SOURCE: CASMA

CASMA

September 14, 2011 10:24 ET

CASMA Annual International Conference Line Up to Put China, Airline Online Sales Strategy and Merchandising in the Spotlight

Top Execs From TripIt, Hipmunk, Google, Cheapflights and More Set to Take Beijing Stage

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - The countdown to the CASMA Annual International Conference is on. From October 9 - 14, the key stakeholder in airline sales and distribution from airlines and GDS/CRS to vendors and integrators will gather in Beijing to discuss the next chapter in air travel. The show agenda will range from the future of mobile to added services and evolving online sales models. CASMA will also offer a direct view into the market and the opportunities within China.

Kicking off with the return of the popular, hands-on CASMA University, the conference will offer deep dives into core topics ranging from airline distribution and data basics to a technical session on XML and its role in the data backbone of the industry. Additionally, look for an introduction to fraud prevention and auditing.

Over the next three days, CASMA will be packaged with case studies, discussions and even road maps around the topics that are the core of the future of the industry. In particular, there are two highly anticipated sessions:

Merchandising -- A Global View: A panel discussion of the impacts of merchandising (expansion of ancillary revenues) on the airline industry and the future opportunities to introduce services to travelers at the right time for the right price that will also help the airlines identify new revenue streams and reduce costs.

Expanding Airline Distribution Opportunities: Executives from various points on the value chain will square off on the expansion of distribution channels and the impacts to the various stakeholders as airlines seek more direct channels to reach their customers. This panel will help to remove the stigma that is GDS vs Airlines and provide real dialog about what is happening in this arena from the key players

Additionally, taking full advantage of the Beijing locale, the CASMA agenda will turn regularly to the operations and opportunities within China and the rest of Asia. Sessions will range from social media in Asia to a presentation from regional low cost carriers on the challenges they face with regards to translations, mergers, demographics, marketing and distribution. Finally, the Japan National Tourism Office will provide an update on the impact after the Tohoku Earthquake and the state of travel in the region.

"CASMA Beijing brings together the most critical topics with the most influential people in the most exciting new market," said Mark Pond, president and chairman of the board of CASMA. "The information and connections at the core of the conference are enough to make it an unmatched experience, but the insight and education gleaned from center stage to hallway conversations will shape the market for months and years to come."

The conversation will be driven by a host of industry mavens, including:

Gregg Brockway, President and Co-Founder of Tripit
Adam Goldstein, President of Hipmunk
John McQuillan, President of OpenJaw
April Pearson, President and CEO of Airfacts
Rick Peterson, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines
Valyn Perini, CEO of the Open Travel Alliance
Michael Premo, President and CEO of Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC)
Thibaut Ruy, Implementation Manager e-Services at IATA
Evan Weisenfeld, Head of Sales for North America at Cheapflights Media
Rudy de Wulf, Managing Partner at Quaddra Solutions
Jim Young, Executive Director of OpenAxis

For more information on the CASMA Annual International Conference, please visit www.casma.org. Look for show updates on the CASMA blog.

About CASMA

For over three decades, the Computerized Airline Sales and Marketing Association (CASMA) has been addressing complex travel distribution issues. It's a unique, not for profit industry forum that serves as an open exchange between airlines, experts in travel distribution and other industry related organizations. CASMA actively promotes the use of automation in airline sales and marketing to find the fastest, most efficient means of distributing the air product to the traveling public. Airlines come together with traditional providers of distribution such as computer reservation systems to address efficient booking practices, system enhancements and new directions in automation.

CASMA also reaches beyond mainstream distribution to explore new frontiers in electronic commerce. Members include representatives from online providers and many other companies and organization that touch distribution technology.