Roy Graff

Roy Graff

Founder, ChinaContact

Roy has led the market entry into China of a multinational travel company and launched his own China-focused niche market entry business. He is an accomplished Business Development and Marketing specialist with an e-commerce focus who has covered all aspects of strategy, sales and marketing. He conceived, planned and launched technology platforms and online divisions for global travel companies and works with clients in the travel sector to develop e-commerce solutions and promote their online brand with a focus on emerging markets and internationalisation. Roy has worked closely with tour operators, media and government officials in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America.

His consulting services include e-commerce development, online marketing advice, strategies and new market entry planning and execution. To learn more read about specific Business Development services or his China expertise.

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Biography

Roy holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese and Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and speaks business level Mandarin Chinese fluently. He has made his career in travel and tourism business development. He is an experienced travel marketing and distribution executive involved in e-commerce, online travel and hospitality.

From 2009-2011 Roy was engaged by two of the top-ten travel companies to plan, develop and market online hotel distribution technology platforms targeted at travel agencies and consumers.

Since 2005, he combines consultation on China’s tourism sector with travel and hospitality technology projects in Europe, North America and Asia.  He conceived and ran the flagship forum on China’s Travel Industry, ‘China the Future of Travel’ at WTM in London from 2006 to 2008. In 2005 (updated in 2008) Roy published the ‘China Outbound Travel Handbook’, a comprehensive primer on China’s outbound tourism sector. He is a founding member of the China Advisers Network (C.A.N), an association of leading China specialists and advisers from various fields in the UK.

Returning to Europe after a long period of travel industry work in China, Roy continues to assist tourism companies, travel providers and tourism promotion bodies eager to discover the tremendous potential of China as both market and destination. Since 2002 until early 2005, Roy engaged in senior level business development and travel product distribution for the world’s leading independent provider of products and services to the travel trade, Gullivers Travel Associates (gta – now part of Kuoni).

He lived in China’s two commercial powerhouses, Beijing and Shanghai and travelled extensively to China’s major cities, forging good personal relationships with key private sector and government contacts. Building on his experience of online travel, sales and marketing and China know-how, he was tasked with launching a brand new merchant model travel site to the Chinese market.

Roy served as China Director of e-Commerce for gta, overseeing all aspects of the company’s electronic product distribution in China. In September 2004, Roy planned and executed a high-level three-day conference on modern tourism trends titled ‘The Future of Travel is Here’, co-hosted by Beijing Municipal Tourism Board. It was attended by provincial and city tourism board chair persons from China, senior level representatives from UNESCO, WTTC, Visa, AIG and other leading international companies totalling over 100 participants.

As a keen supporter of sustainable development and environmental protection he held several volunteer positions, including Vice President of communications at PACE (Professional Association for China’s Environment) in China and council member of Tourism Concern in the UK. Roy cooperates with UNESCO, IUCN and other bodies to promote a sustainable and ethical tourism industry in China.

Prior to his work in China Roy was based in gta’s headquarters in London as business development manager, independent travel, responsible for several international markets including India, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Israel, UK and Ireland. In 1995-1996, Roy served as a national tourism office representative in Taipei, Taiwan while learning Mandarin Chinese at university.

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