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Opening Event

Tuesday | September 17, 2019

Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Location: Mandarin Oriental, New York, 36th Floor Ballroom

Program: Cocktail Party and Skift Design Awards

The Skift Design Awards is the travel industry’s recognition of the spaces, services, and initiatives transforming the traveler experience. We’ll announce the winners this evening. We’ll also be joined by keynote speaker Ian Schrager, founder of Ian Schrager Company, who will share his perspective and insights on the future role of design in hospitality and travel, in a one-to-one interview with Debbie Millman, founder and host of Design Matters, one of the world’s first and longest running podcasts on design.

Forum Program

Conference Location: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY

Day 1
Day 2

Wednesday, September 18

7:00 AM

Morning Breakout Sessions

Doors Open for Breakout Session Attendees (Must Register in Forum App)

7:30 AM

Doors Open and Breakfast

9:05 AM

Intention-Setting Exercise

9:10 AM

Introduction: Travel’s Responsibility to the World

9:20 AM

Navigating Global Scale: Opportunities and Challenges for the World’s Largest Cruise Line

9:50 AM

Building a Trusted Consumer Brand


Madhu Unnikrishnan
10:20 AM

The Consumer Experience Playbook: Making Moments Matter

10:30 AM

Accessibility: What’s It Worth?

10:45 AM

Networking Break

11:20 AM

Sustaining Impact: Private-Public Partnerships and Destination Management

11:45 AM

Charting the Next Phase of Growth and Profits

12:10 PM

Responsible Travel Marketing in the Era of Data, Privacy, and the Always-On Consumer

12:20 PM

Building a Next-Generation Brand: It’s More Than Just a Carry-On

12:45 PM


1:50 PM

Skift Research: The Short-Term Rental Ecosystem

2:00 PM

Luxury Travel Welcomes the Subscription Model

2:20 PM

Vacation Rentals: Making Bold Moves to Consolidate Inventory


Sean O’Neill
2:35 PM

Breaking the OTA Rules, One Package at a Time

2:50 PM

Beyond Automation: Understanding AI’s True Power in Travel Marketing


Jeremy Kressmann
3:00 PM

How Micro-Mobility, Self-Driving Cars and Augmented Reality Will Shape the Future of Travel

3:15 PM

The Conscious CEO: Travel Brands Driving Global Change

3:35 PM

Networking Break

4:00 PM

Skift Research: Millennial and Gen Z Traveler Trends

4:10 PM
4:25 PM

Tourism Stewardship: What’s Your Role and What’s Ours?

4:50 PM

Rethinking Loyalty and Innovating With Confidence

5:00 PM

Navigating the Economics of the World’s Largest Airline

5:25 PM

OTA Innovation: Strategic Shifts in the Market and What’s Next for

6:00 PM

Cocktail Reception

Thursday, September 19

7:00 AM

Morning Breakout Sessions

Doors Open for Breakout Session Attendees (Must Register in Forum App)

7:30 AM

Doors Open and Breakfast

9:10 AM

Expedia’s Next Big Move

9:35 AM

Financial Leadership: How Marriott Is Competing Globally and Scaling Its Brands

10:00 AM

How Attribute-Based Selling Works for Hotels

10:15 AM

Striving for Simplicity and Consistency

10:40 AM

Networking Break

11:10 AM

Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data

11:30 AM

Going Local: Building a Sustainable Workforce

12:00 PM

The Eco-Lodge Dilemma: Authenticity and Longevity

12:15 PM

Airbnb Gets Serious About Hotels (With Hotel Tonight)

12:40 PM

An Aviation Icon’s Journey to Transform America’s Railroad