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China – The Future of Travel

Celebrate two decades of Chinese outbound tourism and Dragon Trail Interactive's 10th anniversary at the inaugural Dragon Trail summit, China - The Future of Travel, from May 19-21, 2019 in Beijing.

Event details

Date: 19-21 May, 2019


Type of Event: Summit

Celebrate two decades of Chinese outbound tourism and Dragon Trail Interactive’s 10th anniversary at the inaugural Dragon Trail summit, China – The Future of Travel, from May 19-21, 2019 in Beijing.

This limited capacity invitation-only event 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. The summit, with plenary sessions and parallel tracks for different industry verticals, will be run entirely in English, and complemented by entertainment and site visits to relevant companies.

China – The Future of Travel is conveniently timed to follow ITB China in Shanghai. For those attending ITB-China, we will hold a cocktail reception for confirmed summit attendees in Shanghai, and can also help to book a bullet train to Beijing.

Essential information for China – The Future of Travel:

Format: Summit, with plenary sessions and parallel tracks for different industry verticals, plus entertainment and site visits to relevant companies.

Dates: Sunday, 19th May evening to Tuesday, 21st May afternoon. Total of 2.5 days, 2 nights (Additional nights can be booked at extra cost).

Package price: USD 1,010. Package includes the summit and site visits, two nights’ accommodation, all meals, a signed 3rd edition of the book China, the Future of Travel (a primer to China’s outbound tourism industry) as well 19% discount off any Dragon Trail solution or product* purchased any time in 2019. Special discount prices are available for members of supporting organizations, as well as for Dragon Trail clients. If you belong to one of these categories you would receive a notification.

Optional add-ons: Weekend or post-event tour, arranging business meetings with interpreter.

Location: Artyzen Habitat Dongzhimen, Beijing

Space is limited to 60 participants. Fill out our application form to apply for a place.

*Solutions and products do not include services such as social media marketing or custom website development. Please contact us for more information or further queries.

Event Schedule

Day 1 (19 May):

Arrival and registration from 5pm

6-9pm: Cocktail reception, with finger foods, networking, and entertainment. At 7pm, we will hold a fireside chat with the new Chinese international travelers – this is a chance to meet independent Chinese travelers, learn about their perspectives on tourism, and ask questions.

Day 2 (20 May):

9:00-9:40 Opening speeches from George Cao, Roy Graff, and Bo Wu, Regional Director for China at supporting organization PATA

9:40-9:50: Film – The China Tourism Miracle

9:50-10:20: How the internet has changed travel: Bryan Xiao, Qyer

10:20-11:00: How did we get here? A review of the last 20 years in outbound travel. Panel and Q&A with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt (COTRI), George Cao, Roy Graff, and Bryan Xiao

11:00-11:15: Coffee/tea break

11:15-11:45: Seize The Chinese Outbound Market With Tencent Smart Travel Solution: Silvia Zeng, Tencent

11:45-12:15: Using Weibo to inspire and influence Chinese travelers: Chris Li, Sina Weibo/Sina Travel


14:00-14:30: The next generation of Chinese family travel: Ge Mu, Caissa Travel

14:30-15:00: The independent traveler on the road: Dannie Wu, Zuzuche

15:00-15:30: The Chinese millennial traveler. Panel discussion and Q&A with Chris Li, Dannie Wu, and Chenyu Zheng

15:30-16:00 Coffee/tea break

16:00-16:30: Adventure travel and new destinations: Sylvie Chen

16:30-17:00 Crystal Ball: What’s next for Chinese travel and travel tech? Panel discussion and Q&A with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt, Roy Graff, Chris Li, and Maggie Yang (Mafengwo)

17:00-18:00: Individual clinics/networking

18:30: Dinner

Day 3 (21 May):

Meeting time: 9am in the hotel lobby

Morning site visits to:
Qyer – One of China’s leading travel review websites, founded in 2004. Qyer is host to listings, reviews, travel diaries, and Q&A forum, and also offers OTA services.

Caissa – This major Chinese travel agency helps Chinese tourists to visit the world. They are particularly in-tune with niche travel trends and the booming family travel market.

Goodbye lunch

Optional add-ons:

– Train SHA-PEK (17 May)

– Tour: Great Wall and Beijing Hutongs (Full day, Saturday, 18 May)
Visit one of the best preserved sections of the Great Wall, at Mutianyu, which is located in Beijing’s Huairou District, 70km northeast of the city center. After lunch at Mutianyu, you’ll return to Beijing for an afternoon tour of the hutongs, Beijing’s traditional alleyway neighborhoods. The tour includes all transportation, guiding, and lunch, and is provided by Caissa.

– Tour: Gulou and Shichahai (Half day, Tuesday, 21 May)
After the summit program concludes on Tuesday, head over to Beijing’s historic Gulou neighborhood to enjoy lunch in a courtyard restaurant serving Yunnan cuisine from China’s southwest. Afterwards, you’ll be taken on a guided tour of the Drum Tower and the three lakes of Shichahai, a historical scenic area in the city’s center. The tour includes all transportation, guiding, and lunch, and is provided by Caissa.


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, presenting and selling the tours to high-end and incentive clients from Taiwan and mainland China, market consulting, and business development. Additionally, she has years of experience working in polar tourism, as both a market consultant and on-board expedition team for polar expedition companies.

Ge Mu, is Vice President of CAISSA Travel, one of China’s leading travel agencies. She has worked for the company since 2000, managing more than 10 different divisions, including MICE, cruise tours, marketing, Europe theme tours, leisure tours, and others. Ge is currently in charge of global destinations management at CAISSA headquarters.

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.

Dannie Wu is Brand Manager at Zuzuche, China’s leading outbound self-driving travel platform. She is passionate about international travel and studied marketing in London. In her role at Zuzuche, she is responsible for the company’s brand and marketing promotions, including managing cooperation projects with tourism authorities and other partners.

Bryan Xiao is the founder and CEO of, the largest Chinese overseas online travel platform and community. Bryan also incubated travel lifestyle brand JNE. He graduated from HAW-Hamburg and worked at Yahoo Germany before founding Qyer in 2004.

Maggie Yang is the Associate Director of Mafengwo, one of China’s leading websites and apps for independent travelers. The website includes area guides and listings, reviews, travel diaries, a Q&A forum, and OTA services, among other resources.

Silvia Zeng, Senior BD Manager of Tencent International Business Group, is mainly responsible for Tencent’s brand solutions towards travel and hospitality clients in new overseas markets. She has extensive experience in the travel and hospitality fields, and marketing expertise, especially with the Tencent ecosystem. In the past, she provided strategic advice to organizations including the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Dubai, Tourism New Zealand, and Dubai Expo 2020, among many others.

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.

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