New Zealand attracting more leisure and business visitors from China

By Yu Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-26 17:58:01

John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, recently announced that Amway China chose Queenstown, a resort town in South Island of New Zealand, for its 2018 Leadership Seminar.

Under this program, Amway China will send 10,000 employees to Queenstown for a five-day business trip, which is expected to bring a total of NZ$50 million ($33.87 million) to the city in revenue. Shopping consumption is also expected to reach NZ$10 million, according to Tourism New Zealand.

"China is now our second-largest and fasting growing tourism market, contributing nearly NZ$1.7 billion to the economy in 2015. And Chinese tourists have the highest daily spend of any of our visitors," Key said.

Indeed, as New Zealand's second largest visitor market, China has become vital to New Zealand tourism. Particularly, Chinese tourists to New Zealand have been continually growing during recent years. In the year ending February 2016, the total number of Chinese tourists to New Zealand increased 27.9 percent year-on-year to 368,000, according to data from Tourism New Zealand.

Streamlined visas

In order to attract more visitors from China, Tourism New Zealand has made efforts to let more Chinese know New Zealand, including inviting Chinese actor Huang Lei and actress Yao Chen to promote for the country.

"It's very easy to advertise in China, but it's challenged to spread the information to a targeted group," Craig said, noting that the country is making efforts to streamline the visa approval process for Chinese visitors.

"Currently, Auckland and Rotorua in North Island of New Zealand, as well as Queenstown in South Island are the top visitor destinations for Chinese tourists," Craig told the Global Times.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and main transport hub. Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, natural hot springs, as well as the Maori culture. Queenstown is a place for outside activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving and canyon swinging.

Many Chinese tourists in the age around 30s and 40s prefer to take trips by themselves, said Craig, adding that many Chinese tourists like to travel in places that are not too developed and urbanized.

The great outdoors

"New Zealand's original ecological environment and its original culture are the most popular attractions for Chinese visitors," Liu Jiang, a white-collar worker from Shanghai, told the Global Times. Liu has been living in New Zealand for more than five years.

"The Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand, so you can imagine how beautiful the country is," Liu said, explaining that the island's economy is mainly based on agriculture, forestry, tourism as well as overseas education.

In order to protect its beloved ecological environment, New Zealand has strict rules about certain item that are not allowed into the country, including anything deemed to present a bio-security risk such as foods, plants and animal products, noted Liu.

Along with attracting individual Chinese tourists, the country has also strived to draw business tourism through hosting events programs. Tourism New Zealand set up a business events department in 2013.

In 2015, New Zealand launched a streamlined process for its Business Events Visa, offering special conveniences for Chinese enterprises who wish to hold business conferences in the country.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key speaks at a press conference in Shanghai. Photo: Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand

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