New Agreement To Encourage Chinese Tourism
Air New Zealand | Immigration New Zealand
10 April 2013
New Agreement To
Encourage Chinese Tourism
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and Air New Zealand have reached an agreement to make it easier for high-value Chinese tourists to visit New Zealand.
Under the arrangement, holders of the airline’s Gold Elite, Gold and Silver cards applying for a visitor visa will not have to produce evidence of employment and having sufficient funds to support themselves.
Applicants will still need to meet health and good character requirements, as well as evidence of onward travel. INZ will be carefully monitoring the arrangement and it can be suspended at any time if necessary.
The head of INZ, Nigel Bickle, says that the agreement will encourage more high-value Chinese tourists to visit New Zealand and stay here for longer.
“Inbound tourism is one of our most important industries and is worth around $9 billion a year,” Mr Bickle says.
“Increasing the number of visitors and migrants from new markets such as China is a key priority to growing the economy.”
China has now overtaken the UK as the second largest source of overseas visitors to New Zealand with more than 200,000 arrivals in the year to February 2013.
Mr Bickle says that the agreement with Air New Zealand closely mirrors an arrangement with China Southern Airlines, which came into effect in November last year and has been operating smoothly without any issues.
“INZ takes a proactive approach to partnership arrangements with airlines and other credible third parties and will assess any specific facilitation proposals in this light,” he says.
Air New Zealand’s CEO Christopher Luxon, says that the airline is very excited about the agreement with INZ as it will lead to further growth in tourism.
“INZ has said it will endeavour to process all visitor visa applications under this scheme within five working days,” Mr Luxon says.
“This sort of visa facilitation scheme will be of great benefit to our frequent flyers and encourage them to come to New Zealand.”