VOR last city Galway, Mayor Hildegarde Naughton on 3-day visit to Sanya
Mayor Naughton was invited to attend the stopover by the Mayor of Sanya, following a similar visit to Abu Dhabi earlier this year. Sanya is known as the Hawaii of China, with temperatures rarely less than 23˚C.
The race started in Alicante in October and has already stopped in Cape Town and Abu Dhabi. It will finish with a grand finale in Galway in June.
Speaking from China, Mayor Naughton said the Chinese were very interested to learn how Galway secured the stopover of the event, how the city is organising it on the ground and the funding involved. She said that Sanya were also developing their cruise liner business and were very interested in learning from Galway.
“I’ve just given an interview to CCTV News, which is the biggest television channel in China and they were very interested in the success of Galway, what we did, our funding and how it was run. They want to learn from us,” Mayor Naughton said.
Mayor Naughton’s visit to the Hainan province comes as plans are being finalised for the visit of Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping to Ireland this weekend.
H.E. Mr Xi Jinping will arrive in Shannon on Saturday and will attend a dinner hosted by An Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore in Bunratty Castle that night. His visit will take in a trip to the Cliffs of Moher, a dairy farm in Clare and a visit to Croke Park, where he will be given a demonstration of hurling and Gaelic Football. He will have official talks in Dublin Castle on Sunday with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Mayor Naughton said that 10,000 Chinese tourists visit Ireland each year, which was set to increase with the new visa policy, which allows those to travel on the same visa to the UK and Ireland.