Related News

Home » Metro

US visitors have high hopes and personal aims

STEPHEN Brown has "always been fascinated with the idea of a world's fair." Mary Schnack is a businesswoman hoping to make connections in Shanghai. Brian Greenberg has long dreamed of visiting China.

They're among thousands of Americans heading to World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

The Expo has not received a lot of publicity in the US but the Americans who plan to attend have great expectations and often very personal reasons for visiting.

Wan Wu, 63, was born in Shanghai and owns a Chinese grocery store in Quincy, Massachusetts. He plans to attend later this month.

"I am always proud to be a Chinese-American who was born and who grew up in Shanghai," he said. "This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience I do not want to miss."

Summer camp

Sam Roth, 17, a high school student from Oakland, California, will be attending in July with a summer camp to "learn about business in China."

She said she expects the most impressive aspect to be "the scale on which the Chinese do anything... That is the wow factor."

Greenberg, 53, a CPA from New Jersey, said he's long wanted to go to China, and "what adds to the trip is that the Expo will be there."

He added that "traditionally a world's fair is where new technology has been introduced, and that's my expectation, to see something I've never seen before."

Jim Little, 66, a professor of economics at the Olin Business School at Washington University, is one of several faculty members planning to attend Expo.

The school has a joint MBA program with a university in Shanghai.

He said that while this Expo would have fewer "technological marvels" than past world's fairs, "it will be the biggest and best Expo in history," with countries participating not just to sell products, but to sell themselves as destinations.

"Chinese tourism already has become an important aspect of tourism for many countries," he said.

Fair posters

Brown, 36, works in marketing in Atlanta for MS&L, a New York-based firm. He said his condo is "laced with old world's fair posters and memorabilia." Although his trip to Shanghai is "completely recreational," he's also got a professional interest.

"I do consumer marketing and it will be fascinating to see what these different companies and countries put into these installations," he said.

Schnack, 53, has her own public relations firm in Sedona, Arizona. She wants "to see who's there at Expo, who's exhibiting, what the possibilities are of making connections."

She'd like to represent Chinese products abroad, and would also like to help market tourist destinations to Chinese travelers.

And she's curious about the fair's theme of "Better City, Better Life."

"How seriously is this being taken by countries around the world? How are they going to present that?" she said.

Irene Natividad, 61, president of the Washington, DC-based organization called the Global Summit of Women, is taking an international delegation of 120 women to Expo in late May, following a meeting in Beijing.

"China is the 21st-century global leader in the world's economy. I know they will put on a show that will exceed that of others in the same way that they did with the Olympics," she said.

Natividad added that while "it's important to see what products are being produced and touted," the business aspect "doesn't take away the dream of a world's fair."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend