Direct Booking Summit Europe

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
27-28 June 2018

Hundreds of hoteliers, one mission:
Increase your direct bookings

The Direct Booking Summit Europe is back. This year, Amsterdam is playing host to the industry’s largest conference dedicated to direct bookings. We’re bringing together hundreds of the brightest and best hoteliers to talk strategy, innovation and improving the guest experience.

Here’s a glimpse of what you get with your ticket:

  • Over 25 talks, panels and workshops
  • Case study-based learning from the world’s leading hoteliers
  • Networking access to hand-picked solution providers
  • A (legendary) after-party

Agenda 2018

Click to view agenda

Click to view agenda

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Venue Information

Hotel Address
NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace
Prins Hendrikkade, 59-72 – 1012AD
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Superior room: €235.8 – including breakfast for single use, excluding 6% city tax

Book My Room

Room Upgrades
Premium room: €300 – including breakfast for single use, excluding 6% city tax
Junior Suite: €350 – including breakfast for single use, excluding 6% city tax
Suite: €450 – including breakfast for single use, excluding 6% city tax
*All prices are in EUR per room per night excluding VAT + TAX

For any questions or additional information please contact: Ka Lai Cheung
Telephone: +31 20 556 4564  | Email:

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Rob Paterson
CEO, Best Western Hotels & Resorts – Great Britain

With over 20 years in Hotel Sales, Marketing, Revenue and Distribution, Rob has previously worked for  international chains like Accor Hotels to Boutique lifestyle brands such as Malmaison and Hotel du Vin. Rob was recently appointed CEO of Best Western UK and is now working on an investment program to differentiate their platform and innovate in the technology space with a goal to making Best Western UK the most rounded and innovative platform available on the market.

Alex Obertop
General Manager, SIDE Hotel Hamburg

Since September 2014, Alex is running the first and only Five Star Design Hotel in Hamburg. After completing a major renovation of SIDE Design Hotel Hamburg, he just reopened the 178 room hotel. After leaving The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 2004 he joined Horst Schulze with Capella Hotels & Resorts and managed The Breidenbacher Hof as well as Capella Washington D.C. (now Rosewood Washington D.C.). With his 20+ years of experience und Luxury and Ultra Luxury properties Alex is extremely passionate about combining the digital world and the luxury experience at his hotels.

Geoff Andrew
CEO, WorldHotels

Geoff has been involved in travel and hospitality for almost 30 years and has acquired a wealth of international sales, marketing and distribution experience. He joined WorldHotels in 2014 as Chief Operating Officer, and was appointed CEO in December 2016. Prior to WorldHotels, he was the Managing Director of Nexus – a firm specialising in online sales management solutions for hotels, and Head of Sales & Marketing for Corinthia Hotels International, the Malta-based hotel group.

Stephan Keschelis
Vice President E-Commerce & Digital Transformation, NH Hotel Group

With a passion for e-commerce, digital business and transformation projects in large international corporations, Stephan has a proven track record of managing complex projects, generating new business and leading international cross-functional teams. In the past he has consulted companies such as Telefónica, France Telecom and Prisa in organizational models and digital strategy and was co-founder and CEO of, a Spanish E-commerce site integrated into Prisa Media Group.

Michael Simon
Senior Director Distribution, Europe
Marriott International 

Michael began his career with Walt Disney in the US and later held various management positions within the Airline Industry in Operations and Sales before joining Marriott in 1998. In 2002 he took responsibility for Marriott’s Global Sales Organization in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and later was in charge of Sales & Marketing in Eastern Europe. In 2009, Michael joined the HRS Group where he served as Managing Director in charge Hotel Procurement, Supplier Relations and Corporate Solutions. He returned to the hotel industry and served as member of the board of Romantik Hotels before re-joining Marriott in late 2014 in his current role.

Sam Riches
Director of Sales & Marketing,
The Curtain Hotel & Members Club

With over 14 years of experience in five-star hotels, Sam Riches started his career in a management position at Maybourne Hotel Group, before switching focus to sales. He has previously worked at Four Seasons, The Westbury Hotel, Bulgari hotel and Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces before taking the position of Director of Sales for the London EDITION in the capital’s West End. Sam joined The Curtain before the building was even complete, heading up a team of over 20 to cover sales, marketing and events. As The Curtain looks to expand, Sam and his ever-growing team are on a mission to secure The Curtain’s position as a key stakeholder in London’s luxury hospitality landscape.

