Chief Representative, Abercrombie & Kent, Beijing
After graduating from Beijing International Studies University (formerly Beijing Second Foreign Languages Institute) in 1989, Zhu Haifeng joined the CITS Head Office. He first worked as a tour escort and guide for two years, and was then transferred to the sales department, where he was responsible for important North American accounts including Pacific Delight Tours and Abercrombie & Kent. In 1997, Zhu was appointed by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) as Assistant Director at China National Tourist Office in California and worked there until his return in 2001. Upon returning to Beijing, Zhu set up the Representative Office for Abercrombie & Kent and has been working there ever since. He and his team has served many important individuals and organizations, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Hollywood celebrities, WPO (World President Organization), YPO (Young President Organization), MoMa, Getty Center, Guggenheim, New York University, Washington University, UBS, McKinsey, American Express, Boeing Company, Asia Society, and others.
VP & Head of Public Policy, Airbnb China
Joining Airbnb in August 2015, An Li is in charge of public policy and government relations in China. She used to successively work for high-tech companies such as Qihu 360, and government departments such as the State Council Information Office and the State Internet Information Office. An Li has rich experience and a strong background in the Internet industry.
Vice President of Global Sales at Marriott Greater China
Becky Cao, Vice President, Global Sales, Greater China, Marriott International, manages an integrated sales force for all segments, including direct sales, B2B marketing and eCommerce, that optimizes profitable market share across all revenue streams from targeted, high-value accounts across Greater China. Becky manages the GSO Greater China Offices located in nine cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Taipei. The GSO sales force includes both a Core GSO team in nine cities and Luxury GSO in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
Becky has a strong background in the hospitality industry and has achieved various industry awards in sales and marketing, sales team and leadership. She has created great value and won the trust from satisfied customers, the team and companies she has served. She is passionate to promote women in leadership, charity for education in China, and hotel and travel industry collaboration through associations. In 12 years of loyal services at Marriott International, she has held a number of leadership positions, such as Hotel Manager at Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Center, Global Sales Directors in multiple locations and Regional Director in Greater China.
Head of China Travel Planning Department at HanaTour
Bang Kiyoung graduated from Department of Tourism Economics, Kyung Hee University. He has worked for Korea’s largest travel company, HanaTour from 2002, and at the HanaTour Beijing branch from 2015-2020. He has a deep understanding of the Chinese travel market, especially inbound tourism to Beijing.
Portfolio Director at World Travel Market
Claude Blanc has an impressive track record of more than 25 years in top management roles across the travel trade and hospitality industry. On taking the helm in October 2018 Claude said his mission is to increase the scale of the WTM Portfolio “through innovation and new launches”.
Owned by the world’s leading exhibition organizer, Reed Exhibitions, WTM Portfolio includes WTM London, Travel Forward, the International Travel & Tourism Awards, WTM Africa, Arabian Travel Market and WTM Latin America.
Mostly recently, Claude was Chief Executive Officer at Paris-based Travel & Co, a tour operating group he founded in 2007, specializing in tailor-made trips around the world. Before that, he was Digital Travel Director at TUI Group, and has held senior posts with a leading online travel agency in France; travel management company Rosenbluth International; and timeshare exchange company RCI. He has also worked with successful French travel start-ups such as Karavel-Promovacances and Orchestra.
Claude’s experience in the travel industry includes tour operating, corporate travel, retail, hospitality and online travel agencies. Having been a sponsor, an exhibitor and a visitor at many travel trade shows, he brings a client perspective, an international network and a digital culture.
Director General at WYSE Travel Confederation
David Chapman is the Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation, a global not-for-profit organisation that advocates the social, cultural, and economic value of youth, student and educational travel on behalf of 600 member companies from across the world. Under David’s direction, WYSE Travel Confederation coordinates the research and representation activities of four industry panels and organises a variety of international trade events serving specialists in youth and student travel, including the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC).
