World travelers

Local leaders: Globetrotters O'Malley and Townsend pick some appealing places to land.

September 02, 2000

BALTIMORE'S mayor and Maryland's lieutenant governor know how to mix business with pleasure. Look at their travel itineraries.

Mayor Martin O'Malley, just back from Germany, leaves next week for Ireland, the last stop on Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's just-concluded two-nation tour. But it's not the mayor's best stop: Soon he will take in the Olympics, in Australia.

All in the name of economic development.

Most of this is legitimate business promotion and flag-waving. Ms. Townsend's trip to Scotland, with Maryland biotechnology executives, was a blur of events.

In Ireland, both the Townsend visit, which ended yesterday, and Mr. O'Malley's Thursday arrival are timed to promote Aer Lingus' flights to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Ms. Townsend's Kennedy ties to the old sod made her a celebrity as she pitched Maryland to tourism agencies and business leaders.

The mayor's Dublin visit, with Gov. Parris N. Glendening, kicks off the BWI-to-Ireland service. But Mr. O'Malley is tacking on a vacation with his wife in his ancestral homeland.

His trip this week to Germany was billed as a chance to see a magnetic-levitation train in action and talk with the company eager to build such a line between Baltimore and Washington.

Mr. O'Malley will also jet to Australia Sept. 17 to boost the Baltimore-Washington joint bid for the 2012 Olympiad.

Meanwhile, the mayor hopes to squeeze in a few days at City Hall, and Ms. Townsend made a quick return from Ireland to fulfill obligations in Annapolis.

These globetrotters have picked their spots wisely. It sure beats pushing paper in the office.

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