2014 SITE Crystal Award Recipient

Exceptional Motivational Travel Program – Best in Class: Asia/Pacific  

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China Star Ltd. 

Beijing, China

“An Event Motivating Two Nations”

4_web.jpgProgram Overview

When the non-profit Richard Nixon Foundation contracted with China Start Ltd. to create a trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of former United States President Richard Nixon’s birthday and 40th anniversary of the President’s first trip to China, the event company rose to the challenge and exceeded their client’s expectations. At the invitation of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Nixon Foundation delegation, led by Richard Nixon’s grandson Christopher Nixon Cox, arrived in Beijing for a journey to retrace Richard Nixon’s steps in China. The event had far reaching impacts, as several prominent delegates of the event were interviewed by CCTV, broadcasting to an audience of 1.3 billion people. With such a high amount of publicity surrounding the program, China Star Ltd. knew that it had to deliver a flawless program.

Effectiveness and Results 

The Richard Nixon Foundation is dedicated to events and activities aimed at enhancing understanding and friendship between American people and people of other nations, which will further promote peace and development of the world. Themed “Retracing Richard Nixon’s steps in China, strengthening 40 years of friendship” the program’s goal was to commemorate former President Nixon’s first trip to China. Delegates were able to experience the sites that the President witnessed during this important and historical trip. The client did not base their return on investment in the traditional sense, but rather by the personal and historic impact that the trip had on its delegates. The visit to China was very meaningful and helped the delegates and the Chinese people better understand and appreciate the former president’s contribution to the normalization of the relationship and friendship between the two nations. 

10_web.jpgThe Creative Approach

Reproducing historical events requires a great amount of creativity. In order to provide delegates with a deeper understanding of the original events, China Star Ltd.’s CEO, who was a witness to the historical period, and Jack Brennan, a Nixon presidential aide, accompanied the group on their journey. During the program, the two shared stories from perspectives of citizens of the two countries. In order to provide delegates with a deeper connection to President Nixon’s visit, several of the same sites were visited, including the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the Great Hall of the People, Hangzhou Xihu State Guesthouse and Shanghai Jin Jiang Grand Hall. Each of the venues are listed as historic places, so they are no longer open to the public. A special panel discussion was set up in the Great Hall, which allowed a diplomatic exchange between the delegates and the Chinese government to take place. Delegates were also presented with the unique opportunity to visit Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. 
 
Delegates also visited the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, where they were able to witness authentic Chinese culture while interacting with ordinary citizens. The group then traveled to Hangzhou, where they learned about the process of planting and producing Longjing tea and also had the opportunity to visit the Hangzhou Botanical Garden. Several adventurous modes of transportation were used including a rickshaw ride in Hutong, a high speed train from Hangzhou to Shanghai, a double-decker bus ride in Shanghai, and a cruise on the Huangpu River. The group also had the opportunity to visit the World Financial Center’s viewing platform, which is the highest in the world. These unique and inspiring adventures provided delegates long lasting memories. 
 

Program Execution

Executing a program in China requires a great deal of planning. The government is involved in various levels of planning, coordinating and implementing the event. China Star Ltd. rose to the challenge and overcame many obstacles in order to execute the program seamlessly. Many of the sites visited are under government jurisdiction which present unique challenges. In addition, there are requirements necessary to enter the country, which meant a tremendous amount of detailed communication between China Star Ltd. and the delegates. Upon arrival in China, the travel managers conducted one-on-one discussions with every delegate in order to determine each delegate’s unique needs. Delegates were also briefed before each government event in order to make sure that there was a thorough understanding of the Chinese culture and customs. China Star Ltd. demonstrated the ability to overcome a set of challenges unique to the country, while at the same time delivering an exceptional program to the delegates.
 
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Environmental and Social Responsibility Practices 

During the delegates’ visit to Hangzhou Botanical Garden, the group planted a tree to signify the relationship between the United States and China and to demonstrate the delegation’s commitment to the environment. The tree planting ceremony also commemorated former President Nixon’s first trip to China, as he had planted a small tree from his home state of California in Hangzhou. At the time, the tree was only a seedling, but has grown tall.

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