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Review of China visitor market

Media release

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Review of China visitor market

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) welcomes the release of a report on the China visitor market by the Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key.

Co-ordinated by MBIE, the China Market Review was undertaken between June and November 2012 by an expert advisory group comprised of tourism industry representatives and government agencies.

Lisa Barrett, General Manager of MBIE’s Tourism, Sectors, Regions and Cities group, says the intent is to ensure that New Zealand understands, meets the demands of, and makes the most of opportunities presented by the China visitor market.

“China is our most rapidly growing tourism market and it is imperative that we are offering Chinese visitors the highest-quality experiences and meeting their expectations,” Ms Barrett says.

“China is one of our most important relationships in this region and we want to deepen our understanding of China and its people.

“A review of this calibre, conducted by tourism industry experts alongside government, is essential as China is very different from our traditional visitor markets. It has seen extraordinary growth, has a multitude of different market segments and cultures.

“The report offers recommendations on how we can better attract and cater for Chinese visitors. For example, we know that Chinese visitors value New Zealand for its wide open spaces and beautiful scenery. We also know that they often book their travel in different ways to visitors from more traditional markets, and that more and more are opting to travel independently.”

Ms Barrett says that a number of the report’s recommendations are currently underway, such as those relating to visas and the implementation of the Premier Kiwi Partnership (PKP) programme.

“Work is already underway to promote an extended period for multiple entry visas, and over the Chinese New Year holiday in February, we saw the first of the higher quality group tours in New Zealand under Tourism New Zealand’s PKP programme.

“The tourism industry is also increasingly active in this area and many businesses are taking great steps forward to improve New Zealand’s competitive positioning in this market.”

The expert advisory group also identified scope for other ‘game changer’ actions. Ideas will be tested and refined with tourism industry members and stakeholders over coming months, and they will also be developed and finalised with the input of the China Market Visitor Group, the establishment of which is one of the report’s recommendations.

Examples of the main recommendations that will be implemented in 2013 are to:

Establish a high-level industry/government China Visitor Market Group to drive future collaborative and strategic focus on China and ensure that New Zealand is ‘on message’ in response to Chinese visitor preferences.
Investing in a three-year China visitor market information programme that will inform the development of demand-led products.
Develop and deliver a service delivery toolkit to accelerate New Zealand businesses’ ability to attract, engage with and better cater to the needs of the Chinese visitor market.
Implementation of industry partnerships between Immigration New Zealand and private sector interests that will provide for streamlined visa facilitation.


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