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TRAVELtech 2014 talks inspiring innovation

Travel trade spent a day of exploring “a better way of doing something” at TRAVELtech 2014 in Sydney last Friday.

Themed around inspiring innovation, the day opened with Flight Centre founder and chief executive officer Graham Turner talking about the success story that has been Flight Centre through flexibility and entrepreneurship, and key industry and corporate issues.

The in-depth sessions broke down who is who in the online travel world and what different companies were doing to make their mark in the online space. Guest speakers Michael Daley, insights delivery manager from Experian Hitwise and Google Australia industry manager Sarah French touched on navigating the Travel Web and the online travel habits of the Australian consumer.

Innovation execs, Peter Bradd from Fusion Labs, Jo Boundy from Qantas Airways and Simon Akeroy from Amadeus discussed fostering innovation as a job as an increasing number of companies now employ staff whose job description is to foster innovation, keep the business fresh, creative and moving forward.

Other key take away sessions included doing what it takes to turn a vision into reality and build a sustainable, growing business and the choices available for marketing and advertising across a digital, social, mobile and video platform.

The afternoon allowed several young travel companies to pitch their new businesses against each other, with the audience voting on who had the best concept. Rod Bishop, co-founder of Jayride.com pipped out Richard Ing, CEO, Troopr; Luke Crawford, director, tripbooka; Margaret Scott, founder and chief viewologist, Views on Top and Janeece Keller, founder and CEO, Bound Round to win the vote as best concept by the audience.

The day concluded with the TRAVELtech Web Awards, with TripAdvisor taking the top gong for Best Website, Airbnb awarded the Most Innovative Website and Hamilton Island the Best New Website.

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