Camas-Washougal Chamber promotes trip to China

Executive director saw temples, a palace and the Great Wall

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Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brent Erickson visited the Great Wall during a trip to China in October. Other highlights for him included seeing the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. It was his first time in China. He is planning a return visit with other C-W residents in September 2017. (Photo contributed by Brent Erickson)

The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce is offering area residents an opportunity to visit historical sites, soak in some culture and possibly do some business in China.

Through a partnership with Citslinc International, Inc., the chamber is planning a trip from Sept. 30 to Oct. 9, 2017. The trip is open to chamber members and non-members, and there is no minimum age.

Chamber Executive Director Brent Erickson recently participated in a complimentary “inspection trip,” so he could experience the tour firsthand before promoting it.

He met Citslinc President Leo Liu at a Washington Chamber of Commerce Executives conference eight years ago.

Erickson said the highlights of the trip to China included seeing the Forbidden City in Beijing, a Buddhist temple in Hangzhou, the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square.

“There are very gracious people in the hotels and restaurants,” he said. “The four- and five-star hotel accommodations were excellent, with large rooms, and there was excellent food at the restaurants.”

Erickson had two tailored suits made while he was in China.

He traveled with 10 other chamber representatives from Walla Walla and Clarkson, Washington, as well as California, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

It was Erickson’s first time in China.

“It was well planned,” he said. “I was never bored.”

Erickson plans to return for the trip in September. That will include visits to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou.

There will be opportunities to visit jade, pearl and silk factories.

Trip participants can also request conferences with Chinese business representatives to determine interest in exporting building materials, wines, chemical products, medical devices and clothing accessories from America.

“If visiting China is on your bucket list, this is a great opportunity,” Erickson said. “Professional tour guides, who speak English, will take you around.”

Erickson described the 2017 trip as a small fundraiser for the chamber’s operations budget.

The itinerary can be viewed at Informational packets about the trip are available at the chamber office, 422 N.E. Fourth Ave.

An orientation meeting, to receive more information and ask questions of Peter Liu with Citslinc, will be held Thursday, Feb. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at Camas Meadows Golf Club, 4105 N.W. Camas Meadows Drive. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Questions can be directed to Erickson at 834-2472 or