OUR featured speakers


Rafat Ali

CEO and Founder @ Skift

Skift is the largest industry intelligence platform providing media, insights and marketing to key sectors of travel.

Rafat is the CEO and Founder of Skift. New Yorker. Global Soul. Mostly, his life is about travel, building businesses, media, daddyhood and such. Previously founded paidContent, sold to Guardian in 2008.


Keri Hanson

National Director, Tourism Marketing and Development @ Macy’s

She joined Macy's in 2013 to oversee international direct-to- consumer efforts including advertising, social and partnerships with a goal towards building the Macy’s brand globally.

Prior to joining Macy’s, Keri worked as digital and social manager for Brand USA. She had the opportunity to build and launch the global social and digital ecosystem for Brand USA, overseeing efforts in 10 countries.


Louise O'Brien

Regional Public Relations Director @ Langham Hospitality Group

Directly overseeing the public relations efforts for five hotels in the region and acting as the liaison for all press on behalf of all 22 Langham Hospitality Group hotels around the world. Louise was a Vice President at DKC, in the hospitality and lifestyle divisions, focusing on launching hotels, restaurants and bars in New York, Chicago, Miami and around the world.

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Jack Lok

Principal @ China NiHao

He is more than an enthusiastic traveler; he is a tour industry leader. His company L&L Travel, the biggest ground tour operator in the East USA, serves 300,000 travelers annually from around the world. Jack understands the tourism business, travel trends, and tourists' interests and mindset. He is also a principal in China NiHao.



Vera Wang

Sole owner and creator @ VERAWANGxNYC

Ms. Vera Wang, the sole owner and creator of VERAWANGxNYC, is an up- and- coming Chinese fashion Blogger. Born and raised in Mainland China, Ms. Wang is bilingual in English and Chinese Mandarin. Highly educated in China and the U.S., Vera holds a B.S. degree from Renmin University, an “Ivy League” of China, and a Masters degree from New York University.


Rob MacKay

Director of Public Relations @ Queens Economic Development Corporation & the head of the Queens Tourism Council.

His responsibilities include promoting the world's most diverse county via press releases, brochures and social media; placing stories in media outlets; taking hospitality industry people on tours; participating in conferences; and organizing and promoting events. A Brooklyn native, Rob fell in love with the people, restaurants and attractions in Queens almost instantly after moving there in 1991. He has worked as an editor/reporter for a local newspaper and an English teacher. He also lived in Honduras as a Peace Corps volunteer.


Fan Bu


Fan is an award-winning bilingual multimedia journalist. Over the past eight years, she has gained valuable experience at The New York Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, and most recently and devotedly at SinoVision, a Chinese American TV station. She is a passionate and motivated storyteller. She is also an avid traveler, always eager to explore the road less traveled.


David Zhou

Founder and CEO @ IM2CHINA LLC

He is an expert on digital marketing in both USA and China with solid field experience and rich business insight. In the past 6 years, Mr. Zhou has founded four agencies providing digital marketing agency services for over 500 global clients through Omni-channel marketing campaigns on Baidu, Wechat, Weibo, Tencent, ... the popular Chinese internet media.


Jacqueline Zhao

Co-Founder & CMO @ You.World

She supported the CEO to set up the ad operation (new biz venture) of iTalkBB Global as the first employee, formulated partnership with 50+ of Fortune 500 brands such as Wells Fargo, AIG, Walmart and Lexus. Prior to working in the TMT field, she has facilitated US-China bilateral trade issues through US China Business Council, United Nations Association, and Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (WTO, Geneva).


Saul Gitlin

Principal @ Gitlin Global Consulting

Nationally-recognized expert in the field of cross-cultural and multilingual marketing and communications with more than 30 years experience in Asia, the Middle East, the United States, and Canada.

Saul has also been frequently published, interviewed, and quoted in The Huffington Post, Bloomberg TV, The New York Times, and a wide range of other top business, trade, and news outlets across the USA and abroad. Among his many areas of expertise related to Chinese consumers, Saul is a recognized commentator on the topic of the burgeoning global Chinese tourist market.


Deana Gao

Founder & CEO @ ChinaGravy

Deana has founded three international firms (alongside three different international partners) in China, since 2006. In 2011 she founded her most recent company China Gravy, an online marketing agency that helps foreign companies expand their businesses into China. The company currently represents firms in the Real Estate, Luxury Hotels & Resorts and Education Spaces, and has clients based in the US, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and the UK.


Rich Sun

CEO @ L&L Travel 

As a leader of tour operator, he has more perspective about the future of the Chinese travel. His company, L&L Travel brings around 300,000 Chinese tourists to the United States every year. He has more practical opinion about the travel trend and Chinese tourists' mindset and travel business. 




Al Chen

Co- founder @ CooperatizeHello New York Homes

Al is active at a native advertising platform dedicated to the travel and tourism industry. He has experience in blogger marketing and social media, helping brands craft the message to finding the right blogs for publication to post-campaign analytics.