Following its successful debut last year, WiT Indie returns to Penang on 15 March 2019 for its second year. The one-day event hopes to arm independent business owners, startups and creatives in the travel industry with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.

During the one-day event, held at the Penang Institute in Penang, Malaysia, attendees will learn about trends in digital travel so that they can gain a competitive advantage in a very lucrative, but competitive, industry.

The event will feature a series of panel discussions, presentations, and coaching sessions that are designed to address the common and unique challenges faced by every business.

Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, Web in Travel, said,

“The beautiful thing about travel in Asia is its diversity. It’s made up of many little pieces, and entrepreneurs are crafting countless new experiences out of passion. It is our duty as an industry to help these independents flourish.”

WiT Indie 2019 will gather a cast of big names in the travel industry, including the likes of Louise Daley, Deputy CEO at AccorHotels APAC, Nikhil Manchharam, Managing Director, Asia at YOTEL, and Christine Tan, Managing Director at D-EDGE Hospitality Solutions APAC.

The roster also includes familiar names in the region’s tech startup ecosystem, such as Blanca Menchaca, CEO and co-founder at BeMyGuest, Kuo-Yi Lim, Managing Partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures, and Will Plummer, CEO and Co-Founder at Trust My Travel.

Helping travel businesses with monetization & digitalisation

This year, WiT Indie 2019 will explore the theme of Love & Money: How to have both and be Happy, challenging the notion that pursuing love and money are mutually exclusive.

The theme aims to keep business owners at the centre of the equation, inspiring them to take control of the opportunity to be a part of a booming sector in online travel.

Those who create travel experiences in the indie world of travel usually do it out of love (or passion). They are entrepreneurs, dreamers and makers to whom money is almost secondary.

“WiT Indie 2019 aims to show how independent business owners and startups can still earn money from doing what they love, by arming them with the tools and skills they need to do so. It stems from the attitude that if you can find people who love what you do and are willing to fund you or pay for your service and product, you can grow your passions into something bigger.” said Marissa Trew, Content & Marketing, Web In Travel.

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As travellers become more independent and adventurous, they do most, if not all, of their travel planning and research online; actively searching for local experiences. Independent travel providers who remain in the ‘long tail of travel’ are under pressure to respond to this growing trend. WiT Indie aims to offer these independents the tools to do so.

“These players in the long tail of travel must become savvier about getting discovered, engaging with the customer, delivering a superior experience and staying connected with the customer post-purchase,” said Yeoh.

Going beyond the typical conference agenda

At WiT Indie this year, attendees are encouraged to share their business problems, which will be addressed through facilitated peer-to-peer learning during the workshops sessions.

These sessions will be moderated by industry veterans and experts, in effort to drive the discussion towards constructive advice and implementable solutions.

WiT Indie 2019 will also feature a ‘Tern-Lite’. This term refers to a two-hour workshop aimed at encouraging students and graduates to build meaningful careers in travel. Targetting students and mid-career professionals, Tern-Lite will share ideas, advice, and tips on how to get started – whether in a startup or working for a major travel brand. It will also help point people to the correct skills needed to remain relevant in the region’s travel tech space.

e27 x WiT

At e27, we continue to support and participate in ecosystem building initiatives that help us stay true and relevant to our mission — to empower entrepreneurs with tools to build & grow their businesses.

“As a community of startups and independents, e27 is perfectly placed to help reach out to those who are on the path to building their own businesses that would find benefit from getting a little guidance, practical tips and coaching along the way,” Trew said.

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Students can register for Tern-Lite free of charge by registering with promotion code StudentWit19 or by contacting Geok Ling at [email protected] Capacity for Tern- Lite is limited to 60 seats.

Register here: .

Photo by wang xi on Unsplash