’s Issenberg talks Fairmont, culture and content
For a man who’s spent the past seven months leading the integration of a US$3 billion acquisition, involving 115 hotels across 40 countries, Michael Issenberg, the chairman of AccorHotels Asia Pacific, was looking decidedly relax...
Under Brexit Cloud, Travel Leaders Share Experiences of Asia.
The timing of the first WIT Europe in London held recently could not have happened at a more poignant time in the city’s history and travel industry leaders, while grappling with uncertainty, agreed there couldn’t be a bett...
Letter from London: Brexit Aftermath and an Icelandic Moment that United.
Twenty four hours in London, and it’s rather surreal; On the surface, it seems nothing’s changed since my last visit a month ago, yet so much has, I can sense the shock and disbelief that it’s come to pass and the rea...
The Making of Town Hall Hotel and the Rise of a London Neighbourhood.
I’ve always believed in the power of collaboration and more than that, creative conflict, that often it takes two opposites, like yin and yang, to create magic and such is the case of the story of the making of the Town Hall Hotel &am...
Dreamers May Still Win the Day in Online Travel as Brands go 'Upper Funnel'.
Ten years ago, we struggled to get the word 'inspiration' mentioned at online travel conferences, everyone was more interested in clicks, conversions and transactions
Art in Hotels, and the Role It Can Play in the Grey Space.
This was my third stay at The Gibson in Dublin, I like this hotel, it has the right touch of creativity without being too contrived, its staff are friendly without trying to be too cool and its rooms are contemporary in design but functiona...
Consolidation Continues, Money Flows in, Priceline CEO Huston Exits.
Proving that there’s never a dull moment in travel, while WIT Indonesia was happening inside the ballroom of Grand Nikko Bali last week, these things happened in the world outside
Letter from Bali: It’s Indonesia's Time in the Digital Sun.
It’s a full flight, the beginning of a long weekend for Singaporeans and Bali’s always a quick and good two-hour-flight escape for stressed out city folks
I Stayed in Four Hotels in 10 Days. Here's My Report Card.
Recently, I did one of those crazy city hops – going from Hong Kong to Seoul to Bangkok and Saigon in 10 days and in the process, I stayed in four hotels that, to me, capture the diversity of hospitality in Asia and how the industry&r...
Addicted to Change, the Stuff of Startups Who Can also Stuff it Up.
This is the longest stint I’ve not been travelling since I started WIT 12 years ago, two solid months on the ground – and it’s been wonderful, I feel like I’ve kinda settled into myself;  Travel is not necessari...
Women – Not Just One Day But Everyday.
I’ve been getting lots of reminders that today is International Women’s Day – lots of press releases from companies talking about women and how important the feminine sex is to them
VR is going to need a woman’s touch to make it real in travel.
There’s a by-now famous photo that’s been making the rounds in the digital world – it shows Mark Zuckerberg striding very confidently down an aisle in a room full of people wearing Virtual Reality headsets
Expedia's Greg Schulze on Dogs, Consumer Anxiety and 'Anything That Moves'.
If Greg Schulze had his way, the entire travel search process should have dog-friendly filters; the global executive of 'anything that moves', as he calls his portfolio at Expedia, moved to Singapore with his family in January and left...
Don’t Just Manage Revenue, Create a Holistic Strategy.
In the decade when Marriott International was credited for adapting American Airlines’ yield management practices for the hospitality industry, the Internet barely existed, Expedia was still a decade from launching, Mark Zuckerberg wa...
Hotel Wonderland as Distribution is Disrupted and ALICE Comes Out to Play.
A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away, I dreamt of being a hotelier, in fact, I recall asking a general manager if he would switch places with me for a day just so I would understand what it was like to walk around with hands behind my...
May the Internet Be With You – Hark the Forces at Play at Expedia.
As I write this at JFK airport, waiting for my Korean Airlines flight to Incheon, the Force has awakened: Yesterday – December 17 – was the premiere of the long-awaited and much-anticipated 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', which ...
'The Boss' Wife' Who’s Definitely Her Own Woman.
One thing was clear from the moment Diane von Fusternberg (DVF) walked on stage at the Expedia Partners Conference – she may be married to CEO Dara Khowroshahi’s boss Barry Diller but she is clearly her own boss, her own wo...
Letter from Las Vegas: In the Land of Giants, Welcome to the Growing World of Expedia.
I am sitting in the front row, getting ready for the start of the Expedia Partner Conference 2015 at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, There couldn’t be a more appropriate place for a meeting by this giant of giants in travel
We Shouldn't Stop Travelling But We Should Ask, What If Something Goes Wrong?
I don’t know if it was this post about a writer whose father died in a house rented on Airbnb that moved me and got me thinking – or if it was the terrorist attacks in Paris, or that bomb that downed a Russian jet...
The More Travel Consolidates, the More Freedom for Differentiation.
No sooner had I uttered the word 'consolidation' then another piece of news arrived in my inbox, this time, Sabre Hospitality Solutions buying the Trust Group of companies which include Trust International, Nexus and InnLink for US$154...
As Travel Consolidates, Welcome to the Land of Giants and Specialists.
Marriott buys Starwood; Accor in talks with Fairmont; Expedia nabs HomeAway – what’s next as the big gets bigger?  Marriott buys Starwood
The Millennial Traveller: Third Culture Colonialism.
As a 'third culture kid' (TCK), I never quite felt at home anywhere, patriotism remained a foreign concept and while it was easy to state, 'I am half English and half Singaporean (or Indonesian, technically speaking)' whenever people asked,...
