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NZ's tourism profile raised in China

9 November 2001 Media Statement

NZ's tourism profile raised in China

The profile of New Zealand as a tourist destination has been successfully raised at a major tourism expo in China, the Minister of Tourism Mark Burton said today.

Mark Burton attended the China International Tourism Mart in Kunming this week, as part of a tourism and defence visit to Singapore, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.

"In Beijing, I met with Vice Premier Qian Qichen, who is responsible for tourism at a senior government level in China," Mark Burton said, "and in Kunming, I held talks with the chairman of the China National Tourism Administration, He Guangwei.

"These high level meetings reinforced the positive relationship that exists between New Zealand and China, and the success of the Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme. ADS links approved agents in China with ITOC approved operators in New Zealand and streamlines the visa application procedure.

"Under the scheme there has been a rapid growth in Chinese travel to New Zealand, with more than a 60 percent increase in the past year. China is now New Zealand's 6th biggest visitor market.

"The rapid growth is largely the consequence of the ongoing improvement of the living standards of the Chinese, which has increased their propensity to travel."

The Minister also had the opportunity at the Travel Mart for informal dialogue with a number of other key Chinese officials and business leaders, and was interviewed by a range of Chinese print, radio and television media.

"The Chinese have a developing interest in New Zealand, and the New Zealand stand at the Travel Mart was a great success," Mark Burton said. "It has stimulated further interest in New Zealand as a safe, quality destination."

Tourism New Zealand organised the stand and were joined by Air New Zealand, Tourism Rotorua, Skyline Rotorua, Agrodome Rotorua, Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Pan Pacific NZ in promoting New Zealand.

Mark Burton is now returning to New Zealand via Hong Kong, where he will meet with the Hong Kong Tourism Commission.

ENDS

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