Published on Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Winners: TravelMole Online Travel Innovation Awards

New Zealand scooped two awards this week when the winners were announced in TravelMole’s 2012 Online Travel Innovation Awards - an event that recognises on-line excellence in the Asia Pacific region.

The Awards recognise travel industry providers whose websites, social media and/ mobile deployment break through the ordinary to impress clients and visitors.

Chairman of judges, Ric Shreves, a partner at waterandstone in Singapore, said, "With more than 120 entries, we saw a really wide sampling of the best in online travel.

"What was clear to all was that innovation is in no short supply in the travel space; groups like Tourism New Zealand, who picked up two awards this year, are on par with the best in the world.

"Their online efforts are very effective at driving engagement with their audiences.

"The judges' panel this year was the largest we've ever employed. With seven experts from various aspects of the industry, I felt confident that we were able to bring a balanced assessment to the entries."

The winners were announced and the awards presented at the EyeforTravel Travel Distribution Summit Asia in Singapore this week.


Favourite Online Travel Site

Winner: Agoda (

Runner-up: Asia Rooms (

Best Hotel Site

Winner: Four Seasons (

Runner Up: Ritz Carlton (

Best Airline Site

Jetstar Asia (

Runner Up: Singapore Airlines (

Best Airfare Comparison Site

Winner: Skyscanner (

Runner Up: Wego (

Most Exciting New Start Up

Winner: Rome2Rio (

Runner Up (shared): AirAsiaGo ( and Bookingmarkets (

Best Mobile Technology

Winner: Priceline (

Runner Up: TripAdvisor (

Best Use of Mobile Technology

Tripit (

Runner Up: Kayak (

Most Innovative Social Media Campaign

Winner: New Zealand 100% (www.

Runner Up: Malaysia Airlines (

Best Destination Marketing Organisation

Winner: Tourism New Zealand (

Runner Up: Tourism Australia (






Ric Shreves

Ric Shreves was one of the founding partners of water&stone, a full service digital agency based in Bali. In December of 2011, he left to form a new OTA venture, GottaGetaway. Ric has worked with travel industry clients for over a decade and served for four years as the Managing Director of luxury travel operator, the Elite Havens Group.


Morris Sim

Morris Sim is Co-Founder and CEO of Circos Brand Karma, the leading full-service business solution that protects the value and cultivates the potential of brands. Passionate about technology and marketing, Morris has been identifying and applying innovative trends to improve business performance for the last 20 years. Morris is a graduate of Stanford University.


Clement Wong

Mr. Wong has spent his entire career in the travel industry, focusing on strategy and market intelligence. He has worked extensively in both the EMEA and APAC regions. He is quoted frequently in consumer and trade media, and has spoken at conferences including World Travel Market, Web-in-Travel and EyeforTravel. Prior to joining PhoCusWright as Research Director, Clement most recently managed airline partner marketing relationships within the EMEA and APAC regions for Travelport. He previously worked in Travelport's market strategy and planning department as a strategy analyst, specializing in hospitality, car rental, tour operators, cruise and leisure. Prior to that role, he headed EMEA travel and tourism research for Euromonitor.


Rod Cuthbert

Rod founded Viator in 1995, to bring together a wide array of quality destination activities where consumers could research and purchase destination activities, sightseeing tours and attraction passes before they travel. Rod spent more than 20 years in the U.S. and Australian IT industries before founding Viator, including senior positions at NCR Corporation and Digital Equipment. Rod started his entrepreneurial career with a successful PC retail store in Australia he sold in 1986.

A world traveler and an avid (but very average) surfer, Rod divides his time between Bondi Beach, Australia, and San Francisco. The Cycling Tour of Barcelona is one of his favorite Viator activities: "What a brilliant way to see the city. This tour gets you 'up close,' letting you see in just four hours what would otherwise take days by foot." Rod's world travels and observations are chronicled on the Viator Travel Blog.


Ron Ramanan

Ron is the found of, a travel technology company focused on providing their clients more dynamic presence on the online market place, assisting them in their market expansion and optimising their efficiency through robust and cost-effective technology solutions. Clients span the Asia Pacific, UK and US markets and include leisure travel companies such as travel consolidators, travel agents, hoteliers, and DMCs. Their partners include all universal GDSs and industry leaders in air, hotel, car, insurance consolidation.

Ron is a recognized leader, speaker, and sought after consultant on travel affiliated industries in regard to trends in travel technology advancement.


Marco Saio

Marco is a highly experienced industry analyst and researcher, specialising in North American and APAC online travel & hospitality markets. Previously, he was Director of Global Research & Projects at EyeforTravel and Marketing & Business Development Manager at Homeflow Ltd. He is passionate about launching new ventures and building strategic partnerships with clients and industry thought-leaders. And, interested in leveraging online/social media to facilitate effective communication, customer engagement and brand building.


Faisal Memon

Faisal Memon is founder and CEO of Dubai-based travel technology firm Illusions Online. He has more than 13 years of experience consulting to the biggest travel companies around the globe on their automation requirements, as well as powering their entire businesses with his company's award-winning travel solution.

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