On October 17, 2018, in a swish bar overlooking Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, a record-setting amount was raised by travel industry insiders for a location so remote, none of them have seen it up close and personal. The industry’s best leaders donated their talent and time, and prizes were also contributed by Singapore Airlines, Cempedak Island, Shangri-La International, Sidecars, AccorHotels and Dusit Hotel to benefit indigenous Filipinos living in the mountains of Bukidnon and Zamboanga, Mindanao. When all was said and done, a total of about US$50,000 was contributed by attendees, double the target.
WiT Singapore is a yearly conference that brings together a worldwide community of people in the sphere of travel technology, distribution, and marketing. This is the second year that WiT has selected NVC to be the beneficiary of the charity component of their conference. Over the last 10 years, the WiT For Good initiative, held in conjunction with the WIT Singapore conference, has raised about US$500,000 for the betterment of women and children in emerging Asia.
Last year, the event raised more than US$24,000 for the people NVC serves. “Because the NVC Foundation did such a great job updating us regularly on their work,” WiT said, “we’ve decided to pick them again as our 2018 beneficiary to continue what we’ve begun so that more children can benefit from [attendees’] generosity. We pick charities that are local and recommended to us by trusted networks, that are run by people on the ground, so we know the funds raised go direct to the people they are intended for.”
Watch this video to see where WiT’s 2017 donation went.
The money raised was made possible by the generous donations of the following talents:
- Chef Shen Tan, OwnSelfMakeChef (Private Home Cooked Dinner)
- Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip (2 hours mentoring)
- Rod Cuthbert, Founder, Former CEO & Chairman, Viator; Former CEO & Chairman, Rome2rio (5 hours mentoring)
- Adrian Currie, Senior Vice President, Booking Holdings (5-hour of Queenstown, Central Otago, New Zealand, or mentoring chat over a flat white pinot noir)
- Bobby Healy, CTO, Car Trawler (Golf, Tour of Guinness Factory in Dublin, review of business plan, product strategy plus feedback).
- William Bao Bean, General Partner, SOSV/Managing Director, Chinaccelerator (5 hours mentoring)
- Eric Gnock Fah, Co-Founder, Klook (5 hours mentoring)
- Greg Schulze, Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy & Services, Expedia Group (Dinner with Expedia Asia Leadership Team)
- Louise Daley, Deputy CEO, AccorHotels & Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder, WiT (Dinner)
- Stephan Ekbergh, CEO, Travelstart (5 hours mentoring)
- Jenny Wu, Managing Partner, Baidu Capital (5 hours mentoring)
- Rob Rosenstein, Chairman & Co-Founder, Agoda (5 hours mentoring)
- Fritz Demopoulos, CEO, Queen’s Road Capital (5 hours mentoring)
To top off the night, Lucas Peng, CEO of Peak Hospitality Solutions and singer Wendi Koh sang while a hat was passed around, raising almost $2,000 in cash.
Aside from the charity auction, WiT also displayed and sold one of NVC’s Nespresso, tile, and eggshell mosaic made by our artisans. Proceeds from the sale of the art piece, featuring the Philippine seaside, will be added to WiT’s total 2018 donation. It also resulted in the commissioning of a similar mosaic, destined for a school based in New York!
“We are so thankful to those who donated their time and expertise, and to those who made bids,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, the founder of WiT. “Thank you too to Martin Symes and Louise Daley, deputy CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific, for being the auctioneers who raised the bar on the bidding.
“I know the NVC Foundation will put the funds to good use, as they did last year, and change the lives of the children they support. I also know one of the matches made tonight – between mentors and mentees—will possibly change someone’s life and business for the better.”