In a reciprocal gesture to the Wuzhou City delegation which visited Yass in August, Yass Valley will be sending its own group to visit the Chinese city later this month.
Mayor Rowena Abbey will be accompanied on the trip by Councilor Allison Harker in her capacity as the Chairperson of the Economic Development Committee, and Economic Development and Tourism Manager Sean Haylan.
She mentioned that “a couple of other councilors are thinking about going,” but are as yet unconfirmed.
The partnership between Yass and Wuzhou, according to Mayor Abbey, is to cultivate a mutually beneficial partnership and increase tourism to the Yass Valley.
“The friendship city, I think the main thing that comes out of that is people who are travelling, particularly from China who may not have been many other places, have a level of trust that their government has made a friendship with another government area,” Mayor Abbey said.
“That would give us a little bit of a stamp of approval that we would be a good place to go and visit.”
Increased tourism to the Yass Valley region would have a large positive impact on the local economy, explained Cr Harker.
“What we’re trying to do is foster relations with them, to develop tourism and economic potential for Yass Valley,” she said.
“What [we’re] hoping to do is utilize the relationship to have a successful tourism and economic development channel with Wuzhou and potentially greater China.
“We see this as a potentially great opportunity, and we’re really excited about this [partnership].”
The delegation to leave for Wuzhou on October 26, a day after the council meeting.