And, now that I have your attention, let me tell you more about where I am. This is the south China island of Hainan, a tropical destination on par with Hawaii or Dominican Republic with endless stretches of beach, dense rainforest, competitive fairways and luxury chain resorts.  No surprise, I’m overnighting in one now called the Shangri-La.  

I’m here for 5 days on what is called a “visa-free entry” to attend the annual World Leisure Tourism Expo in the capital city of Haikou.  The campaign is the PRC’s way of exhibiting their provincial poster gem in all it’s ethnic and cultural glory.  

Under the big top are hundreds of tourism booths promoting their venues.  Besides tempting flavors like scorpion-on-a-stick, food stalls encourage sampling of sweet jackfruit, stinky duran, cold fried ice and grain snacks.  Cartoon characters pose happily for selfies.  

Opening ceremonies today included colorful dance performances, slick promotional videos and salutations with dignitaries.  The production went on for hours, from morning until late evening, a bit of a spectacle, yes, but impressive nonetheless. 

The only caveat was the enthusiastic media.  Hordes of flash bulbs, iPods and tripods descended center stage and blocked everyone’s vantage point.   Amateurs and pros roaming freely to shoot where they pleased.  Security intervening only on occasion. 

Because I work in the industry, I was more amused than upset by the circus-like frenzy.   I couldn’t help but think how a multi-camera monitor feed could have solved the whole issue.  I’m just saying…

More on Day 2 when and if I can sustain a wifi connection.

 

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