From Business to Leisure

9 August 2018, Thursday | NASDAQ MarketSite


The combination of business and leisure travel has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. Many companies that have started hiring travel agencies for business not only look for professional assistance on trip management, but also for the peripheral leisure industry which can be amalgamated with the business tour. According to CNBC Catalyst’s research, more than 70% of business travelers extended their trip for leisure activities in the last 12 months.

In this session, CNBC Catalyst and a panel of experts will showcase the current trend of bleisure travel. Find out what opportunities lie within the US and Asia's bleisure travel sector and how industry players can capitalize on them. Shenzhen will have a showcase on why they are the perfect place for business elite looking to double their business trip in China as a holiday altogether.

Brought to you by ShenZhen Tourism.

Sydnie Kohara

Founder, Kohara Group LLC

As founder of Kohara Group LLC, Sydnie has produced media projects and corporate webinars for Fortune 500 companies like Oracle and Charles Schwab & Company. She provides executive training and strategic media plans for a diverse set of clients, including a think tank at MIT, healthcare companies and startup CEOs pitching investors. She’s helped developed a number of business and fundraising events. A panel focused on sustainability that Sydnie organized for CNBC Asia brought together key clean energy executives from China and the U.S. Her previous government work includes an executive communications role with the State of California.

Sydnie is also a member of Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle in the Bay Area, a vibrant community of philanthropists championing The Asia Foundation’s work across 18 countries. She most recently served on the Advisory Board of Asia Society Northern California.

An Emmy award-winning journalist and former network news anchor and correspondent for CNBC in Singapore, New York and London, Sydnie now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enjoys fly fishing and running a retirement home for lazy chickens.

Guy Langford

Vice Chairman, US Transportation, Hospitality, & Services Leader, Deloitte

Guy Langford is the US Transportation, Hospitality, & Services Leader (TH&S) sector at Deloitte & Touch LLP. Guy leads a practice of multi-disciplinary client service teams serving preeminent hospitality, aviation, gaming & casinos, restaurant, transportation, and health & wellness companies to help them 1) drive digital and tech innovation, 2) achieve operational excellence, and 3) enhance the customer experience.

Originally from Australia, he has over 25 years of public accounting and M&A experience and has been based in the New York area since 1997.

Katie Dennis

Vice President and Lead researcher, Project Time off

Katie leads the Project: Time Off initiative, a national movement to transform American attitudes and change behavior around vacation time. Through rigorous research and focused communications, Project: Time Off aims to shift culture so that taking time off is understood as essential to personal wellbeing, professional engagement, business performance and economic expansion. In her role, Denis is responsible for determining the research agenda and strategic priorities for the initiative. She is the author of Project: Time Off's studies that look at vacation trends and workplace culture. Denis is also charged with taking all of her vacation time and encouraging her team to do the same. It is her favorite duty. She serves as the lead spokesperson for Project: Time Off and frequently speaks at conferences and events. She has been featured in Harvard Business Review, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and has been a guest on CNBC, NPR and Marketplace. Before joining Project: Time Off, Denis held communications roles at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Vehr Communications, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. She is a proud graduate of Indiana University (go Hoosiers). Denis spends her time off with her toes in the sand of Grayton Beach, FL, hiking in the mountains of Colorado, or visiting family in Cincinnati, OH.

Leiti Hsu

Culinary connector, Journalist and Advisor

Leiti is a culinary connector, journalist, and advisor to big brands and food tech companies the likes of Cover, Sosh, Twitter, and Unilever. She is a food show host who covers the red carpet annually at The James Beard Awards, and The World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan.

Mr. Dandapani

Co-founder, Apple Core Hotels

Mr. Dandapani is a hotel industry veteran who cofounded Apple Core Hotels, an owner-operator of boutique hotels in Manhattan in 1993 and was president of the company till December 2016.  He served as Chairman of The Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. (HANYC) for two years, beginning 2015. He was appointed President and Chief Executive officer of HANUC in January 2017.

He is an active participant in the hospitality industry and has spoken on hospitality issues at many forums sponsored by organizations such as the Lodging Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, the ALIS conference, University of California at Los Angeles, Columbia University, New York University and the National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives.

Mr. Dandapani has a Master’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and holds the CHAE (Certified Hospitality Accountant) certification.




Opening Address


Panel Discussion


Cocktail Networking

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