Trip to China planned

The Wapakoneta Area of Commerce is planning a trip to China for its members and other community residents in April of next year.

The opportunity allows travelers to visit the tour highlights of Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou, as well as visiting historical sites such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square.

“This is the first time we have done this,” Wapakoneta Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dan Graf said. “We wanted to give the community a chance to travel at an affordable price.

The trip is being offered for $1,999 for chamber members and $2,199 for

non-chamber members. The chamber is partnering with the travel agency, Citslinc International, to make the trip possible.

The price includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles Express airport, all tours, meals, accommodations, all in-country transportation and English speaking guides. The hotels selected for the stay are all four and five star-rated.

Citslinc has been in the business of helping chambers across the state offer trips such as this one for several years.

They annually attend the state chamber of commerce conference, where Graf said he had seen their display several times.

He said he felt the time was right to finally offer it to the Wapakoneta area.

“We had a committee study the company and they called several chambers that had taken similar trips through Citslinc,” Graf said. “We felt this was the year to try it.”

Graf is traveling to China for a “preview trip” in October that will be the same as the trip being offered, and will be able to give information on the workings of the trip to chamber members and other potential travelers.

Starting this month, the Wapakoneta Family YMCA will host informational meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. for anyone interested in the trip. Registration information will be available at the meetings.

Graf said the process has been started well ahead of time so people have to time to think about the trip, and getting records and paperwork in place if they decide to go. Travelers will have the option to pay monthly ahead of time on their credit card.

The chamber has set a minimum goal of 10 people for the trip, but they anticipate many more with the interest that has already been shown.

“If someone is even thinking about possibly going on the trip, we urge them to go to the meetings,” Graf said.