New Zealand to increase Chinese tourism as bilateral ties warm Published: 2019/11/11 0:44:34

Photo taken on July 14, 2018 shows the scenery in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington has been named New Zealand's best destination in the latest Lonely Planet guidebook, with the city branded "one of the coolest little capitals in the world". (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

New Zealand aims to attract more Chinese visitors through collaboration with Chinese travel platform Fliggy, as bilateral ties between the two countries have warmed while Wellington softening a Huawei 5G ban.

During the closing ceremony for the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, New Zealand Tourism Board announced the partnership with Alibaba's Fliggy to promote their country in China, according to a press release. 

China is New Zealand's second-largest source of tourist revenue. Between August 2018 and August 2019, more than 41,7000 Chinese visited New Zealand. Last year, Chinese tourists spent a total of 1.69 billion NZD ($1.07 billion), according to the press release.

The move follows a series of diplomatic and trade developments between both countries. On November 4, China and New Zealand announced their free trade agreement had been upgraded, allowing for both markets to open further.  

New Zealand has also shown signs of relaxing its ban on Huawei's 5G network, as NZ carrier Spark announced a trial run with Huawei equipment for a localized 5G network was underway. The move runs counter to an earlier ban put in place by a New Zealand intelligence agency, following intense US pressure.

The Huawei ban sparked fierce criticism in China and created tension between both sides until NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited Beijing in March, marking an improvement in bilateral relations.


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