Rotorua Lakes Council hosted its annual delegation from Rotorua's friendship city of Nanjing today.

The 48 delegates were officially welcomed this morning and hosted by Mayor Steve Chadwick and councillor and cultural ambassador Trevor Maxwell.

The delegates are residents of Rotorua-Nanjing, a small, upper class city in Nanjing in China, about two hours from Shanghai. Each delegate is a resident who has purchased one of the 2000 properties in this Rotorua-inspired city and received a special trip to Rotorua as part of the purchase agreement.

Today's visit was the 11th of its kind for Rotorua-Nanjing residents since its creation in 2007 with more than 300 delegates visiting Rotorua during that time.

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The city of Rotorua-Nanjing was built to reflect Rotorua's unique environment including similar inner city buildings and even a series of pools constructed to represent Rotorua's lakes. The inspiration for building the city came after a group of Chinese business people visited Rotorua in 2005.

Watch the highlights from the visit here.

Nanjing has long been an important national centre of education, research, transport networks and tourism. Its population is around seven million people and has been singled out by the Chinese government for development as an economic and technology hub, with numerous industrial parks and education centres.