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Aaron Lau and Sumana Rajarethnam confirmed as keynote speakers at ILTM Asia Pacific’s Opening Forum

Aaron Lau, Founder and CEO of the Gusto Collective (left), and Sumana Rajarethnam, south-east Asia Director of the Economist Intelligence Corporate.

The ILTM Asia Pacific Opening Forum, hosted at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore, will also showcase ILTM’s latest ‘Buzz v Reality’ research “Decoding the Luxury Traveller’s Mindset; Spotlight China”.

ILTM Asia Pacific has announced Aaron Lau, Founder and CEO of the Gusto Collective, and Sumana Rajarethnam, south-east Asia Director of the Economist Intelligence Corporate, as keynote speakers at the Opening Forum on Monday 19th June.

Aaron Lau will present a talk titled “From Jetset to Webset: How Web 3.0 Will Transform Luxury Travel” where he will divulge the importance of ‘phygital marketing’ to tap into Gen-Z customers; phygital marketing aims to combine the best aspects of physical and digital experiences to create an optimised, blended strategy in which to engage with customers so that they benefit with the best of both worlds. He will also explore how Web3 marketing could prove a useful tool in showcasing how the luxury travel industry can evolve transaction-focused customer loyalty marketing into a more enriching and experiential approach.

Prior to launching Gusto – Asia’s first brand technology group – in 2020, Lau accumulated a wealth of experience in weaving creative storytelling with technology through a variety of senior positions in prominent branding and advertising firms. As International President and CEO North America at Cheil Worldwide, part of Samsung’s South Korea Group, Lau led its global business across 43 countries for over a decade and spearheaded its digital expansion into Web 2.0. Before this, he was Chairman and CEO of DDB Asia for over 17 years and has sat on several advisory boards including Shanghai Xu Hui District Mayor’s International Advisory Board and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Lau comments: “I am looking forward to shedding light on the future of immersive customer experiences. Specifically, high-impact communication for key customer demographics and how this can be incorporated into the marketing strategies for luxury travel brands.”

Rajarethnam, based in Singapore, has over 17 years’ business advisory experience and has built vast expertise as a senior policy professional. He will present a macroeconomic global and regional outlook and reveal current economic trends and future expectations.

Before returning to The Economist Group in 2022, Rajarethnam most recently worked in Trust and Safety policy for two years at Kuaishou Technology and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. He also previously served as Executive Director of the Asian Dialogue Society, working to develop an alternative ASEAN Charter with leading policymakers, and organised the “Building a Better Asia” series, a programme for young leaders across Asia.

Rajarethnam comments: “I welcome and am looking forward to the opportunity to encourage ILTM Asia Pacific delegates to think differently, discover new possibilities and change their mindsets.”

The ILTM Asia Pacific Opening Forum, hosted at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore, will also showcase ILTM’s latest ‘Buzz v Reality’ research “Decoding the Luxury Traveller’s Mindset; Spotlight China.

This research takes a deep-dive into the travel behaviour of today’s high-net worth Chinese travellers to provide actionable business insights.

The following days sees the industry come together in a programme of one-to-one pre-scheduled meetings, networking events and media meetings, providing the platform for building business relationships with suppliers of luxury travel brands.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news co-ordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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