Episode 17: Mei Zhang


Mei Zhang, a native of Yunnan Province, is the founder and CEO of WildChina, an award-winning luxury sustainable travel company based in Beijing. Mei holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company until she found her true passion during an arduous pilgrimage on a Tibetan mountain: sustainable travel.

Mei subsequently founded WildChina in 2000. A few years later, in 2009, WildChina was recognized as one of the world’s best adventure travel companies by National Geographic Adventure magazine. That same year, Mei was named as one of Travel + Leisure’s A-List of Top Travel Advisors — an accolade she has earned every year since then. In 2016, Mei was identified as a Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist.

WildChina now has offices in China and the U.S. Its business model is presented as a case study to all first-year students at Harvard Business School. Passionate about unlocking authentic travel experiences for the forever-curious Chinese traveler, in 2011, Mei began another endeavor — Beshan Travel, which strives to introduce a “chic travel lifestyle” to Chinese consumers.

Mei’s first book, Travels Through Dali With a Leg of Ham, was published in 2016. The book is a beautifully illustrated chronicle of her return to her culinary and cultural roots in Yunnan.

Mei lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and three children.

Mei’s Twitter | WildChina website | Beshan Travel website