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Speakers Announced for China: The Future of Travel Summit

We’re excited to announce a preliminary list of speakers, supporting organizations, and an outline of the event schedule for Dragon Trail's 10th anniversary summit, China: The Future of Travel, held from May 19-21, 2019 in Beijing.

With Dragon Trail’s 10th anniversary summit, China: The Future of Travel, just over two months away, we’re excited to announce a preliminary list of speakers, supporting organizations, and an outline of the event schedule.

The summit, held in Beijing from May 19-21, 2019, will help attendees develop, grow and future-proof for the new kind of Chinese tourism that has emerged in this decade by bringing them up close and personal with real travel experts, influencers and travelers themselves.

For more information on event pricing, hotel and other details, and to apply for your place, please visit



Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt is the founder and director of COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, which he established in 2004, with offices in Hamburg/Germany and Beijing/China. COTRI is the leader of market research and product and strategy development consultancy project for leading international companies and organizations. Prof Arlt holds a M.A. in Sinology (1985) and PhD in Political Sciences (2002) from FU Berlin, though his study of China started even earlier, in the 1970s. He has worked as a publisher, journalist, consultant, organizer of fairs and exhibitions and as owner of outbound and inbound tour operator companies, all in connection with China, tourism and transportation.

George Cao leads the Dragon Trail team with more than 20 years of experience in the travel and technology industries in China and America. An accomplished entrepreneur, George previously co-founded two travel meta-search engines: California-based Search Party and Beijing-based During his time in Silicon Valley, George worked for WorldRES, one of the early B2B hotel distribution platforms and Talus Solutions, a leading revenue management solutions company based in Mountain View, California and Atlanta, Georgia. As a recognized expert in digital marketing and Chinese outbound tourism, George is often interviewed by the media and invited to speak at international conferences.

Sylvie Chen has extensive world travel experience, and has also worked in the tourism industry, focusing on luxury travel from Greater China, since 2002. Her roles include leading tours, developing new tour itineraries and maintaining supplier relationships, and presenting and selling the tours to high-end and incentive clients from Taiwan and mainland China. She founded HYT Travel Marketing in Hong Kong in 2015, and currently works as a market consultant, events organizer, and business development professional for Western tourism and events companies. Additionally, she has years of experience working in polar tourism, as both a market consultant and on-board expedition team for polar expedition companies.

Jonathan Cheung, Chief Executive Officer of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent China, leads A&K’s strategy development in mainland China. His responsibilities include business strategy formulation, outbound travel expansion, client acquisition, B2B & B2C partnership development, products and itineraries planning, brand and marketing promotion. He has over 20 years of experience in tourism, has played key roles in multiple international travel organizations, and has visited more than 60 countries and regions around the world.

Roy Graff, Dragon Trail’s Managing Director – EMEA, has over 20 years of experience working in and with China in the tourism, hospitality, luxury retail and digital marketing sectors. He is the author of the book, China, the Future of Travel, and frequently serves as a media commentator and public speaker at leading travel and tourism conferences. Prior to joining Dragon Trail, Roy provided strategic advice to organizations including Skyscanner, VisitBritain, PromPeru, Eurostar, Tourism Ireland, Peninsula Hotels and Resorts among many others. In the early 2000s he headed Gullivers Travel Associates’ development of the independent travel business in China in the early days of Chinese outbound tourism.

Chris Li is Director of the Weibo Travel and Sina Travel channels, with over 160,000 followers on Chinese social media platform Weibo. She is a producer of the celebrity travel video program Travel – Feel the World, and has seven years of experience working in travel media.

Chenyu Zheng is a best-selling author, lifestyle trailblazer, and visual artist from China. She regularly shares insights about China’s consumer trends, internet landscape, and sharing economy around the world. She has been a guest lecturer at Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, and a speaker at Airbnb Open. Zheng graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics, and studied abroad at Oxford University. Professionally, she has been a tech marketer and culture bridge who brought US companies to China, including Whisper and Uber. Additionally, she writes for leading tech and lifestyle publications and media outlets in China. Her lifestyle experiment to live in local people’s homes for 606 days has instilled courage and inspired a new way to travel for emerging Chinese travelers.

Event Schedule

Day 1 (19 May):

Arrival and registration from 5pm

Evening banquet, performance, ice-breakers and networking

Fireside chat with the new Chinese international travelers

Day 2 (20 May):

– Opening speeches
– How did we get here? A review of the last 20 years in outbound travel
– Profile of the millennial traveler
– Platforms and Solutions – where to find your clients?


14:00-16:00 Parallel sessions: Hospitality track/ Destination track/ Transport track
1. The OTA – talk directly to the business that sends you customers
2. The Marketer – learn the basics of marketing through reputation management, user engagement, content, KOLs and media-buy
3. The Traveler – speak directly to your visitor and ask them anything

16:30-17:00 full forum talk – Crystal Ball – What’s next for Chinese travel tech?

17:00-18:00 one-to-one surgeries / networking

18:30 dinner

Day 3 (21 May):

AM: Visit to a travel media/tech company

Goodbye lunch

Optional add-ons: Train SHA-PEK (17 May); Tours to the Great Wall, Forbidden City, or Summer Palace (18-19 May, or after the summit)

Supporting Organizations

China: The Future of Travel is supported by a number of leading international travel organizations, and members of these organizations can also receive a discounted rate for attending the summit.

ETOA – The European tourism association. As part of our partnership, ETOA and Dragon Trail have teamed up to offer an event package that includes attendance at China – The Future of Travel, as well as ETOA’s B2B workshop China European Marketplace on 14th May 2019 in Shanghai. Delegates purchasing the event package can save over EUR 400. For more information, please contact

NTA – The National Tour Association (NTA), the leading business association for professionals serving customers traveling to, from and within North America. NTA members can click here for our anniversary event information on the NTA website.

PATA – The Pacific Asian Travel Association, a membership association which works to promote the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region. PATA members can click here for our anniversary event information on the PATA website.

WTCF – The World Tourism Cities Federation, founded in Beijing in 2012, is the world’s first international tourism organization focusing on cities. The Federation’s recently published Market Research Report on Chinese Outbound Tourist (City) Consumption (2017-2018) is an invaluable, survey-based study of Chinese outbound tourism.

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