Have you considered a trip to an exotic foreign country, but didn't want to go by yourself or in a small group?
You might consider travelling with the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce organized trip to China this fall, Sept. 22-Oct. 2. It will be the fifth time the local Chamber has planned a trip like this, and its third to China. Each of the first two China ventures had 50-plus people, and in the past two years, Chamber-organized groups have gone to Italy and Peru.
The decision to go back to China was made based on popular demand, said Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Renken.
"People kept saying, if you ever go back to China let us know," said Renken, who was on the 2012 trip.
This year's China tour has a similar itinerary with one notable twist. In addition to Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, they will be visiting Xi'an, home of the famous Terracotta Warriors.
The first two trips did not include the Xi'an warriors – and Renken said everybody asked for it. It was an 'add-on' to the trip, but now it is part of the main trip.
In partnership with Citslinc International and Tillsonburg Travel, the $2,499 price (Canadian, based on double occupancy) for an 11-day trip – with five-star hotels and three meals a day – is a bargain, said Renken.
"The price in 2012 was $2,499, and four years later it's still the same price, which is significant," said Renken, noting agreements made with Ontario Chamber of Commerce factor into pricing.
"We're working in partnership with Tillsonburg Travel. They've done our other trips as well and they were all well done. Passengers feel they get a great deal for their money."
"It's just an incredible experience that you wouldn't otherwise go to on your own, because maybe you feel you couldn't manage the cultural and language challenges. But this is really, really well done. It's just been very appealing."
Renken expects most participants will be first-time visitors to China, but there is a possibility a few Tillsonburg-area travellers might be interested in going back for the Terracotta Warriors – as well as all the other popular sites.
"So many people in the community keep saying, 'if you ever go back to China let us know...' Now we're going back to China. There's also people who say 'I heard you went to China a few years ago... and I've never been to China and I'd love to go... so let us know!'"
Up to 80 or more people can be accommodated on the 2016 China trip.
Renken stressed the trip is open to any community members.
"We get people from all over, friends of friends, family... It's open to anyone."
A China Trip open house information session has been planned Monday, March 14, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Carriage House, 25 Brock Street West, open to anyone in the community.
Email Suzanne Renken at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (519) 688-3737 with any questions.
"When I announced it to people who had been on our other trips, many of them said they'd be there – with lots of questions."
The complete tour itinerary and full details on everything included can be viewed online at www.tillsonburgchamber.ca/TDCC-Trip.html. Contact Tillsonburg Travel (519) 842-5931, or email or call Suzanne at (519) 688-3737 for more information.