I finished up at the newspaper on Wednesday.
The rest of the time I have spent preparing PowerPoint presentations, with ideas about how to promote her trips.
Ms. Tan likes PowerPoint because it’s an easy way to show what a promotion might look like in any medium — internet, print, video, whatever.
“It will be like Renaissance,” she said.
But Europe, she said, is still mainly a cloud of luxury brands like Burberry and Hermes to middle-class Chinese.
Tourist visits to Europe from China are growing fast, but a Chinese visit to Europe still consists mainly of shopping at outlet stores, visiting Paris, along with homage sites like Karl Marx’s house in Trier, the Poet’s Tree at Cambridge, and a standard set of “cultural” sites — like Verona, because Romeo and Juliet is quite well-known in China and is associated with the Chinese story Butterfly Lovers.
She says young, wealthy Chinese will start to be more adventurous. When Barack Obama released visa restrictions on tourism to the US, innovative agencies created options like a week in a summer camp in Florida for Chinese children, white water rafting in Northern California and so on.
She wants me to tailor study visits for middle class adults.
That means a series of options which leave the visitors to “interact” more.
I am thinking we could put together a literary visit with plays in London and Stratford, with smart students on hand to talk them through the life and business of a theatrical company in Shakespeare’s time.
Or a political visit which would take the visitors into the City of London and show them things like the Futures Exchange, meet MP’s in the Houses of Parliament, take them by Eurostar to Brussels to speak to the European Commission.
Maureen is helping me.
I am getting to know new people through Maureen, like her younger brother Ken, who own his own firm. His firm provides luxury toilet hire for big events. Ken runs the firm with his wife Felicity.
I like Ken. He does not want to be super-rich, just well-off. Ken and Felicity know exactly what they want to do with their money and their firm is the way they will earn it. He told me they would one day like a boat with a mooring in Dartmouth.
They take a pride in doing what they do and doing it well.
Ken and Felicity are genuinely passionate about the disease and indignity facing people in poor countries without indoor toilets or privacy. They write about it in their blog.