DAN WACKSMAN

Dan Wacksman, deep experience in travel and hospitality, includes: 

  • Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution for Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and was responsible for Outrigger’s online assets, online and offline marketing efforts, contact center operations, OTA relationships and overall distribution strategy as well as company-wide strategic initiatives.

  • Managing Director for GTA China and Regional Director for GTA Asia (based out of Beijing and Hong Kong), where he had overall responsibility for 8 offices (Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Delhi, Mumbai) with additional responsibility for sales activity in Philippines and Vietnam.  GTA. Responsible for all aspects of the including; inbound operations, outbound group sales & operations and FIT sales & operations. Staff of over 400 employees. GTA was one of the largest travel wholesalers in the world at the time.

  • General Manager of Aoyou.com, an Online Travel Agency based in Beijing, in its joint-venture start-up phase, reported directly to the JV Board of Directors. Responsible for all aspects of the business. Aoyou.com was launched with its core growth strategy as a B2C website and call center-based travel service. Staff of over 220 employees in offices in Beijing, Shanghai and 4 Travel Stores. After one year of operation was considered the number 3 OTA in China. 

  • Director of Strategic Development for Travelport where he was involved in acquisitions and strategic initiatives. Dan was involved in numerous acquisition due diligence projects which resulted in several acquisitions worth over one billion dollars. Dan took on the role of integration lead for several of these projects and recieved the Chairman's Award for his work in this capacity.

  • Dan got his start in the travel industry in one of the first internet travel success stories, Cheaptickets.com, specializing in discounted air tickets and other travel products via web site, call center and travel stores.  Dan was responsible at first for contact center training but quickly took on role as project manager for mission-critical projects including, decision and implementation of opening new contact center, improvement of call center productivity, reengineering fulfillment and many other projects (company eventually had a very successful IPO and was then acquired by Cendant/Travelport).

  • Dan currently holds the role as Chair of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing International (HSMAI) Marketing Advisory Board which is responsible for developing digital certification program, putting on the annual HSMAI Digital Marketing conference and setting the content agenda for the organization.  Dan was led the revamp of the Certified Hospitality Digital Marketers (CHDM) handbook and exam, which is considered an industry leading certification. 

  • Dan is a frequent speaker at industry events and is known for his somewhat irreverent and wry take on things, his presentations always create a buzz. 

  • Dan also teaches  at University of Hawaii’s, School of Travel on digital marketing, and serves as and adviser to Hawaii Convention and Visitors Bureau and Leeward Community College Management Advisory Committee.

SERVICES

Think of SASSATO as the "Seal Team 6" of hospitality and travel (but much geekier), who will come in and quickly fill holes, solve problems, and rescue projects, but without the cost of adding more headcount. 

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