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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

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)


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.

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.

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