David’s career started in hospitality when he joined a large international hotel group training as a hotel manager then working in some of the most prestigious hotels in London and Europe before turning his efforts to running country house hotels in the UK.
With firm footing in hospitality and tourism, David served from 2008 to 2010 as a board member for the former STAY WYSE Association, a part of WYSE Travel Confederation focussed on safe and affordable travel accommodation for youth and students. He was later elected to the Executive Board of WYSE Travel Confederation and went on to serve as Chairman before being appointed as the Director General in 2012.
www.letslocals.com Co-founder, Senior English-speaking tour guide, Gold-medal tour guide by Ministry of Culture and Tourism
David Dou is the co-founder of www.letslocals.com, an experience-focused travel company that provides sightseeing tours in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Zhejiang, including food experiences, walking and cycling tours, museum tours, and classes in arts and other cultural activities. He is a senior English-speaking tour guide, and a Gold-medal tour guide accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He is a member of the expert writing team of two Chinese-language publications for foreign-language tour guides in China, and specifically Beijing.
Vice President of Hyatt China, CEO and Managing Director of Yusu Hotel Management Co., Ltd. (UrCove Hotels)
Elton Sun (孙武) is Vice President of Hyatt China, CEO and Managing Director of Yusu Hotel Management Co., Ltd. (“Yusu”), a joint venture of Hyatt and BTG Homeinns. He is responsible for the operations and brand development of UrCove by Hyatt, a hospitality brand under Yusu, and for the market expansion of this new hospitality brand in the upper-midscale segment.
Mr. Sun has more than three decades of experience in comprehensive hotel management including M&A, Party work management, investment operations, and brand marketing. Before he joined UrCove by Hyatt, he served as the global chief development officer and executive vice president of Huazhu Hotels Group, where he was responsible for the development, operations and construction of all the brands under the group, and set a record for hotel openings for all the hospitality brands under the group. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Yagao Meihua Hotel Management Co., Ltd., a branch of Huazhu Hotels Group, where he was responsible for the development, marketing, products, construction and operations management of four hospitality brands – Joya, Grand Mercure, Novotel, and Mercure – and managed to increase their market share in the upper-midscale segment remarkably. He joined China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation (“HKCTS”) in 2003, and was appointed general manager of Metropark Hotel (Group), an affiliate of HKCTS, in 2007. He held the position until 2016 and successfully built the hospitality brand Metropark.
Mr. Sun has a master’s degree in tourism and hotel management from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is currently the president of the Mainland Alumni Association of the School of Hotel and Tourism of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
President, TripAdvisor China
Ethan Zhu joined TripAdvisor in 2011 and is President of TripAdvisor China, leading overall business for China. He is based in the company’s Beijing office.
Prior to joining in TripAdvisor, Ethan was Business Development Director at PixelMedia, where he accumulated rich experience in the digital online industry. In this role, he led the web and design agency’s business in North China and built up its AdNetwork platform across the mainland to the company’s profit. In the earlier part of his career, Ethan also spent time in project management at China’s largest web portals Sina and Sohu.
Ethan holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Dr. Guido Brettschneider
CEO at TUI China
Dr. Guido Brettschneider has served as chief executive officer of TUI China since 2016. After earning a doctorate degree from Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, he embarked on a career in the field of consulting. Following two years at Roland Berger, he went on to executive roles after joining TUI AG in 2001. In December 2003 he came to China and became TUI China CFO. In addition to serving as CFO, from 2014 to 2016, he moved up the ranks to become the corporation's Regional Finance Director, managing finance functions for Hotelbeds Group's Destination Management in Asia Pacific. In January 2016, he was named as TUI China's new CEO.
CEO at Dragon Trail Interactive
Mr. George Cao, now serving as CEO of Dragon Trail Interactive, leads the company with more than 20 years of experience in the travel and technology industries in China and in America. As an accomplished entrepreneur, Mr. George Cao previously founded two travel meta-search engines in the Silicon Valley and Beijing, Mountain View based Search Party and Go10000.com, introducing the concept of travel meta-search into the Chinese market. Prior to that George worked for Fortune 500 clients at Altio, one of the earliest B2B distribution platforms for hotels, WorldRES and as well as a deep knowledge working for international hotel chains in the US and China.
