17 November, 2010

At home in China - Festival 2011 theme launched in Beijing and Shanghai

Pudong from the Bund, Shanghai

Beijing is wonderfully stylish and eclectic, teeming with life, has absolutely bags of character, and is very, very welcoming. Since arriving on Sunday we have met so many people keen to engage with the Festival and Scotland and it is at times like this that you have to be convinced you have the best job in the world. Jonathan met with a string of media over Sunday and Monday all of whom asked interesting questions throwing up all sorts of avenues of conversation. Then there was a buzzing reception last night that the British Ambassador and British Council here threw in honour of the Festival and its developing relationship with China with more media, representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Culture, artists and various interested businesses in attendance. It has been an intense couple of days and I am sure Jonathan is very happy to have a couple of hours off from the media mayhem this morning.

Today it is Jackie, our Marketing and Communications Director’s turn as she steels herself to speed date 60 tour operators this afternoon as part of VisitBritain’s delegation at the China International Travel Mart. No mean feat and just the first of several days here and in Shanghai which will offer lots of opportunities to shout about the Festival to those who can help boost Chinese visitor numbers into the future.

Meanwhile I’m put the finishing touches to our media event in Shanghai tomorrow where we’ll do it all again!

Tomorrow afternoon Jonathan and Mr Sun of the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe will sign a letter of agreement before posing for photos with the ornately dressed performers in their full glittering get-up. I wonder if there’ll be a spare pair of their fabulous platform shoes kicking around… just to help me get a better photo!

- Susie Burnet