Being described as an “influencer” was a new one for me, and I think this was the first award I’d received since our basketball team won the North Shore Men’s Basketball A-Grade Summer League back in 2000-something.
Like the basketball, this was also a team effort, with me here repping Beijing Hikers as one of five Beijing-based expats who have had a significant positive impact on the city’s image via tourism.
From the press release:
The five influencers/panelists were: Mr. Jim Spear, co-founder and designer of two award-winning tourism businesses near Mutianyu Great Wall; Ms. Sarah Keenlyside, founder of Bespoke Travel Company, which offers tailor-made, immersive travel services to foreign tourists; Mr. Hayden Opie of Beijing Hikers, a hiking club that has been popular in Beijing for more than 10 years; Mr. Ignace Lecleir, owner and founder of TRB, awarded number one fine dining restaurant in the world by TripAdvisor in 2019; and Mr. Dominic De Couto of B Electric, which offers fun new ways to discover Beijing via e-bike.
But this wasn’t just showing up and shaking hands with Ms. Pang Wei, Deputy Director-General of Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau. I had to do a five-minute talk on my work at Beijing Hikers, plus a bit of chat on post-COVID-19 tourism development.
I was nervous about having to talk in front of all those people. But with a bit of practice and a lot of coaching from elevator pitch expert MB, I kind of did okay, I think!