Open to anyone, Caldwell Chamber schedules value-packed Fall trip to China

Open to anyone, Caldwell Chamber schedules value-packed Fall trip to China
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By David Rogers. January 22, 2018. LENOIR, NC — Football season may have to take a back seat for a number of people in Western North Carolina next fall, at least for nine days or so.  That’s because Caldwell Chamber of Commerce has put together one of those “value trips of a lifetime,” to China.

COVER IMAGE: Collage of China-related stock photos courtesy of 

At first, second and third glances, the value proposition is compelling for the October 26th to November 4th excursion to the other side of the world and back — and its $2,199 price tag:

  • Round-trip international airfare (from JFK)
  • 5-star hotel accomodations
  • Three meals every day
  • Guided tours, in English!

An orientation and informational meeting for the China trip is scheduled for Thursday, January 25th, at 6:00 pm, in the Community Room of Blue Ridge Energy’s office at 100 Cooperative Way, in Lenoir.  Admission is free.

Barbara Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Caldwell Chamber sat down with Blowing Rock News recently at Sunny Rock restaurant to talk about the special opportunity not just for her chamber members, but for anyone. And she was bubbling with excitement over not just golden dragons, pandas and koalas, but the opportunity to see and understand more about living and doing business in the world’s most populous country.

“Here in the U.S., there are so many stereotypes of China,” Armstrong noted, “because it was such a repressed country for so long. Sure there are efforts to sustain and preserve even ancient Chinese culture, but at the same time the region is advancing in the use of technology and general modernization to make life better for the Chinese people.”

Organized on your own, this trip would cost considerably more.

She added, “To an extent, it is true this is about business because it is being organized by a Chamber of Commerce.  While we want to emphasize business opportunities, and even make any arrangements that we can for trip participants to have introductions related to business, this is really more about life in China.

“You know,” she continued, “there are some parallels in what is happening in and to Blowing Rock, which is trying to preserve its history and village-atmosphere while becoming year-round sustainable economically, too, and taking advantage of current cultural and economic trends.”

There are some parallels to Blowing Rock…

At an everything included price of $2,199 (including airfare from JFK airport in New York) for chamber members — there are a few options that cost just a bit more, to “customize” your trip — Armstrong and staff have crafted a marvelous sojourn to the Far East.

With visits to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou, with side trips optional, there will be plenty of stimulation for the senses: sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches.

“Organized on your own,” Armstrong observed, “this trip would cost significantly more.  So this is a great opportunity to see a fascinating part of the world with travel safety and security foremost in our minds, without breaking the bank.”

For more information, please contact Barbara Armstrong at 828-726-0616, or by email:

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