UPDATE: Lingle To Promote Tourism, Clean Energy In China And Japan

In her fourth trip to China in her eight years as governor, Linda Lingle will participate in "Hawaii Week" at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo June 5-9. But she is also expected to promote the state in Guangzhou, Kunming and Beijing, followed by three days in Japan to meet with tourism officials.

The state has been trying for several years to open up the huge Chinese visitor market, but it's been slow-going for a host of reasons. The Japanese market, meanwhile, has been on the decline.

Besides tourism, the governor says she will focus on clean-energy partnerships, agriculture, education, trade and investment.

“It is vital that our state continue to build and strengthen relationships in Asia, especially China, that will position Hawaii businesses and residents to capitalize on future economic and investment opportunities and strengthen our cultural and educational partnerships," the governor said Thursday in a press release.

The China delegation: Governor Linda Lingle, House Speaker Calvin Say (Shanghai only), Senator Donna Mercado Kim (Shanghai only), Ted Liu, director, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; Mike McCartney, president and CEO, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (Shanghai only); Kelvin Bloom, chair, HTA (Shanghai only); David Uchiyama, vice president brand management, HTA (Shanghai only); Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii 2010 Narcissus Queen Tour (Guangzhou, Kunming and Beijing only); Duane Okamoto, deputy director, Hawaii Department of Agriculture; Lyle Wong, plant industry division administrator, Hawaii Department of Agriculture; University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Hawaii Export Nursery Association; Hawaii Tropical Flower Council; Linda Smith, senior policy advisor; and Major General Robert Lee, state adjutant general (traveling to China/Asia for other business).

The Japan delegation: Governor Lingle, Mike McCartney, president and CEO, HTA; Marsha Wienert, state tourism liaison; and Brennon Morioka, director, Department of Transportation.

According to the press release, "Governor Lingle’s expenses, including various event-related expenses in China, will be paid for through a combination of funding sources, including the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and Governor’s Office and Executive Branch departmental budgets."

Travel expenses for other delegates will come from a mix of federal grants, HTA funds and personal funds.

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