For Asia, The Real Story is Only Beginning.
Richie is a 27-year-old orang utan living in the Semenggoh Wildlife Reserve of Sarawak, Philip Yong, CEO of Borneo Adventure, found him living in a cage as a baby, paid to free him and now he’s hanging out at the sanctuary, which...
Online Travel Giants on Building Loyalty and Differentiation.
With massive shifts in the terrain of the online travel industry, how are the big players responding?  When quizzed on their response to newcomers and changes in the online travel industry such as meta and mobiles, and how they will di...
GoWonder – A Safe Route for Women Travellers.
Isadora Sun is a millennial with a dream, she believes in a world where woman can travel the world freely, and has always believed in following her wanderlust;  After graduating from Edinburgh university, she spent 14 months backpackin...
Online Travel, Like Rugby, Is a Game of Inches, Says Agoda's Hughes.
When I caught up with Tim Hughes, vice president marketing of Agoda in Bangkok, the unexpected had just happened in the Rugby World Cup currently taking place in the UK
The Value of Authenticity in Storytelling and Travel.
A little over a year ago, I went to Peru, on my list was a visit to Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake AND Getting there involves a half-day-long drive from Cusco – made longer by drag in the dirt roads and the oc...
Letter from Kuching: Excuse Me, Do You Want my Hot Spot?
I’ve just returned from Kuching where we ran a Digital Marketing Bootcamp for the travel trade, the objective was to basically arm industry players with information and knowledge of how to make their business, and their destination, e...
How to go Beyond Being a 'Digital Vampire': Take Some Tips from The Who's Townshend.
In his John Peel Lecture of 2011, Pete Townshend of The Who called iTunes a 'digital vampire', saying it was bleeding artists with its enormous 30% commission;  He then went on to give some tips as to how iTunes could cr...
Bangkok Bomb: In Times of Crises, No Knee-Jerk Decisions Please.
'Our customers may make knee-jerk reactions because they have a right to, we shouldn’t because we have a responsibility not to';  I wanted to wait a couple of days before I wrote about the horrific bomb attack at the Erawan Shrin...
Expedia’s De Schepper Wants Hoteliers to See OTAs In A New Light.
Mieke De Schepper wants to help hoteliers in APAC see the light, as it were, regarding the true value of distribution via OTAs;  The vice president, Market Management, Asia Pacific, Expedia® Lodging Partner Services, who joine...
Letter from Saigon: Big, Young, Social and Mobile, Powered by Women.
One evening in Saigon, after a lovely dinner at a rooftop garden, we stopped on a sidewalk to have a brief chat about where to go next;  Ice cream? Beer? Wine? The choices are endless
The Murky World of e-Commerce and What Happens when Credit Card Fraud Strikes You.
Last month, I noticed a transaction on my Citibank Visa credit card that I didn’t recall making, it was for an event software solution so it was probable I could have made it, but on checking out the vendor’s website, I knew I h...
Ctrip to Bank on Product and Customer Service to Succeed in South-East Asia.
Ctrip, China’s largest OTA, opened its doors in Singapore with the official launch of its brand in Singapore last week;  The move signals the company’s regional ambitions with localised websites that went live ear...
Here's Grabbing Your Attention. Are You Suffering from LFS? List Fatigue Syndrome.
I got into a GrabCar Economy for the first time this week, The driver, a 60-something, is a senior executive working in manufacturing full-time but bought a car for his son and now wants some income to pay off his road tax and ins...
WIT Warrior Spotlight: Priceline’s APAC Champion Adrian Currie Salutes Early and Future Entrepreneurs.
At the WIT Conference last year in Singapore, we recognised 11 individuals whom we felt have had the most influence on the development of online travel in Asia Pacific;  As one of the first APAC-based heads for Priceline Group, Adrian ...
Technology is Here to Disrupt Marketplaces, Including Travel.
Karl Loo wants to transform the services marketplace in South-east Asia and lift income levels of small businesses and individual professionals
In Travel, Mobile-Ready 'Micro-Moments' Mean Business.
Increasingly impatient travel consumers in the middle of a 'micro-moment' expect mobile friendly websites;  If you don’t have one, you’ll lose business, says Bronwyn White (right), co-founder of MyTravelResearch
The Crazy World of Start-Ups – From Freelancers to Tour Guides, Smart Dog Collars and Avatar Animation.
In today’s world of disruption, everybody can do and be anything we want to be:  We can be taxi drivers (Uber), hoteliers (Airbnb), bloggers (WordPress), celebrities (social networks), headhunters (LinkedIn and lately, social rec...
Travel is Getting Like 'Game of Thrones', be Like a Hobbit to Win.
The news is sweet: Online travel is growing faster than the overall market and APAC remains a high growth market;  However that didn’t stop Timothy Hughes, vice president marketing of Agoda, from reminding everyone 'it&rsquo...
Travel Disruption Alert and Who Owns the Customer Journey.
With all the talk in the industry about who owns the customer journey, Yeoh Siew Hoon wonders if travelers want to be owned;  Many things were said at Phocuswright Dublin including how as part of Expedia’s test and learn strategy...
Letter from Dublin: From Misery to Silicon.
Walked out this morning towards the Liffey River with a spring in my step, it’s late spring in Dublin but frankly, it feels like winter to me;  The hood I am in – Grand Canal Dock, nickname Silicon Docks – represents ...
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 Most Recent Articles
Mobile is Generation-Busting, It’s Not All About Millennials, be Mindful of That.
Friday, 6th January 2017
I know there are many of us who couldn’t wait to see the end of 2016, it’s been a horrible year and even one day before New Year’s Eve, there are people saying, 'Hey wait, it hasn’t ended, let’s get through 2016 first

