Texan Delegates Prepare For “Salute To Texas Week” At Shanghai Expo

Governor Rick Perry And State Government Officials To Promote Economic Exchange, Tourism From June 13-19

Shanghai Expo mascot Haibao in "cowboy" attire

Shanghai Expo mascot Haibao in "cowboy" attire

As Chinese outbound tourism — and outbound investment — continues to grow, participants from around the world are taking advantage of the Shanghai Expo as a great venue to encourage more economic, cultural and tourist exchange with China. At the U.S. pavilion, states like Texas and Hawaii that made significant investments in the American presence at the expo are looking to capitalize perhaps more than anyone else during their respective “Weeks” this month, with “Hawaii Week” continuing this week until June 12 and “Salute to Texas Week” taking place June 13-19. As Jing Daily wrote earlier this year, a number of American states that are “off the beaten path” among foreign tourists — and even some that aren’t, like Hawaii and California — have turned their attention to the China market, where the number of outbound travelers is expected to climb this year to 50 million tourists.

The Texan delegation heading to Shanghai with the hopes of enticing Chinese tourists to visit and companies to invest in Texas next week will be headed by Governor Rick Perry, Comptroller Susan Combs, Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, State Reps. Angie Chen Button and Ken Paxton, along with city and business representatives from cities like Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi and Brownsville. While in China, members of the Texan delegation will meet with potential business investors and tourism industry professionals, attend an American Chamber of Commerce reception, and participate in events at the U.S.A. National Pavilion and Mary Kay Cosmetics China Headquarters, according to a release.

“Texas continues to gain national and international attention as one of the strongest economies in the U.S. and the nation’s top exporting state for the eighth year in a row,” said Governor Perry. “The Shanghai World Expo 2010 gives the Lone Star State the opportunity to develop international relationships and continue to draw investment to our state.”

Along with meetings with potential business partners, the Texan delegation is headed to the Shanghai Expo to promote more cultural and tourism exchange with China. As part of “Salute to Texas Week,” Texas-focused activities will include Texas business and tourism seminars, performances by Austin’s Marshall Ford Swing Band and champion trick roper Kevin Fitzpatrick, interview sessions with Johnson Space Center Astronaut Ellen Baker, and a Texas-style fashion show sponsored by NorthPark Center in Dallas. Texas Tourism commercials and video footage of the state will be shown on the outdoor LED screen and throughout the pavilion tour.

According to recent figures, an estimated 52,000 Chinese travelers visited Texas in 2008, and China is Texas’ third largest export partner, receiving 5% of all Texas exports, amounting to nearly $9 billion per year. Top export commodities from Texas include chemicals, computer and electronic equipment and heavy machinery.

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