Speaking in Shanghai to mark the launch of a shared Tourism New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand office, Tourism Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said travelling to New Zealand was at an all time high. Between 1999 and June 2011, the Chinese visitor market to New Zealand grew from just over 20,000 to more than 130,000.
“China is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing visitor markets, up 25 per cent on last year and we predict China to overtake the United States as our third largest visitor market in the next few years.
“The additional effort by Immigration New Zealand in China will support this increasing demand, and is likely to encourage greater numbers of single destination travellers who will want to see more and do more in New Zealand.”
Changes implemented by Immigration New Zealand include greater use of multiple-journey visas and relaxation of the documentation required to support a visa application, most notably around translation requirements.
Mr Bowler added that New Zealand tourism businesses were committed to ensuring visitors from China enjoy a relaxing stay in New Zealand, accessing beautiful landscapes and experiencing warm hospitality.
“We know Chinese tourists are highly sophisticated, well educated, well travelled, enjoy high levels in hospitality and see New Zealand as a great place to rejuvenate and refresh.
“Recent research shared with the tourism sector tells us that in general visitors from China are happy with their experiences in New Zealand but that more can be done.
“Customer service is important to our Chinese visitors and providing a good variety of Asian food on menus and ensuring translation on signage, could make a big difference to the Chinese visitor experience in New Zealand.”
Staff numbers are also being increased at Immigration New Zealand’s three China branches in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, in response to the increase in demand from the recent introduction of China Southern Airline’s Guangzhou-Auckland air link.
Immigration Minister and Associate Tourism Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman said Immigration New Zealand’s Visa Acceptance Centre (VAC) in Guangzhou, as well as VACs in Beijing and Shanghai would meet the increased demand for immigration services.
“Currently Immigration New Zealand processes non-ADS visas in China on average in less than 10 days, but with the new resources and streamlined procedures, they are aiming to reduce this further - making it even more convenient for visitors from China to choose to visit New Zealand.”
Also in New Zealand today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Wellington.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Wellington.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.