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Govt tourism leaders from China and NZ meet

Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Tourism
Minister of Corrections
Minister for Rural Affairs
Associate Minister of Health

17 November, 2006 Media Statement

Government tourism leaders from China and New Zealand meet in Shanghai

Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration, Chairman Shao, and New Zealand Minister of Tourism Damien O'Connor met in Shanghai this week to discuss tourism between China and New Zealand.

Chairman Shao Qiwei said he was delighted to welcome Mr O’Connor and New Zealand tourism officials to Shanghai.

“The number of visits between the two countries has grown rapidly over the last few years and with the new Air New Zealand flights direct between Auckland and Shanghai this is forecast to continue. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to host our New Zealand visitors.”

New Zealand is currently looking to improve the quality of Chinese tours, and the New Zealand government is proposing changes to their current system. At their meeting, Mr O’Connor and Chairman Shao agreed to work together to improve the quality of tours, and improve visitor satisfaction levels of Chinese visitors to New Zealand.

“We know that potential visitors from China do not have a good sense of the variety and authenticity of the tourism experience in New Zealand,” Mr O’Connor said.

“As a result we have seen the decision for tour travel to New Zealand based primarily on price. This has lead to a ‘low quality’ leisure tourism trade between our two countries. Our primary concern is to ensure a high quality tourism experience for Chinese visitors, and we aim to work with the China National Tourism Administration to achieve this.”

In 2005 China inbound overnight tourists totalled 46 million, making it the fastest growing tourism destination in the world.

New Zealand received 101,000 visitors from China in the last 12 months (+19%) of which 50% travelled for holiday purposes.

Mr O’Connor was in Shanghai for six days, and also opened the Kiwi Link Asia Expo, and attended the China International Travel Mart 2006.

ENDS

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