FOLLOWING on from Bombala Council Mayor, Bob Stewart’s visit to Beijing for an Agritourism Conference in October, we in turn welcomed a delegation from China to the area this month.
The group of five included former local, Hugh Kater and his associates from the Agritourism event, who spent two days in the Bombala district as well as visiting Cooma and Canberra.
The overall focus of the exercise was to explore local education tourism opportunities, along with options for Chinese families and executives to stay in the region for a unique relaxation experience.
After a visit to the local high school, the group travelled to Delegate where they enjoyed everything from the Early Settlers Hut to Delegate Station and the local primary school.
The Bundian Way and Borderline Galleries were also popular, with the visitors buying several artworks to take home for display in China.
Great interest was shown in local cropping practices and a working shearing shed, with each of the members of the delegation very keenly getting in and having a go with the shears.
Back in Bombala there was the opportunity to view our local platypus, see essential oils being distilled and visit attractions such as the Historic Engine Shed, while lunch at Burnima Homestead left our visitors amazed.
Another highlight was a walk through Nunnock Swamp, where the group was overjoyed to finally spot some kangaroos!
Throw in a happily accepted invitation to the Rotary Christmas party, a visit to Lavender House and meals at our local pubs and clubs and it was a very full two days of activities in the Bombala district.
And the result of all of this is that on their return to China, the group will liaise with the Bombala Council to bring more visitors to the area.
Initially this will take the form of summer break tours for Chinese students wishing to visit the region, with the potential first of these being planned for early 2015.
Beyond this, consideration will go into the opportunities for Chinese families and executives to enjoy both organised tours and more casual experiences in the local area designed to reduce stress and allow families to reconnect.
“Following the delegation’s successful visit, I feel very confident that great benefit will come out of this for the Bombala district,” Council’s Karen Cash said.