City of Hobart Forging Stronger Links with China
A delegation from the City of Hobart visited a number of locations in China during March and April alongside the State Government, officials from the University of Tasmania and business leaders.
One of the highlights of the trip was the signing of a Friendship City Agreement between the cities of Hobart and Xi’an. Xi’an is a city of 8.6 million people, the capital of the Shaanxi Province and is most famously known as the location of the Terracotta Army. The agreement focuses on promoting people-to-people exchange as well as strengthening business and economic opportunities in the areas of education, research, agriculture, tourism, culture and the arts, and festivals and events.
Whilst in China, City of Hobart representatives also visited the city of Fuzhou. Having received a delegation from Fuzhou in September 2014, the return visit was for the purpose of understanding first-hand the potential benefits for Hobart of developing a more formal relationship. Satisfied of these benefits, a Letter of Intent has now been signed by Lord Mayor of the City of Hobart, Alderman Sue Hickey and the Mayor of Fuzhou, Mr Yang Yimin. A Letter of Intent is a preliminary step to establishing a formal friendship or sister city relationship and is usually in place for 12 to 18 months.
Key areas of exchange and collaboration between Hobart and Fuzhou have been identified as science and technology, culture, education, public health, sports and tourism.
Tasmania and the Fujian Province of which Fuzhou is the capital, have enjoyed a Sister State / Province relationship for 34 years.
Hobart Business Scoops 5 Australian Tourism Awards
Tasmania won a remarkable 10 categories of the 29 up for grabs at the Australian Tourism Awards in Adelaide this April. Hobart based business Pennicott Wilderness Journeys took home 4 awards, in addition to founder Rob Pennicott being recognised as the 2014 'Tourism Legend'.
This amazing feat builds further upon a number of recent tourism triumphs for Hobart and Tasmania, which include Tasmania being voted as one of the best regions to explore (Lonely Planet 2015), one of the best cities in the world to visit for 2013 (Lonely Planet) and the 2nd friendliest city on the world (Condé Nast Traveller Magazine 2013).
The tourism industry is one of the biggest contributors to the Tasmanian economy, valued at $2.4 billion (9.8% of Gross State Product).