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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When the First Travel Company in the World Starts Its Business in China…

Dear Friends of CEIBS,

With Chinese New Year around the corner, how to better start off the Executive Talks 2017 series than with a lecture by a world leading travel company?

In 2016, Thomas Cook celebrated its 175 years of organising customised travel itineraries for its clients. The company had come a long way since the days of its founder, Thomas Cook, who in his day was a pioneer in making travel available to a much larger part of society. With millions of Chinese tourists now travelling the globe shouldn’t a seasoned company such as Thomas Cook be an immediate hit in the Chinese market? And if your venture is supported by Fosun, the leading Chinese investment group, what would you have to worry about? Mr. Reto Wilhelm, General Manager of Thomas Cook Group China will tell you all about what happened when the first travel company in the world entered the China Market–and why things are never quite as easy as they seem to be.

Having worked in the travel industry for over 30 years, Mr. Wilhelm knows what it takes to engage travellers and create the ultimate travel experience. He joined Thomas Cook Group in January 2013 as the Managing Director for Western & Eastern European markets and increased the performance from an overall segment loss of over 26 million euro in 2012 to positive figures in 2014.  His largest adventure still lies ahead. In September 2015, he was appointed GM of newly-established joint venture between Thomas Cook Group and Fosun Investment Ltd., with the head office located in Shanghai, and a branch office in Beijing.  As GM of Thomas Cook China, Wilhelm has been in charge of establishing this start-up business from the ground up. The joint venture’s current market segments include outbound and domestic travel as well as  inbound leisure and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events).  The focus is very much on delivering premium products and service to Thomas Cook China’s existing and future clients.  Wilhelm is also an executive member of the joint venture’s Board.  

Join us for an evening full of business insights from a global traveller.

Date: January 17, 2017
Venue: CEIBS Shanghai Campus, 699 Hongfeng Road, Pudong
Language: English

18:30-18:35  Opening and Introduction by Prof. Shameen Prashantham, Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy, CEIBS
18:35-19:30  Speech by Mr. Reto Wilhelm, GM of Thomas Cook China and Member of Thomas Cook Group Management Council
19:30-20:00  Q&A

Please RSVP before January 16 to Ms. Kathy Xu at execforum@ceibs.edu or telephone +86-21-2890-5053