I always laugh whenever I read some right-winger use the term “communist China,” as though 1950 never ended. China is an extremely large, ancient and complex country that is, quite literally, “communist” in name only.
In fact, China is so decidedly non-communist that officials with the County of Maui and the Maui Visitors Bureau are doing all they can to get them to come to our fair island and spend money here on our capitalist trinkets and services. They’re even sponsoring a free workshop, open to the public, in early September on how to attract tourists from China.
“Visitors from China represent an exciting growth opportunity for Maui County,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa in an Aug. 12 county news release on the workshop. “We need to educate ourselves on how to welcome both groups and individuals from China, and how to provide them with a quality experience.”
Remember, there’s real money in tapping that all-important Chinese visitor market. “The State of Hawaii has seen an increase of 23.5 percent in visitors from China over last year, and Maui County has seen a 31.5 percent increase over last year,” Maui Visitors Bureau executive director Terryl Vencl said in the same news release.
Of course, marketing statements like “Learn what visitors from China want out of their Hawaiian vacation”–which comes straight from a flyer advertising this workshop–are just as simplistic as the political propaganda from the right. Then again, no one wants to attend a workshop about the dangers of treating other countries like monolithic blocs.
Anyway, the workshop takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 2 (1-5pm) at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort. To register (it’s first come, first-served), go to Mvcbchinavisitors.eventbrite.com. For more information, call the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at 808-270-7710.
Photo of visitors at the statue of Sun Yat Sen in Keokea courtesy County of Maui