As a well-recognized expert of the Chinese digital landscape and the Chinese outbound tourism, Mr. George Cao is often interviewed by the media and invited to speak at international conferences including Eye for Travel, PATA and PhocusWright abroad and in China.
Mr. George Cao holds a master’s degree in hospitality management from New York based Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration. He studied and worked in America for over 10 years, and speaks fluent English and Chinese.
Director of Master Planning Division, Venue Planning & Construction of BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games)
Ms. Gui Lin is Director of the Master Planning Division, Venue Planning & Construction of BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games). She has been responsible for bidding for and organizing the Olympic Winter Games since 2014. Her main duty now is the coordination of venue planning, design, and construction. From 1999 to 2008, she participated in the bid and preparation of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, especially focusing on the design and tender work of Beijing Olympic Green, National Stadium and National Aquatics Center.
Managing Editor at The Beijinger
Based in Beijing for the past six year, Joey Knotts is the managing editor of local entertainment and lifestyle magazine, the Beijinger, which keeps Beijing’s English-speaking community informed about like in the city while also providing a guiding light to tourists and newcomers to the city. Joey graduated from Roosevelt University with a degree in political science and later earned a Master’s in Contemporary Chinese Development from Beijing Normal University.
Director of Sales & Marketing at Shanghai China International Travel Service Ltd.
Jürgen is specialized in tourism to China. He has studied sinology in Frankfurt and Guangzhou from 1988 to 1993. After that, he worked as a tour leader for German groups in China for 10 years, followed by management positions with a large international tour operator in Beijing from 2003 to 2013 and with a successful Chinese tour operator in Shanghai from 2013 to 2015. Since his return to Germany, he managed the Frankfurt office of China Tours until May 2020. Since June 2020, he manages the newly opened office of Shanghai CITS in Frankfurt. He is fluent in German, English and Chinese with basic knowledge in French.
Vice President Sales & Distribution Greater China at Accor
Ken is an established figure in Greater China and Asia Pacific’s hospitality and tourism industry, with more than 30 years of experience, including 18 of those years in mainland China. He joined Accor after serving as Vice President, Commercial at Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Prior to working at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for four years, he spent more than seven years with InterContinental Hotel Group in several leadership roles including the head of sales and marketing. Ken also held several senior roles with Marriott across Greater China.
In his role at Accor, Ken focuses on providing strategic direction to drive sales and distribution performance along with Accor’s digital innovation; and continues to enhance a strong regional team while expanding and reinforcing client partnerships and relationships in order to exceed Accor Greater China’s goals for growth and development.
Kris Van Goethem
Managing Director at Thomas Cook China
Kris is the Managing Director of Thomas Cook China who leads a team in Shanghai and Beijing, in charge of MICE, LEISURE & SPORT inbound business.
Kris has over 28 years in the tourism and hospitality services, and work experience in five continents, seven languages, and both in the inbound and outbound business, mostly in management positions (destinations, products, teams, offices). With a well-beyond average fluency in Mandarin, Kris has exceptional added value in mainland China. His experience in dealing with government and non-government authorities and his ability to communicate with them fluently in their own language makes him an asset to any organization needing event planning and logistic support in the Chinese market.
Founder & Managing Director at Destination Asia China
As the Founder and Managing Director of Destination Asia China, the leading destination management group in Asia, Ms. Linda Wang has been focusing on China's high-end customized inbound tourism market for more than 20 years. She has found great success in this endeavor through building a professional and highly skilled team, developing a rich and up-to-date portfolio of domestic tourism products and implementing demanding and meticulous service standards. The company's main business covers conferences, exhibitions and incentive trips for Fortune 500 enterprises, high-end customized leisure tourism, study trips, luxury cruises, and more. Destination Asia China has gradually become the preferred partner of many of the most important players in major tourist source markets such as Europe, America, Australia and Canada. Over its decade and a half in operation, Destination Asia China has become the definition of quality in its segment.
