Plug and Play China Launches New Travel & Hospitality Program in Shanghai

According to the International Trade Administration, the national tourism revenue has maintained a steady double-digit growth from 2012 to 2018; the domestic tourism revenue reached 6 trillion yuan in 2018 (875 billion USD), which is expected to continue to grow in 2019.

With the creation of the Internet of Things, Big Data, AR/VR/MR and other emerging technologies, the concept of “tourism +” was established. Technology is helping the travel and hospitality industry become more intelligent and better meet the diverse needs of consumers.

Plug and Play China’s Travel & Hospitality Summer Summit 2019

On June 27th, Plug and Play China’s Travel & Hospitality program hosted their Summer Summit by the Huangpu River in Shanghai. Attendees included more than 100 high-level guests from companies such as China Eastern Airlines, Spring Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, Xiamen Air, Shandong Airlines, China Express, Marriott, Melco Crown Entertainment, BTM Homeinns, Four Seasons,, Fudan University, and more. They gathered to discuss the up-and-coming innovations in the travel and hospitality industry.

Plug and Play China’s Travel & Hospitality Corporate Partners

In his opening remarks, Peter Xu, CEO of Plug and Play China, reviewed how Plug and Play grew from their headquarters in Silicon Valley to 28 cities globally.

Peter Xu, CEO of Plug and Play China

Lio Chen, the Managing Partner of Plug and Play’s Travel & Hospitality program, introduced their plans for expansion in the United States, Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and China.

According to Chen, Plug and Play Travel & Hospitality has worked with nearly 30 of the leading enterprises in the tourism industry. Plug and Play has accelerated 140 travel startups and has invested in 30 of them. They have introduced their partners to many different types of startups, leading to over 100 current collaborations between them.

Lio Chen, Managing Partner, Plug and Play Travel & Hospitality

Following Chen’s talk, Irene Wang, Head of Travel & Hospitality for Plug and Play China, announced that this program will officially launch in China later this November.

Irene Wang, Head of Travel & Hospitality, Plug and Play China

Startups hoping to enter the China market will have the chance to select for this program from around the globe.

Plug and Play China also invited guests from Air Asia, Ctrip, and FCM Travel Solutions to share their advice on how to best interact with Plug and Play’s ecosystem.

Panel discussion on Digital Innovation Practice of Enterprise Partners

Spencer Lee, CEO, Air Asia BIGLIFE:

“Plug and Play has introduced us to many high-tech enterprises, which can provide us with technologies so that we can serve our customers better. We continue to learn, and we believe that innovation with startups is the best way to enhance our performance further, let’s make the platform better.”

Margaret Feng, Head of Oasis Lab, Ctrip:

“In the next five years, Ctrip is aiming to develop globally. We’d like to understand the global market, suppliers, and customers better. An important reason to cooperate with Plug and Play is that Plug and Play has a tremendous international perspective. Besides, Plug and Play has a wide range of business and professional colleagues. We appreciate this ecosystem very much, which is of great value to Ctrip.”

Terry Yip, Director of Operations, Greater China, FCM Travel Solutions:

“In China, we find that many innovative companies can provide solutions to some particular points, which is great. FCM hopes to cooperate well with startups and to complement them so that we can provide better services to our customers and save our time in technology research and development.”

The guests of Spring International Group, OAG and WeHotel also spoke on their corporate experience in the travel industry from the perspective of civil aviation enterprises, data providers, and hotels.

Zhong Qiu, CTO, Spring International Travel Service

They mentioned the three pain points of innovation are the grasp of future trends, independent R&D, and cooperation.

Zhong Qiu, the CTO of Spring International Travel Service mentioned “The way of innovation in the future is ‘inner brain + outer brain + entrepreneurship company.’ We can set up an innovation team internally, but there are hundreds of innovation teams outside; we need many innovation teams to work together to realize our ideas in the field of innovation.”

Neilson Liu, Lead of Travel and Travel Technology, OAG

“Our industry is facing many difficulties, which is where our opportunities lie. By 2037, the number of civil aviation passengers will reach 8.2 billion worldwide, which will be a huge market.” Neilson Liu from OAG said.

“We have observed that the whole civil aviation industry is undergoing a digital transformation. This transformation presents three directions: industry growth, improved operational efficiency by airlines, better services needed by passengers.”

Xiaoyun Liang, GM of Distribution and International Business, WeHotel

“WeHotel has 145 million members. The challenge is how to invigorate billions of members. Over the past two years, we have gradually moved from the original channel to the channel from data acquisition and analysis to scenario operation. We have also communicated with partners about data integration, analysis, and matching,” commented by Xiaoyun Liang, GM of Distribution and International Business for WeHotel.

Eleven startups presented at the Summer Summit including Pi-Solution, PKFARE, QUICKET.IO, TRAVEL-X, TECH VALLEY, KIWI.COM, TPS, GLOBALEUR, GTRIIP, Red AUG, and ArchFiction. Their focus areas included user experience, customer loyalty, precision marketing, ancillary revenue, new distribution capability (NDC), operational efficiency and automation, seamless integration process, distribution channels, AR/VR, and more, covering all aspects of the tourism industry chain.

With the conclusion of the Summer Summit, Plug and Play China’s Travel & Hospitality program will officially kickoff this November. The local team will connect startups to Plug and Play’s global ecosystem and help them enter the China market.

Plug and Play China Travel & Hospitality Team

About Plug and Play China

Founded in 2015, Plug and Play China now has four innovation centers in Beijing Headquarters, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Shenzhen. We have set up five business sectors, including investment, corporate innovation, startup incubation and acceleration, cross-border innovation and innovation space. We have built a leading innovation platform in China covering both online and offline. Moreover, a multi-dimensional innovative ecological partnership system has been built, including joint innovation of universities and research institutions, governments, venture capitals, innovative ecological researches, and cities.

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