Myanmar, A Sleeping Beauty Being Woken Up by Technology and Tourism.
Tuesday, 27th December 2016
Growing up in Myanmar in the 70s, May Myat Mon Win dreamt of a day 'when our country could be like our neighbours' in South-east Asia, 'We just didn’t know how long it would take,' she said

Letter from Las Vegas: Where Polar Bears Play, Elvis is Alive and Trump Rules.
Monday, 26th December 2016
At San Francisco airport, the queue for immigration is packed with mainly people of Asian descent – Malaysians, Singaporeans, Indonesians, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Koreans and Indians

Ctrip Buys Out Skyscanner, First Move Into Global Meta-Search Territory.
Tuesday, 29th November 2016
Following Jenny Wu, chief strategy officer of Ctrip’s declarations of globalisation on stage at Phocuswright last week, this doesn’t come as a surprise but it’s a big deal – Ctrip acquiring Skyscanner for a valuation of £1
 Most Read in this Section
Accor’s Issenberg talks Fairmont, culture and content
Monday, 1st August 2016
For a man who’s spent the past seven months leading the integration of a US$3 billion acquisition, involving 115 hotels across 40 countries, Michael Issenberg, the chairman of AccorHotels Asia Pacific, was looking decidedly relaxed when I caught up with him in Sydney

Tern to Inspire and Arm Travel Talent and Startups with New Skills
Monday, 8th August 2016
As technology disrupts travel, fresh skills are being required of industry professionals and new jobs are being created in the fast-growing segment of online travel

Five Qualities of Superior Leadership and What Makes Effective Digital Talent
Saturday, 3rd September 2016
It’s all very well to say you want to embark on a 'digital transformation' – as every company and his dog seems to be doing today – but it’s another thing to have the leaders and team who can deliver it

Hooray, We Have Moved on from Toilet Rolls: Hartman on Innovation and Integration
Tuesday, 30th August 2016
It was good to see veteran hotelier Richard Hartman on stage at Hotelsworld Sydney being recognised for his contribution to hospitality – he received the conference’s 2016 Global First Award – and in familiar fine fighting form

Inspire True Hotel Loyalty by Making Your Programme Stand Out
Sunday, 14th August 2016
A recent survey showed that almost two-thirds (61%) of travellers find loyalty programmes and points do impact their choice of vacation spots

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