Mark Dumble and Eric Foley are the directors of BBH NZ. With a history in travellers' accommodation stretching back as far as 1974, Mark and Eric have clocked up a combined total of almost 60 years in this sector of the industry. Survivors of the early 80's NZ "backpacker" accommodation development, they coordinated a mutual support group of other early operators which morphed in '87 into BBH NZ Ltd. A Pioneer of customer satisfaction ratings and an early participants on the world wide web (1995), BBH now represents more than 300 independent operators providing around 12,000 beds to the NZ Tourism industry.
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Anne Murphy is co-director of adventure-tourism operator Hiking New Zealand. In 2005, she and her husband Daniel bought into the business that Mark Brabyn started in 1993. Anne and Daniel, who not so long ago were keen backpackers themselves, got into the tourism industry in Spain, managing a lodge and guided walks for a UK travel company. Anne has a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and International Business from Auckland University. Before becoming involved in the tourism industry in New Zealand Anne worked in marketing, human resources and also spent a few years as a secondary school teacher.
Julian Ledger is the CEO of YHA in New South Wales and is responsible for YHA accommodation in thirty locations around that State and in Canberra and the Northern Territory. Responsibilities include YHA's travel retailing, marketing, membership and publishing operations.
He is the past Chairman of the Australian Backpacker Tourism Advisory Panel which operates under the auspices of the Tourism Export Council and he was a founding member of the Backpacker Operators Association of NSW and the Tourism Industry Council of NSW.
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Luiz Mendez-Filho spoke today about User Generated Content (UGC) and the rise of travel reviews. Luiz has discovered that 90% of backpackers use UGC reviews when choosing accomodation to book. His research suggests that backpackers don't look at anything that has below a %60 rating. Backpackers are high consumers of travel reviews and this requires backpacker websites to consider carefully the components of their design.
More on Luiz' PhD here: http://www.nztri.org/node/30