China Tourism Exchange delegation connects with Hangzhou Government
Hangzhou, China (19 October, 2018) Destination Queenstown and Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult have further cemented Queenstown’s relationship with Sister City Hangzhou, China in a visit which concluded yesterday.
The official relationship between Queenstown and Hangzhou began five years ago, after the first delegation from Queenstown visited Hangzhou and met with officials in 2012.
Mayor Boult, Mayoress Karen Boult, Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd and a small group of China Tourism Exchange delegates were hosted for lunch with Hangzhou Municipal Government officials before meeting Vice Mayor Chen Weiqiang to discuss the opportunities to further develop the Sister City relationship and encourage wider sector cooperation between our two countries.
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd says building on the important alliance was a key objective of the Exchange.
“I am delighted that our Mayor is able to join us here for his first visit as well as this much larger tourism delegation to help celebrate five years of our Sister City relationship.”
“As the relationship and friendship with Hangzhou develops over time we hope to learn from each other to ensure that both destinations grow sustainably—and that visitation between our two places increases over time.
“Travellers from Hangzhou are the fourth largest market from China to New Zealand, and they are typically wealthy travellers looking for premium experiences—which this Exchange has proven is more than possible in Queenstown,” he says.
Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult says tourism is a vital driver for economic growth and cultural understanding for both our countries.
“With the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism initiative we have the opportunity to foster new relationships as well as to strengthen the valuable ones we already have.”
Auckland International Airport Ltd’s China team Mark Frood and Carson Chen, alongside Destination Queenstown hosted a dinner to celebrate the Sister City relationship attended by Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult, Mayoress Karen Boult, China Tourism Exchange delegates, Hangzhou Municipal Government officials and key travel industry partners.
To showcase Hangzhou’s common traits with Queenstown as a lake destination, the delegation attended the West Lake Impressions Show, which was established in celebration of Hangzhou hosting the G20 Summit in 2016 to visually explore Hangzhou’s history. The show has become a highlight visitor attraction for the 100 million visitors the city receives each year—six million of them international visitors. The group also visited the Alibaba headquarters in the city often described as the Silicon Valley of China, and the hometown of founder Jack Ma.
The DQ China Tourism Exchange delegation also completed travel agent training in Hangzhou, with 60 agents meeting to deepen their knowledge of Queenstown’s tourism offering and arm themselves with tools to sell premium experiences in our region throughout the year. A portion of the delegation has travelled to Chengdu in Sichuan Province to continue their sales mission and connect with the travel industry there.