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China Southern Airlines Agreement The Way Forward

Media release

9 April 2013

China Southern Airlines Agreement The Way Forward

An agreement to make it easier for high-value, low-risk Chinese tourists to visit New Zealand is being hailed a success by the head of Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Nigel Bickle made his comments at a public re-signing of the agreement with China Southern Airlines (CSA) in the airline’s hub city of Guangzhou, where he signed the document on behalf of the Government.

“There has been a huge surge in the number of visitors from China over the past few years,” Mr Bickle says. “China has now overtaken the UK as the second largest source of overseas visitors to New Zealand with more than 190,000 arrivals a year.

“The bulk of the increase in numbers is a direct result of China Southern Airlines starting direct flights to Auckland two years ago and the new agreement is designed to boost numbers even more.”

Mr Bickle points out that increasing the number of visitors and migrants from new markets such as China is a key priority to growing the economy.

Under the agreement CSA Gold and Silver frequent flyer card holders do not have to produce evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves, as long as they can show their flight records over the previous two years.

Mr Bickle says that nearly 100 travellers have used the scheme since it came into effect in November last year and no compliance issues have emerged.

“INZ is endeavouring to process applications under this scheme within five working days and there’s no doubt that the scheme is operating smoothly,” he says.

“I’m confident that the scheme will result in more Chinese visitors coming to New Zealand and saying for longer.”

ENDS

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