Joe Pettigrew
Director of Revenue Maximisation, Europe Hotels
Starwood Capital Group

Joe is responsible for maximising revenue for hotels owned by Starwood Capital Group in Europe by developing and executing key revenue management strategies on all guest touch points and acquisition channels while creating a seamless customer experience across all phases of the guest’s lifecycle. Prior to joining Starwood Capital Group, Joe worked as Head of E-commerce at The Principal Hotel Company where he led the company’s overall digital and distribution strategy.

Satyan Joshi
Hotel Ads Business Lead, UK

Satyan Joshi is the Hotel Ads Business Leader in Google’s UK Team based in London. He is responsible for building and maintaining key partner relationships within the accommodation sector and advises on best practices with Google Hotel Ads. Satyan Joined Google in 2005 having already worked in Online Media for seven years, bringing a wealth of established digital experience.

Darryl Walker
Head of eCommerce and Distribution
Saco The Serviced Apartment Company

Darryl has 13 years of experience within the Serviced Apartment & Aparthotels industry, specialising in revenue management and eCommerce. Passionate about championing the alternative accommodation option for business and leisure travellers, he previously worked for serviced apartment operators Go Native and Think Apartments.

Patty de Gruiter
VP Revenue & Distribution
Europe Private Hotels Collection

Patty has over 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining EHPC five years ago, Patty worked as Revenue Manager for NH Hoteles, Bilderberg and Park Hotel Amsterdam.

Sebastian Arnshelm
Director of Revenue Management
Nobis AB

Sebastian has over 10 years of experience within the hospitality industry, specialising in revenue management, distribution and ecommerce. Prior to his appointment as Director of Revenue Management at Nobis AB, he worked for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Radisson Blu.

Gopakumar Menon
Vice President of Revenue & Distribution
Highgate Hotels

Gopakumar has over 16 years of experience within the Hospitality industry, specialising in revenue management and distribution. Prior to joining Highgate Hotels in 2007, he worked at Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts.

Maarten Plesman
Chief Revenue Officer

Maarten has almost 20 years of experience in the US and the Netherlands and a vast track record in different high-tech industries, offering him a unique view on how companies can leverage technology to improve loyalty and increase revenue. A specialist in positioning companies for growth by aligning them with their customers’ needs, he has previously held roles at Cisco in Europe as the Head of Service Sales and McKinsey & Company in New York as Senior Associate.

Oliver Geldner
Revenue and Distribution Expert
Taktikon Consultancy

Oliver has 30 years of experience in hospitality management, marketing and distribution. He is an expert in E-Commerce, Digital Marketing, Distribution and Profit Management and has worked in roles as E-Commerce Manager, General Manager and Advisor to the Board.

James Bishop
Vice President Sales – EMEA

Having began his career at the UK’s Ashdown Park Hotel, Elite Hotels Group and the esteemed Queenwood Golf Club, James understands the day-to-day challenges involved with managing and marketing hospitality businesses. In 2002, he transitioned into hotel technology, taking on roles at SoftBrands Europe Ltd, Xn protel Systems and Acorn Hospitality Systems Ltd before being appointed Vice President of Sales for the EMEA region of SiteMinder, where he oversees a high-performing sales team and lives out his passion for providing technology that empowers hotels to attract, reach and convert travellers online.

RJ Frielander, Founder & CEO

An entrepreneur and private investor, RJ Friedlander is the Founder & CEO of ReviewPro, the world leader in Guest Intelligence for the hotel industry. Drawing on more than 20 years experience in Internet and technology, he will explore the latest trends impacting online reputation and give practical tips to enable savvy hoteliers to gain a competitive advantage.

Claus Strawbridge, Ecommerce Marketing Director
Guldsmeden Hotels

As Ecommerce Marketing Director, Claus is responsible for management of the ecommerce strategy, from creation to execution to optimisation. He specialises in branding and identity, increasing sales goals, international business law and international negotiations.

Rob Fleischer, Director Sales and Marketing, GuestScores

Rob has more than 20 years of experience in cutting edge technologies and working with some of the leading consumer brands in the US, EMEA and APAC. From designing and implementing solutions for the biggest Telecom operators through to working with companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin group. Rob has a deep understanding of how technology can be designed to transform and improve services, enhance customer experiences, open new opportunities and deliver returns.

