Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NM: The Last Frontier! (at least for the Chinese)

Hello everyone,
It's been a while, but I'm back, and I want to tell you about a recent trip. In November I traveled to Shanghai with Secretary Michael Cerletti to attend CITM, China International Travel Market, a trade show for those those in the tourism industry.

I met with thousands of tour operators, media, and consumers in the Shanghai Expo Center, where a myriad of states, countries, and vendors of all types set up shop to pitch their product, spanning hundreds of thousands of square feet. Ken Lingad, a Native celebrity from Isleta Pueblo, outshined even the glitziest hotel set up, standing in our space with his long black hair and big turquoise jewelry. A native of Isleta Pueblo, Ken was a magnet for the Chinese, who are huge fans of anything that has to do with cowboys and Indians.

Sec. Cerletti signed documents in a formal agreement to partner and cross-promote with the Jilin Province in the northeastern part of China. Astoundingly, this province alone is home to over 27 million people. Since this was the first time that New Mexico traveled on a mission to promote itself in China, it was a radical learning experience--this massive market is trending toward increasing travel to the United States, and not just the tried and true destinations that usually attract the Chinese, such as Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Instead, the Chinese have a particular interest in indigenous culture and art, both are rich treasures found in the Land of Enchantment.

While Shanghai impressed with astounding architecture and an efficient, bustling, and polite people, it sure was good to get back to New Mexico and take a deep breath of big, clean, high desert air. We are so lucky!


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