Speaker Gus Balbontin

Gus Balbontin

Former Lonely Planets Executive Director and CTO, World Traveler

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
    $30,001 - $40,000 i
  • Travels From
    Australia

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Raised in the Argentinean Patagonia, Gus knew from the age of eight that he was going to travel the world even though he did not know how to make that dream a reality.

Gus earned a travel scholarship at 17 that lead him to the other side of the world in Byron Bay over the course of a year. When he returned home and carrying on his mission to travel, with only a small backpack and a youthful lust for adventure Gus journeyed 40,000kms through South America without spending a cent. Meeting other travellers along the way he discussed amazing journeys and travel guidebook improvements he would share with anyone that would listen.

Eventually, he returned to Australia working in various jobs when he stumbled upon an opportunity for a travel company and he was fated to apply. His lack of experience was no deterrent and against the odds he secured a designer role at Lonely Planet. As far as Gus was concerned, he had landed his dream job, but it was just the beginning.

Fast forward to 2014; Gus completed an MBA, had spent countless hours on planes, progressed through a number of different roles within Lonely Planet and eventually lead the company globally. The company went from books dominating the world of travel information to the internet and a mobile revolution few saw coming.

Gus is a big thinker who doesn’t let ‘life’s hurdles’ get in the way of big solutions. His knowledge and expertise in transformation and digital innovation is genuinely impressive, as he teaches his audience how to navigate the struggles and successes that even great brands in the world experience.

Testimonials 3

  • Gus was perfect for our conference.  His topic of disruption was timely as our industry is on the brink of possible disruption.  He was young, edgy, and engaged the entire audience – he did a second more casual session over Dinner and people were genuinely interested in everything he talked about – he could also consider stand up comedy!  Question time after Dinner went for ages – we had to cut so people could get Dessert.  Not only did our younger delegates rave about him but we also had comments from several of our older seasoned high level delegates and sponsors (who all see many presentations each year) that he was the best speaker they had seen in ages.

    Alpha Group

  • Gus was fantastic! Highly engaging and lots of energy. We had many comments on the day about how interesting and engaging he was and also how his presentation was so aligned with our strategy and how much his messages resonated throughout the team. The examples and real life experiences he told really brought to life his key messages.

    Lynne Machin

    BT Financial Group

  • Gus did brilliantly considering we were running behind on schedule and had some issues with the AV at the venue. His presentation was a little rushed, but I don’t think it’s because he wasn’t prepared or a good presenter – he had a late time slot to contend with so did very well. Also, very appreciative of him spending the afternoon with our members to ensure he had the one on one time.

    Entrepreneur's Organisation (EO)

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