Kyle Borg, Operations Director, Luna Holiday Complex

Kyle Borg is the Operations Director at Luna Holiday Complex and the founder-owner of the award-winning restaurant Gate of India. He furthered his studies at the University of Malta where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008. In 2009, he was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Management with distinction from the Les Roches International School of Hotel Management. He furthered his studies at the same university and in 2011 he was awarded an MBA in Hospitality Management. In 2016 he received a Certificate for Advanced Hospitality
Revenue Management, Pricing and Demand Strategies from Cornell University. He acquired extensive managerial experience in the five-star hospitality sector in both Europe and the Far East. After returning to Malta in 2012, he served as Vice President and Council Member of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, Vice President of the Malta Business Bureau and Council Member of the English Language Teaching Council. As the Operations Director of Luna Holiday Complex, he currently manages the day-to-day operations of a three-star 160-room independent beach resort in the idyllic seaside town of Mellieha. Since 2014, he owns the “Gate of India” restaurant in the seaside resort of Bugibba. The restaurant won numerous awards and is one of the most popular Indian restaurants in Malta.

Christoph Kempa, Cluster E-Commerce & Distribution Manager, Samuel Braun Hotels Berlin

Prior to his appointment as Cluster E-Commerce & Distribution Manager at Samuel Braun Hotels Berlin, Christoph has previously worked in roles in E-Commerce, revenue and online marketing at Hotel Berlin and Leonado Hotels.

Marta Varela, Area Commercial Director Revenue Strategy, Barceló Hotels & Resorts

Marta has more than 20 years experience in hospitality, specialising in revenue management and strategy. She began her career at Hilton in 1994 where she held roles in business development and yield management before joining Melia as Director Revenue Management Premium Brands Europe, before becoming Global Revenue Management Director a couple of years later. She has recently been appointed Area Commercial Director Revenue Strategy at Barceló Hotels & Resorts. She is also a specialist Tutor in Revenue Management at Madrid’s CESAE Business & Tourism School.

Barbara Pezzi, Freelance Digital Consultant & Former Director Analytics and Search, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International

Barbara Pezzi has 20+ years experience in the hospitality industry. She joined Swissotel Hotels and Resorts in 2001 to expand the leisure segment for the company. Since then she moved on to oversee the ecommerce segment and subsequently web marketing. Further to the FRHI merge, she was promoted to Director of Search and Analytics for the group, overseeing Organic and Paid Search as well as Digital Analytics. Prior to FRHI, Barbara worked for Radisson Edwardian Hotels in UK and a number of luxury resorts in Tenerife, Canary Islands. As of April 2017, she works as a freelance digital consultant and teaches digital analytics for Squared Online (Digital Leadership Courses developed by Google).

Phil Ford, Group Revenue Manager
Firmdale Hotels

As Group Revenue Manager for Firmdale, Phil is responsible for delivering a holistic revenue and distribution strategy which maximises revenue opportunities from the London portfolio of eight hotels, with a combined 494 guestrooms, suites and apartments. Phil has worked in the hospitality sector for 14 years, previously holding positions in operations, sales and revenue for luxury and lifestyle brands including Hotel Café Royal, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin.

Ludovic Cacciapaglia, Director Distribution Strategy, InterContinental Hotels Group

Senior Director with over 10 years of extensive international experience spanning revenue management, e-commerce, sales, strategy & hotel operations. Based in France, Ludovic is responsible for all facets of IHG’s third parties distribution. He has been working with IHG since 2007 when he built the team responsible for supporting IHG’s newly launched distribution programs before moving back into corporates roles in revenue management, ecommerce and distribution and being appointed Director Distribution Strategy Europe. Ludovic is passionate about hotel online distribution, digital marketing & analytics and delivering the most incremental revenue through an omni channels strategy.

Adrian Hands, Senior Director Key Accounts EMEA, TripAdvisor

With over 20 years of experience, Adrian specializes in delivering rapid revenue growth & international expansion for digital & technology businesses. Prior to joining TripAdvisor in 2011, he has held various positions in business strategy throughout the technology industry, including Publisher at Incisive Media, Sales Director at Rocketseed, a global provider of email marketing, Commercial Director at Breeze Tech UK, a global leader in advanced location data technology and Business Development Director at TagMan.

Alejandro Gomez Losada, Sr. Vice President – Sales, Europe & Latin America, RateGain

Travel & Technology evangelist with 15 years of progressive experience within Leading Hospitality, OTAs and Technology companies. An active consultant and university professor, contributing at International conferences/seminars/ workshops aimed at all things disruptive within The Travel & Hospitality global marketplace. In his current role Alejandro and team champion the RateGain Brand across Europe and Latin America engaging Travel & Hospitality clients alike, consulting on digitalization projects, and streamlining operations and technology adoption for clients to maximize online revenue opportunities.