General Manager, Inbound Tourism Department at China Tourism Group Travel Service Co., Ltd.
Liu Huiyuan graduated from the English Department of Beijing International Studies University. After four years of teaching, he devoted himself to tourism. He worked as an outreach manager in New Metropolitan International Travel Service and HCG International Travel. In 1997, he joined the China International Travel Service Co. Limited Head Office (CITS). Starting from an ordinary outreach specialist, he became general manager of the Inbound Tourism Department of China Tourism Group Travel Service Co., Ltd., a merger of CITS and CTS inbound headquarters. Throughout the years, he has served as CITS American and Canadian market promoter, outreach manager of CITS Europe third sector and US professional exchange program, sales director of CITS Greece and Special Projects Division, general manager of CITS Holland, Greece and Northern Europe, and deputy general manager of CITS Inbound Tourism Division. He has also held the positions of head of Inbound MICE, general manager of the Inbound Product Development Center, general manager of the Eastern Russia and Northern Europe Region, and general manager of the U.S. Region.
President of SITE China Chapter
With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry of meeting, incentive travel, conference and event (MICE), Liu Ping is the founder of China Star, a Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) and a Destination Management Company (DMC). She is active in the international industry associations such as Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), and IAPCO (International Association of PCO). She was the first international board director of SITE (2008-2014) from mainland China and is one of the founders of World PCO Alliance (WPCOA). Liu Ping is highly recognized in the MICE industry internationally and received the Frankfurt IMEX Academy Award in 2009. She was elected President of SITE China Chapter by the end of 2019.
President at Guilin Tang Dynasty Tours
Michael Zhou is President of Guilin Tang Dynasty Tours, and Guest Professor of Guilin Tourism University. In 2005, Mr. Zhou co-founded leading online travel brand China Odyssey Tours, providing tailor-made inbound travel products and services to the American, Australian and European markets through e-commerce, followed by the establishment of Odynovo that realized the pioneering cross-border travel business. He also founded Wowoyoo in 2012, a Chinese-market-oriented travel brand promoting high-end and customized travel. With 25 years’ experience in the travel industry, Michael is a frequently-invited guest speaker for important events hosted by organizations like ASEAN-China Centre and PATA, where he shares both unique insights and rich experience in either cross-border travel for western markets or outbound travel for the Chinese high-end market.
President, Grand China MICE Holdings, Co., Ltd.
Ni Hui graduated from Beijing International Studies University and has over 20 years of experience in tourism and the MICE industry. He previously worked as Deputy GM of CYTS (China Youth Travel Service) MICE, and GM of CTS (China Travel Service) MICE. In 2011, Mr. Ni founded Grand China MICE and led the company become one of the top five in China’s MICE industry. Mr. Ni is currently the president of Grand China MICE Holdings, Co., Ltd. The company was honored as China’s Best PCO for the past eight years.
Founder of The Dragon Trip & The Learning Adventure
Ramsay Kerr is the founder of The Dragon Trip Group, a leading youth tour operator. Founded in 2011, the Dragon Trip Group operates two brands: The Dragon Trip, which provides backpacking tours for 18-35 year olds across Asia, and The Learning Adventure, which provides school trips to schools and universities traveling in Asia and Europe.
The company takes over 8,000 young people traveling each year, and has seen phenomenal growth since its founding. The Dragon Trip Group provide tours to the world's leading travel agents, such as STA Travel, Gap 360, Tui PLC and Flight Centre, and to some of the world's leading schools, such as Princeton, Eton, Dulwich and Harrow.
Ramsay is having a quieter year during the COVID crisis, and is using the time to build new tours in regions the Dragon Trip will launch in 2021, as well as improve his Mandarin and get out for as many adventures on his bike as he can!
