- Posted by Christopher Ledsham
- On 29th March 2017
- 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, new zealand, One Belt One Road, Visa Policy, Year of Tourism
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English announced that 2019 would be the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism during a two-day visit to the country by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Aiming to increase Chinese visitor spending in New Zealand by an additional NZD 1.7 bn. (ca. USD 1.2 bn.) per annum a number of supporting measures aimed at supporting the country’s ongoing boom in Chinese tourism were announced alongside the tourism year initiative. These consisted of a range of travel-related policies including: extending the length of multiple entry tourist visas for Chinese nationals from 3 years to 5 years, introducing 11 additional direct weekly flights between the two countries by the end of the 2017 and allowing Chinese passport holders to use SmartGates at New Zealand airports.
Further policies aimed at strengthening bilateral ties comprised of measures such as: deepening of the existing New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement, the signing of a memorandum of understanding to bolster cooperation on the One Belt, One Road initiative, a new e-commerce deal and the opening of a Chinese Cultural Centre in Auckland.
Commenting on the declaration of the tourism year, New Zealand Tourism Minister Paula Bennet declared: “Chinese tourist numbers have increased significantly in recent years and that growth is forecast to continue. The China-New Zealand Year of Tourism offers opportunities to build new relationships and foster current ones so both countries can achieve their tourism objectives.”
“Our focus now is on encouraging tourists to visit outside of the peak season and to explore our regions, as well as our most iconic destinations. With 409,000 Chinese visiting our shores last year there is an incredible amount of potential to deliver even more benefits to our national and regional economies by pursuing these goals.”
Annual Chinese tourist arrivals to New Zealand have grown consistently in recent years and 2016’s total figure represented a year-on-year increase of 34.4 percent, firmly establishing Chinese nationals the second highest visitor group to the country by nationality after Australian citizens.
The Southern Hemisphere country benefitted in 2016 from its perception as a ‘safe’ destination among frequently security-conscious Chinese outbound travellers, while other long-haul destinations such as France and Turkey – which suffered high-profile terror attacks last year – saw dramatic year-on-year decreases in Chinese tourist arrivals.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of regions, providing detailed insights and analysing visitor behaviour.
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