Robin Clifford, Territory Manager Homes, Northern Europe, Airbnb

Passionate about travel, Robin has been working in online accommodation for 15 years and has worked for some of the World’s largest brands. He joined Airbnb 3 years ago to head up their Homes Business in Northern Europe in a bid to help Airbnb create a world where people can belong anywhere and enjoy magical local experiences when they travel.

Sponsor Partners

RateGain is a leader in hospitality and travel technology solutions for revenue management, rate intelligence, electronic distribution and brand engagement helping customers around the world to streamline their operations and sales. The company provides Cloud based solutions to Hotels, Airlines, Online Travel Agencies, Car Rental Companies, Cruise Liners and Tour/Wholesale Operators. RateGain was incorporated in year 2004. The company has shown a very fast growth over a decade and has been recognized as the fastest growing SaaS Company in India.

Revinate helps hotels know more about their guests so they can deliver personalized experiences that create valuable relationships and lifelong customers. Built for hotels by hoteliers, Revinate’s all-in-one data solution aims to drive direct bookings and guest engagement. With industry-leading technology and intuitive design, Revinate Marketing and Revinate Guest Feedback are transforming and automating the hotel-guest relationship.

As the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder empowers hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world. SiteMinder’s products include The Channel Manager, the industry’s leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; Prophet, real-time market intelligence solution that takes the guesswork out of pricing rooms; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world’s major GDSs. With more than 30,000 hotel customers and 550 of the industry’s top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.

ReviewPro is the leading provider of Guest Intelligence solutions to over 35,000 hotels worldwide. ReviewPro’s Global Review Index™ (GRI), the industry-standard online reputation score, is based on review data collected from 175+ OTAs and review sites in 45+ languages. By leveraging ReviewPro’s Guest Intelligence effectively, hoteliers can deliver better guest experiences and boost satisfaction, online rankings and revenue. The company’s suite of cloud-based solutions, including Online Reputation Management, Guest Satisfaction Surveys, Auto Case Management, and now Messaging Hub, enable clients to prioritize operational/service improvements and automate internal processes to ensure guest feedback is acted on quickly and efficiently.

The Guestbook is a simple yet effective hotel loyalty rewards program built exclusively for independent & boutique brand hotels. Guests who join the program (enrollment is free) and BOOK DIRECT are rewarded with 5% cash back via PayPal, gift cards, charitable donation, or 10% to use towards future stays at over 600 fantastic hotels.

The Guestbook’s founders are hoteliers who understand the complicated relationship between hotels and OTAs and are committed to tipping the power dynamic back in the hotels’ favor.  With that in mind, The Guestbook recently launched a sister service, Gopher, that works for any hotel. Gopher is a Chrome extension that pops up on major OTAs with a link to the respective hotel’s own booking engine with a “guaranteed better deal” through a combination of rate and cash rewards.

With cloud-based applications that address hospitality’s increasing complexity in distribution and technology, Duetto provides powerful Revenue Strategy solutions to optimize profit and guest loyalty. Its GameChanger and ScoreBoard apps deliver key insights into pricing and consumer demand for hotels and casinos. Duetto’s applications leverage forward-looking and consumer-centric data sets, such as web shopping regrets and denials. This helps hoteliers better understand a property’s unconstrained demand and tailor a pricing strategy for optimal revenue and profit. The company’s Open Pricing philosophy enables users to yield every booking date, room type, customer segment or booking channel independently according to demand for each, without ever having to close off any of those categories. The holistic Revenue Strategy championed by Duetto produces not only greater revenue and profit, but also a lift in market share relative to users’ competitive set. was founded in 2005 with a clear ambition: to help hotels generate more direct bookings. The services consist of e-commerce products, distribution tools and marketing services, offering the advantage of one point of contact for all of your online business. The e-commerce product range includes website construction and booking engine software. The distribution tools consist of a channel manager and a GDS connection, and marketing and social media services to help hotels attract visitors to their website and generate direct bookings. also has an exclusive partnership with Google in order to get the best results out of Hotel Ads and AdWords.  The personal service of is rated excellent by hoteliers throughout Europe.

GuestScores increases hotels’ control over guest reviews and provides upsell opportunities. It enables development of a digital communication channel with intelligent real-time interaction, contingent responses and automation. The GuestScores platform focuses on a rich suite of in house engagement functionalities. It can operate as a standalone system or be integrated with any third party Wi-Fi and PMS solution. Reaching more than 80% of your guests and at a cost measured in cents per guest per day, in-house digital engagement is a game changer within the reach of every hotel.