‘The best TravelDAZE to date!’ – Watch every session from this year’s conference

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Earlier this month the travel industry’s top thinkers descended in Cairns for Travel Weekly’s Travel DAZE Exec event.

Held on the rooftop of Cairns Convention Centre, delegates were treated to sweeping views of Far North Queensland’s tropical coastline.

The jam-packed agenda included industry heavyweights such as Tourism Australia CMO Susan Coghill, Luxury Escape founder Adam Schwab (video below), Journey Beyond’s Justine Lally and Alicia Triggs, and Australian Airport Association CEO James Goodwin.

For the first time in Travel DAZE history, delegates also had the opportunity to attend our sister publication’s famous advertising and media event – Cannes in Cairns. They heard from household names such as broadcaster Lisa Wilkinson, basketball legend Luc Longley, and the star of SBS’s Alone Australia Gina Chick.

Broadcaster Lisa Wilkinson speaks to an audience

Keynote speaker Lisa Wilkinson at Cannes in Cairns.

Event highlights 

Is Flight Centre a cult?

Flight Centre’s global head of marketing Clinton Hearne joined Travel Weekly’s Hoda Alzubaidi on stage for a no-filter session on everything Flight Centre and marketing, including, whether Flight Centre is indeed a cult.

Hearne did not deny the charge but did jokingly question whether a cult is always a bad thing.

Are sales and marketing friends or frenemies?

Journey Beyond’s Alicia Triggs and Justine Lally poked fun at the age-old rivalry between sales and marketing and looked at how businesses can turn the friction between them into something special.

“Marketing has all the f****n’ money,” joked Triggs, the executive GM of sales and partnerships at Journey Beyond.

The most valuable social hacks of 2024

One of travel’s most familiar faces and the founder of influencer marketing platform Tribe, Jules Lund, grabbed everyone’s attention with an educational presentation on how business can best use social media. Littered with tips and tricks on how to navigate the TikTok wormhole it was certainly one of the most entertaining talks of the day.

Is the industry doing enough to listen to indigenous communities?

AAT Kings Group CEO Ben Hall, alongside Voyages Indigenous Tourism’s Mossman Gorge Centre general manager Rachael Hodges, and Experience Co CEO John O’Sullivan, chatted with Travel Weekly’s new editor, Grant Jones, on profound and meaningful ways to experience and protect our First Nations people, their culture, storytelling, and history through responsible tourism.

What the delegates said

Hat’s off to Hoda Alzubaidi Nancy Hromin and the Misfits team – that was the best #TravelDaze to date! I appreciated being part of the panel and loved peeking into the looking glass of the future of travel!”

There is no better industry! Already looking forward to TravelDaze 2025.”

Insightful, collaborative, and entertaining. What more can you ask for!”

TravelDAZE – the new hub of creative idea travel

Nancy Hromin, editor-at-large of Travel Weekly said: “Given its growing links with Asia-Pac and the tropical climate, Cairns is soon to be the southern hemisphere’s home for creativity, art, film and travel. TravelDAZE will be the hub of creative ideas that help shape the travel industry.”

Hoda Alzubaidi, general manager at Travel Weekly said: “Together in the travel industry, we’ve overcome challenges, pushed boundaries, and demonstrated what true teamwork can achieve. This achievement not only marks a significant moment in our journey but also inspires us to aim higher and pursue even greater goals in travel.

Hoda Alzubaidi with Clinton Hearne.

“TravelDAZE Exec celebrates this triumph and reflects on the incredible possibilities that lie ahead. Thank you to all the sponsors and speakers who made this incredible event happen and excited for a bigger and better TravelDaze in 2025!”

The depth and breadth of talent at TravelDAZE even put the winter sunshine of Cairns in the shade, said Travel Weekly editor Grant Jones.

“It was a great way to kick off a new role. Not only was it a brilliant networking event for the travel trade but it was also a great exchange of ideas and the sharing of information in our most dynamic of industries,” he said.

“It was a great way to learn a lot in the one place in just a few days. I’m really looking forward to next year’s panels and seeing some more familiar faces.”

Catchup on OtheR sessions here: 

What is Community Tourism and why does it matter?

Tectonic plates: navigating political and environmental change

To see all the sessions, head to our YouTube channel here.

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