CEO, Bespoke Travel Company
Sarah Keenlyside is the Founder and CEO of Bespoke Travel Company, which was established in 2010. She has lived in Beijing since 2005.
Bespoke Travel has since grown to employ dozens of tour guides, experts, drivers and in-house tour planners who all work to create truly unique, customized vacations in China. The company puts a strong emphasis on immersive, educational experiences that aim to smash stereotypes and broaden the mind.
Clients have included everyone from Matt Damon and Katy Perry, to executives from major corporations such as Apple, HP, LVMH and Warner Bros. Named by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine as Top Travel Specialists for China the last two years in a row, both Sarah and the company have also been nominated for or won numerous awards, including Greatest Innovation/Disruption at international travel show LE Miami; World Innovation Awards Top 30 Foreign Entrepreneurs in China 2019 and Most Pioneering Woman in Travel by UK Telegraph readers.
Bespoke was also recognised for its strides in developing women in the workplace by the UN and British Chamber of Commerce when it won the Empowerment of Women category at the Social Impact Awards last year.
Chief Executive Officer at ICCA
Senthil has over 20 years’ experience in the meetings, association and leisure industry. He has held a wide spectrum of positions in the meetings industry, such as CEO of the Convention Bureau of Sri Lanka, and Vice President of Kuoni. He moved to Dubai in 2006 and has been working for Congress Solutions International, the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) arm of Emirates Group, eventually holding responsibility for wide-ranging business development, sales and operations functions for some of the largest international meetings held in the UAE, including World Diabetes Congress, UITP, and World Economic Forum. He has been involved in winning many congress bids for Dubai, UAE and the region. Academically he holds a European Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration, and is currently reading for a PhD. Senthil has been working with the global association fraternity for more than two decades and has in depth knowledge of global association segment development. He was the Regional Director Middle East for the last three years of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) headquartered in the Netherlands. Presently he is the Chief Executive Officer of ICCA.
A passionate strategist, creativity and adaptability to the constantly changing environment are his key strengths. Gopinath was awarded the title of Global Business Events Strategist of the Year by PCMA - USA.
Associate Director of Communications at Dragon Trail Interactive
Based in the UK, Sienna Parulis-Cook is Dragon Trail’s Associate Director of Communications. She writes articles and reports on the Chinese digital landscape and travel trends, and manages the company’s Western social media accounts and media relations. She is co-author of the book, China, the Future of Travel.
Sienna has had a passionate interest in China since she was 12, and has a master's degree in Chinese Studies from London's School of Oriental and African Studies, as well as a bachelor's degree in International Relations with a focus on China from Brown University.
Vice General Manager at CYTS International Travel
Song Wei has more than 20 years of experience in tourism and related industries. Since graduating from Capital Normal University, she has been working in CYTS, and successively served as General Manager the of Japanese Market Inbound Division, General Manager of Asian Market, General Manager of the Cooperation and Exchange Department, and Deputy General Manager of International Companies Department. Song Wei led the team to forge ahead in the face of adversity, making continuous breakthroughs and transforming the team from a single-language inbound receptive operator to a comprehensive business sector covering international and domestic tourism, planning and arrangement of high-end business and cultural visits, promotion and implementation of domestic and foreign research, and undertaking of exchange forums for awards and competitions.
Partner at McKinsey & Company
Steve Saxon is a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Shenzhen office. Steve joined McKinsey in London in 2000, and transferred to Asia in 2005. He leads McKinsey’s Travel practice for Asia.
Steve has worked across the travel value chain. He has supported more than 10 airlines across Asia Pacific, and has worked with LCCs and mainline carriers. His work includes airline strategy, improving frequent flyer schemes, air cargo strategy, improving sales teams and driving online distribution. Steve has also supported some of the leading travel agencies in China with growth.
Steve has recently published articles on China’s travel recovery after COVID-19, and on the future of airlines.
