Air New Zealand’s direct flights to Beijing will give a welcome boost to New Zealand’s fastest-growing tourist market, Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton says.China is developing rapidly and there are a growing number of wealthy Chinese individuals keen to travel more. These direct flights will help Tourism New Zealand tap into this key market, he added.
Direct flights also help Tourism New Zealand promote New Zealand as a single holiday destination, rather than being an add-on to Australia.
The flights underpin Tourism New Zealands strategy to target the kind of Chinese travellers who will come for longer, visit more regions and do more, Mr Hickton said.
Tourism New Zealand is spending almost $4 million promoting New Zealand in China this year.
China is New Zealands fastest-growing tourism market. In the year to October 119,602 Chinese visited New Zealand, up 16.7 per cent on the previous year. China is currently New Zealands fifth-largest market for tourists.
Mr Hickton has predicted that China could be New Zealand’s third biggest inbound tourism market within five years.
New China research commissioned by Tourism New Zealand shows a growing interest towards more independent travel. The survey showed New Zealand rated highly among Chinese travellers looking for holidays involving relaxation and nature.