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Queenstown Welcomes Aspen Sister City Municipal Delegates For Exchange

Destination Queenstown, Queenstown Business Chamber of Commerce, and Queenstown Lakes District Council are this week hosting a delegation from Aspen Colorado, Queenstown's sister city in the United States.

The Aspen delegation includes the City of Aspen Mayor Torre, the City Manager and the President and CEO of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.

The visit provides opportunities to share knowledge and reciprocal learnings around regenerative tourism, housing, economic diversity and arts and culture – areas of focus for both destinations.

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Glyn Lewers says he is delighted to welcome the delegation from Queenstown’s long-standing sister city Aspen.

“This visit marks 32 years to the day since we formed our valued partnership and it’s fantastic to share this time with Mayor Torre and his fellow visitors.

“We became sister cities so we could learn from each other’s experiences managing vibrant and popular destination towns. In fact, a QLDC visit to Aspen played a role in the formation of the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust in 2007.

“As well as housing affordability, we share many common challenges including ensuring that the visitor economy is one that is sustainable and regenerative. There are a few busy days ahead for everyone involved.”

Chief Executive of Destination Queenstown Mat Woods believes the cities share a strong synergy that can be leveraged to support the Queenstown Lakes’ regenerative tourism strategy.

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“Mountain destinations around the world share a common passion and sense of care for their environment, we are all aware that it is our landscapes and natural environments that have put us on the map and that make us so special. If we don’t protect our mountains, lakes and ecosystems we won’t have a visitor economy in the future,” he says.

Queenstown Business Chamber Chief Executive Sharon Fifield says the opportunity to learn from sister city colleagues is incredibly valuable.

“The benefits of business exchanges such as these are numerous, it opens up dialogue between many of our like-minded members that can either learn from our sister city, or are looking to build business connections in North America,” she says.

During their time in Queenstown, the delegation is participating in a business lunch featuring a panel discussion with both Mayors. The lunch is being hosted by the Queenstown Chamber and facilitated by Christine Sharp, the CEO of the New Zealand branch of the Aspen Institute.

Aspen and Queenstown have shared a long-standing sister city relationship, first founded in 1992, with a history of useful business and educational exchanges over the years. The last visit was in November 2017 when Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron visited with a focus on housing, transport and climate change.

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