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China visa liberalisation important to growing tourism

China visa liberalisation important to growing tourism

Progressive streamlining of Chinese visitor visa processes will be one important key to growing this increasingly significant visitor market, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) says.

The new immigration agreement with China Southern Airlines is exactly the type of innovative scheme New Zealand needs to ensure it is internationally competitive, TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden says.

“Tourism destinations around the world are competing to attract high-value Chinese visitors and New Zealand risks being left behind if our visa requirements are too strict,” Mr Snedden says.

China has grown rapidly to become New Zealand’s third biggest visitor market, with almost 187,000 arrivals in the past 12 months. It’s not unrealistic to expect that those numbers may double within the next five years, he says.

Work is underway across both the public and private sectors to identify the best ways of providing top quality New Zealand experiences to Chinese visitors, and thereby grow their economic value.

“As part of that mix, TIA is keen to see a steady and balanced on-going liberalisation of our Chinese visa processes, to contribute to an overall growth strategy. Immigration New Zealand is making great progress in this area and we congratulate them on their efforts to promote visitor growth from this high value sector without unreasonably compromising border security,” Mr Snedden says.

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