Huw Williams FCIM

Huw launched his first marketing communications agency 30 years ago growing it through acquisitions and mergers to become a full service creative business employing over 70 people. The move into travel came in 2002 with the Radisson Hotels’ account. This brought about a ‘lightbulb moment’ and a realisation that travel was infinitely more interesting than anything else.

 

As Huw says ‘travel is about people, places and experiences, and that’s a lot more fun than getting people to buy cars or chocolate bars or computers’.

 

Today Huw’s focus is on brand, communications and distribution strategy. He also helps tour operators develop their business models. A regular speaker at industry events in the UK, Huw has helped companies including Abercrombie & Kent, Travelsphere, Exodus, Trailfinders and G-Adventures. Huw also advises businesses on strategy for the MICE market.

 

Michael Stock

In 4 years developing JTB UK’s Japan bound leisure sales division, Michael gained extensive experience in all aspects of Japan travel including B to B and B to C sales & operations, product development, account management, cooperative marketing campaigns and DMC/Tour Operator service development.

 

Michael worked with some of the UKs largest travel agencies on building their Japan portfolios as well as their staff destination & product knowledge through regular training sessions and by coordinating familiarisation trips. He has also worked closely with key Japanese organisations including JNTO, The Japan Foundation and multiple regional tourism authorities on promotional activities. 

 

Prior to joining JTB, Michael spent over 10 years working in project management, new business development and sales & Service management for one of Japan’s largest language education providers. He has a deep understanding & respect of Japanese business culture, ethos & practices which has enabled him to work successfully with and within a variety of Japanese organisations.

 

Nick Coates

Nick has worked in tour operations for over 20 years. First learning his trade with Trailfinders, he was then part of the team which founded Audley Travel, where he oversaw 12 years of industry-defining growth. He then had several years as Managing Director (UK) of rivals Abercrombie & Kent. He left A&K to set up his own tour operator; now established as the UKs leading Japan ski & snowboard travel company and also focussing on luxury tailor-made travel to Japan exclusively.

Over the course of his career, Nick created and then managed the Japan programme for both Audley Travel, Abercrombie & Kent and also working as a consultant or several other UK tour operators. These roles included product selection and development, contracting with suppliers and DMCs, creating websites, building sales teams, managing profit margins and overseeing operations. He has an extensive network of contacts both in Japan and within the UK travel trade.

Nick has racked up over 30 visits to Japan in as many years, including two extended periods covering several years living in Tokyo. His travels have taken him from the beaches of the Okinawan archipelago to the ski fields of Hokkaido and everything in between.

 

Hideo Shoji

Hideo-san developed his reputation as an innovator during his career at Recruit Co., Ltd. where he worked on recruitment PR and branding for leading Japanese and international organisations.

 

He went on to found "Mitate Co., Ltd." in Kyoto in 2014, which developed and curated unique, highly exclusive cultural experiences for the international luxury market.

 

From 2017 he began supporting regional DMOs (including Setouchi, Tohoku, Kansai and Shikoku) with their strategies to boost international tourism, providing expertise on destination branding, product development, promotions and land operation service provision.

As well as working as in-market liaison for Japan-san, Hideo is also pursuing his passion project, New Moon, where he is using sake production & distribution to sustain rural Japanese communities and help them preserve their traditional ways of life.  

 

May Kamya

May coordinates Japan-san's work across Europe and has extensive industry knowledge and connections in the French, German, Swiss and Austrian markets.

 

With Asia as her expertise, she has been connecting market decision makers with products and destinations for over 10 years.

 

With an International Business and International Tourism degree as her foundation, she evaluates and manages marketing and fam trip opportunities, develops strategies and trains the trade in the local language.

Having started on the buyers' side as a Hotel Contractor for Travco UK, she understands the needs of decision makers.

Susie Aust

Leading travel and tourism PR specialist with over 20 years experience, Susie has lead destination marketing campaigns for clients including Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority and Visit Wales. She also has wide experience in lifestyle, food, spa, ski and cycling sectors.  

Susie has a reputation for driving results focussed campaigns across print, online and social media; in both consumer and trade titles. Recent campaigns have driven sales up by over 40% for a luxury villa operator and increased Instagram followers three-fold, as well as doubled a hotel client’s database numbers, despite the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

With strong relationships with consumer and trade media, Susie regularly secures high-profile coverage for clients in media including the BBC, Sky, The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and more.