By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT
The April trip to China through the city of Hays and the Sister Cities Advisory Board has been postponed due to a lack of interest.
There were only two applicants for the journey, said Mayor Kent Steward. The trip would have cost an estimated $3,350 per person.
Steward, also the director of University Relations at Fort Hays State University, said a future visit might provide opportunities for the area.
"Because of communication and transportation and so on, the world really is getting smaller," he said. "Fort Hays State is a prime example of how you can be in the middle of the country in a rural area and still have a vibrant international presence. ... I think there's a lot of potential economically between Hays and China."
Ann Leiker, chairwoman of the Sister Cities Advisory Board, said the delay provides time to spread awareness about the international excursion if the Hays City Commission approves a trip next spring.
"I hope it's just being postponed so that we can get more information and publicity and personal contacts with the community about this trip," Leiker said.
The trip could be a multi-faceted endeavor.
"We hope it will be one of an exchange of goodwill, of culture, education, perhaps even some trade discussion," she said. "That's still up in the air, but it's more of getting to know you, people-to-people kind of exchange."