Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

March 20, 2014

Elk Rapids exec headed to China

TRAVERSE CITY — The Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s executive director is headed to China on a trip sponsored by a California travel company.

Misty Youngson will travel with six other chamber directors from across Michigan to visit tourist destinations, meet with Chinese leaders and tour businesses.

“I get to learn about the Chinese economy and these fantastic tourist locations,” Youngson said.

The trip is organized through the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals and is sponsored by California company Citslink. A woman who answered the phone on behalf of the company declined comment. A Citslink website said the company’s goal is “to bring the business people in America and China together to do business.”

Youngson and another chamber official traveling on the trip, Jackie Krawczak, executive director of the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce, said they are not obligated to do business with Citslink in the future. The company asks that chambers consider using Citslink to coordinate future trips if those chambers see the need for future trips of business leaders to the country.

“It’s a familiarization tour,” Krawczak said. “We go over there and explore different communities and cities.”

Other chambers represented on the trip include Shiawassee and Southern Wayne counties, the American Arab Chamber, Ionia, and Plymouth chambers of commerce.

Youngson said the group will visit Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou. She said she hopes to make connections and gather information to help Elk Rapids’ business community, noting Citslink also regularly brings Chinese business leaders to the United States.

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