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2014 Chinese New Year worth over $100 million to New Zealand

Media Release l 28 February 2014

2014 Chinese New Year worth over $100 million to New Zealand

Auckland Airport has estimated that the 2014 Chinese New Year holiday period has contributed $117 million to the New Zealand economy.

Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical commercial, says the Chinese New Year holiday period, which ran from 31 January to 14 February, was once again a crucial time for both the New Zealand tourism industry and the national economy.

“This Chinese New Year saw 34,500 Chinese passengers arrive in New Zealand over the few weeks that make up this important holiday season. With the average Chinese traveller spending $3,400 per visit, that means around $117 million was spent during Chinese New Year,” says Mr Wedlock.

Auckland Airport’s average passenger spend rate for direct flights from Asia and China during the Chinese holiday was up 22% on the previous year and is almost double the value of other flights.

“Auckland Airport’s duty-free retail stores had a very successful Chinese New Year. There was a 100% increase in cognac sales and a 50% increase in New Zealand wine purchased in the international departures area, with one customer spending $11,000 on wine. Sales in some of our New Zealand health products, favoured by Chinese visitors, increased by 80%.”

“It indicates how important promoting and delivering the right experience and products is over this period. We have been working hard to develop programmes during Chinese New Year, including special charter flights from China, Mandarin speaking retail ambassadors, Chinese New Year marketing activities in the international terminal and much more.”

“The recent announcement by China Southern Airlines that it was increasing its flights on the Guangzhou to Auckland route from seven to ten per week, coupled with their Chinese New Year charter flights and further charter flights by China Eastern Airlines, confirms the ever increasing popularity of New Zealand as a travel destination for Chinese tourists.”

“However, we cannot be complacent. Many other international destinations are promoting themselves to Chinese travellers. As a country we must continue to innovate and promote ourselves to this significant traveller market, and we must continue to develop our knowledge of their culture and language. Already the Seychelles has introduced a visa waiver scheme and Thailand has introduced a visa on-arrival scheme to attract more Chinese travellers.”

“The lesson from the 2014 Chinese New Year holiday is to embrace this Chinese holiday and in doing so help drive New Zealand’s travel, tourism and trade sectors. We are looking forward to an even bigger 2015 Chinese New Year, when we celebrate the year of the sheep.”

Ends

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