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Thursday, June 2, 2011

ROSARITO BEACH - Expat Summit To Showcase Love For Baja

By Ron Raposa
A June summit in Rosarito will help Baja expatriates share their love of the region with others , especially those in the United States who have developed an inaccurate perception of the area in recent years.
About 70 expatriate residents of Baja cities have been invited to the June 8 and 9 summit at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, sponsored by the state's Baja Image Committee (BIC), including its volunteer expat council.
The goal of the by-invitation session is to provide information to some leading expats that they can share with others, including methods to distribute accurate, positive information.
Among scheduled speakers are U.S. Consul General Steven Kashkett and Baja Secretary of Tourism Juan Tintos. Presentations will include ones on gathering and distributing accurate information, working with the media, and using social networks.
"In recent years, many of our thousands of expat residents have said they are troubled by an inaccurate perception of Baja among some people," said BIC director Hugo Torres, the immediate past mayor of Rosarito.
"They've asked how they can help portray a more accurate portrait of how safe the region is and the excellent quality of life they experience here, especially to their friends and relatives who live outside of Baja."
This summit is a response to those requests, designed to provide expat supporters of Baja with information and techniques that will help them convey a full and accurate portrait of Baja to their friends, relatives and others.
Because the majority of media coverage in recent years has focused on Mexico's crackdown on drug cartels, many in the U.S. believe the area is not safe for residents and visitors, when in fact it is safer than ever, summit organizers said.
Because of the misperception, many expats have reported that some friends and relative have been reluctant to visit them here.
"We want to help them solve that problem," Torres said. "We also know they are our best and most knowledgeable ambassadors."
The summit also might help tourism recover faster. That vital economic sector has declined in recent years although both Easter and Memorial Day weekend this year indicate that a strong rebound is underway.
Ken Bell, a Rosarito resident who is the expat coordinator for BIC, said the response to the summit has been extremely positive among expiates he has invited from Rosarito, Ensenada, Tijuana, San Felipe and Tecate.
Source: The Rosarito Town Crier