General Manager at Hyatt Regency Beijing Wangjing
Hailing from Germany, Till Martin has an illustrious hospitality career and rich experience with Hyatt Corporation spanning more than 20 years. He was most recently the Hotel Manager of Grand Hyatt Beijing, in charge of the entire hotel operations and a 900-strong team. Mr. Martin brings a deep understanding of the local market and authentic Hyatt hospitality to his current role as General Manager of Hyatt Regency Beijing Wangjing.
Mr. Martin began his career at Hyatt Regency Cologne, Germany, in 1996. His next move took him across Germany to become Restaurant Manager at Hyatt Regency Mainz in 1998. He later moved to the United States to assume the role of Assistant Restaurant Manager/Sommelier at Park Hyatt Chicago, before heading back to Germany as Assistant Director of Food & Beverage at Grand Hyatt Berlin.
He returned to Hyatt Regency Mainz in 2004 as Director of Food & Beverage, a position he held for four years. Mr. Martin relocated to the Middle East to take up the role of Executive Assistant Manager – Food & Beverage at Grand Hyatt Dubai from 2008-2010, and on to Asia to take up a similar role at Grand Hyatt Seoul from 2010-2013. He moved to China in 2013 to become Hotel Manager at Grand Hyatt Beijing.
Senior Director Sales Greater China, Lufthansa Group Airlines
Veli Polat has been Senior Director Sales Greater China & China Representative for the Lufthansa Group Airlines since 2016. As such, he is responsible for Passenger Sales and Marketing of Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, in the Greater China region, including Hong Kong and Taiwan.
After graduating as an electrical engineer from Wiesbaden University of Applied Sciences in 1994, Mr. Polat joined the “ProTeam” trainee program at Lufthansa Cargo AG between 1995 and 1996. He subsequently worked for Lufthansa Cargo on the “Time Definite Services” service development project. In 1998, Mr. Polat was appointed Country Manager Sales Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, based in Baku. He returned to Frankfurt in 2000 as Global Key Account Manager for the engineering and construction industry. From 2001-2005, he was Country Manager Sales Turkey, based in Istanbul. Afterwards, he was appointed Regional Director Sales & Handling Russia & CIS, based in Moscow. In December 2008, Mr. Polat moved to Los Angeles as Regional Director West Coast, Mexico and Central America. Between 2014 and 2016, Mr. Polat was Regional Director South Asia, Middle East and Pakistan, based in New Delhi and responsible for station operation, sales and marketing in 19 countries with 29 stations in South Asia, the Gulf region and the Middle East. Mr. Polat is fluent in Turkish, German and English.
Deputy General Manager, Aviation Business Department at Beijing Daxing International Airport
Wang Qiang holds a master's degree in Engineering and a certificated title of Senior Engineer. He is specialized in aviation business management, aviation customer service and airport planning and design.
Mr. Wang started his career in China Airport Construction Group Corporation (CACC) in 2003, gaining 10 years of experience in airport planning and design. From 2012 to 2013, he worked as the Technical Officer in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Montreal, Canada. In 2013, he joined Beijing New Airport Headquarters and held positions from Supervisor to Deputy General Manager in Planning and Design Departments.
Since being named Deputy General Manager of the Aviation Business Department BDIA in December 2019, Mr. Wang is responsible for aviation business management and aviation customer service at Beijing Daxing International Airport.
William Ace Rowles
Account Director at Dragon Trail Interactive
William Ace Rowles oversees Dragon Trail’s B2C accounts team, helping to deliver and coordinate clients’ consumer-facing campaigns and managing their various China marketing channels.
Prior to joining Dragon Trail, William worked for a UK- and Asia-based tour operator leading the operations and client liaison teams for their Asia and China inbound market. He has built and designed countless travel products all across China and has special expertise in youth and student travel.
William is originally from London but has an in-depth knowledge of China and speaks Mandarin fluently. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Chinese Studies from The University of Nottingham and is a graduate of Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Ignite Program.
