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China’s Golden Week was gold for New Zealand

MEDIA RELEASE, Auckland, New Zealand 20 October 2016

Photo : Lisa Li, CCCNZ General Secretary and China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd. Managing Director

China’s Golden Week was gold for New Zealand

The tills were ringing and China’s state-backed China Travel Academy reported New Zealand experienced a 60% year-on-year increase of Chinese tourists during the first week of October, known in China as ‘Golden Week’. This month will end when a large group of affluent Chinese travel here for the inaugural New Zealand Tourism Investment Summit to be held 31 October in Auckland to 2 November 2016 in Queenstown. The aim of the event is two fold; first to explore how New Zealand businesses can gain a better understanding of the next era of discerning Chinese tourists and better target this free independent traveller (FIT) of tomorrow whilst ensuring that the bourgeoning tourist market grows in a way that is sustainable. The second is to attract overseas investment to the tourism sector to help New Zealand infrastructure keep up with the increasing visitor numbers as flight capacity rises.

The summit will examine how New Zealand companies can understand the evolving Chinese affluent tourist and target independent travellers. China is New Zealand‘s second largest visitor market which has rapidly developed due to China’s innovative mobile apps and payment market creating some of the world’s largest and most advanced e-commerce and mobile payment companies. The Chinese tourist demographics have changed from a decade ago due to the proliferation of online product offerings. Keynote Speaker Dr. Song Rui, Director of China’s prestigious Tourism Research Center says, “This new generation of Chinese tourists should be understood and treated differently from their predecessors.” They have become more sophisticated with an increased interest in unique travel experiences and shun past practices joining tour groups that focus on shopping. Middle-class professionals aged between 25 and 55 make up 60% of travellers that are willing to spend more for better experiences. There was an increase in boutique travellers planning their own routes that travelled to New Zealand independently during Golden Week.

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With the increasing bilateral business, there will be more than 50 direct flights to China each week over the summer. To capitalise on this tourism boom, attendees will hear about how to leverage innovations coming out of China, such as AliPay as a useful tool to target the flourishing market of discerning Chinese in search of luxury experiences and the rise of a new generation of tech savvy Chinese outbound tourists.

The influential China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (CCCNZ) are organising the summit and hosting a high caliber delegation which include a number of investors that have expressed an interest in exploring opportunities in New Zealand's tourist infrastructure. These include Songcheng Group Holding Co, a group that owns and operates theme parks, resorts, and hotels around the world. Huang Hongming, President of the Songcheng said “I myself took a personal holiday during this year’s spring festival to both Australia and New Zealand and was quite impressed with the tourism booming in these two places. We are about to invest a significant amount in the Gold Coast and are now keen to look at the potential investment opportunities in New Zealand.”

Zhejiang Silicon Paradise Asset Management Group, a leading Chinese private equity firm has likewise noticed the growth in the tourism market. “We pay attention to the places where Chinese outbound tourists are heading and noticed a rapid increase in the numbers of the Chinese visitors so NZ came to our eyes and also our company’s investment focused on tourism and agriculture so NZ fits these two focuses,” said their President He Xiangdong

Also attending is Fosun International after investing USD$1.1 billion for Paris-based Club Med and joined TPG Capital in a Canada-based Cirque du Soleil investment for USD$1.5 billion last year, Everbright, Evergreen and others.

Mr. David Wang, Chairman of CCCNZ is a very active corporate citizen involved in building bilateral relationships. Mr. Wang is also the CEO- Managing Director, Bank of China (NZ) Ltd. and has invited many of the company’s premier clients to attend. Lisa Li, General Secretary and also China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd. Managing Director has intimate knowledge of the this niche market as one of New Zealand’s largest tour operators. Lisa is a proud New Zealander that is responsible for bringing tens of thousands of tourists from China, but focuses on ensuring the growth is manageable. Lisa said. “I love sharing New Zealand’s beauty and culture with our guests, yet I feel a responsiblity to protect our natural resources. It is for this reason we have adapted our current business model that promotes people enjoying the country in depth, rather than just busing from attraction to shop.”

Lisa Li will MC the Summit along with Andrew Patterson, Presenter with NBR Radio at The National Business Review.

Anyone involved in New Zealand’s tourism sector will benefit from attending the New Zealand Tourism Investment Summit to hear about the changing market of Chinese tourists from leading experts to plan accordingly.

More details about the summit, see http://tourisminvestment.co.nz/homepage/.

About CCCNZ, see http://tourisminvestment.co.nz/speakers/.

China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand was founded in 2002. The selective membership includes many of China’s prominent companies as members; Bank of China (NZ), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (NZ),China Construction Bank Corporation (NZ), Haier Appliances (NZ), Huawei (NZ), Yashili (NZ), Waste Management, COSCO Corporation (NZ), China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd., China Minmetals (NZ) Limited, Air China, China Southern, China Eastern, Pengxin Group, Fu Wah NZ Ltd, Agria, to name a few, along with many of the local Chinese business elite executives.

Members engaged in diverse industries covering many areas of trade, dairy, tourism, processing, shipping, air transport, timber, real estate, education, science and technology, finance and insurance.

China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has become very influential in New Zealand, with many of China's SOEs as active members, along with the support of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Zealand.

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