Chairman-Elect at Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Presently serving as Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Chairman – Elect, Soon-Hwa has some 40 years of extensive experience in the Asia Pacific tourism and hospitality industry. After a long and successful corporate career, he founded Asia Tourism to provide advisory and consulting services to commercial and not-for-profit enterprises. He is also providing pro-bono services in mentoring startups and university students in his alma mater, besides serving in several civic and social committees.
He started the Hertz Asia Pacific office in Singapore in 1993. As Vice President – Asia, he built a comprehensive regional network, reinforcing Hertz’s position as global market leader. He spent three years in Shanghai from 2007 to 2010 and opened the first 100% foreign-owned car rental company in China.
He then helped Berlin-based professional chauffeur service Blacklane GmbH establish their Singapore regional office and built a service network covering some 80 cities.
Additionally, Soon-Hwa has worked as Regional Manager – South East Asia for Air New Zealand, GM Marketing of Mansfield Travel, and Deputy GM Avis Singapore.
A Bachelor of Business Administration graduate of the National University of Singapore, he is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK and an alumni of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Soon-Hwa’s long association with PATA dates back to 1996, and he received the PATA Life Member Award in 2018 and PATA Award of Merit in 2008. Soon-Hwa was recognized as one of TTG Asia’s 45 Trendsetters for successfully organizing the inaugural SG Tourism Leaders Forum. The Forum brought together, for the very first time, eight other industry association leaders and members to promote cross-sectoral collaboration under the theme of “Power of One”.
Managing Director at Asian Trails China
For Xiaolin, China is a traveling playground of immense proportions, and her vast knowledge in putting together extraordinary itineraries has made her the first Chinese national heading Asian Trails. Since 2008, she has been a cornerstone of information for the company, an example of how team spirit is pushing the boundaries, of achieving what initially seems to be impossible, and to tailored experiences in both leisure and incentive markets. Fluent in English and French, her operational and advisory skills for discerned travel professionals has seen Asian Trails’ China operations grow beyond expectations. Aside from having a travel bug, you can find Xiaolin often immersed in broadening her knowledge in Chinese history and art.
Deputy Section Chief at Culture and Tourism Bureau Municipality of Dongcheng District of Beijing
Zhang Jianing is currently working for the Dongcheng District Bureau of Culture and Tourism of Beijing Municipality. As the tourism administrative department at the core area of the capital, the bureau specializes in destination marketing, theme event planning, conference business, the development of cultural and travel brands, and red tourism related to China’s revolutionary history. The bureau has developed a series of cultural and travel brands including Traveling in Dongcheng with Coupons and The Heart of Beijing. During the pandemic, the bureau planned live streaming events like “Cherish the Beauty of Spring Online with The Heart of Beijing”, a product aggregation page titled “Feel at Home with The Heart of Beijing”, and campaigns including Photos by Travel Gurus. In addition, the bureau set up organizations like Horizontal Alliance. In general, the Dongcheng District Bureau of Culture and Tourism of Beijing Municipality has made a series of constructive attempts to bring companies together and resume businesses in the tourism market in the post-pandemic era.
Ms. Zhang graduated from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) with a Master of Science degree.
Founder of WildChina
Sharing China’s hidden gems has been Mei’s lifelong passion. Zhang Mei is the founder of WildChina, an award-winning travel company, and author of “Travels Through Dali with a Leg of Ham”. A native of Yunnan, Mei holds an MBA from Harvard. She is an expert in filtering the seemingly endless options for clients to craft the experience that’s just right for them. Under her leadership, WildChina has evolved from its beginnings in a small hutong office to a leader in experiential travel and is presented as a case study to all first-year students at Harvard Business School.
Mei’s expertise has led her to win a number of awards and accolades, including Travel and Leisure’s “A-List of Top Travel Advisors”, Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top Travel Specialist”, Wendy Perrin’s “#WOW List of Travel Experts”, and National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Company on Earth”.
An avid marathon runner, Mei lives in Berkeley with her husband and three children. She maintains a social media identity true to her origin: Yunnangirl.