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Chinese tourists to surpass Aussies in NZ spend and stay

May 22, 2015 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59China is set to overtake Australia as New Zealand’s biggest tourism market. The transition will occur within seven years, according to latest forecasts.

With a 14% compound average growth rate, China is forecast to increase its share of tourism spending in New Zealand from 14% last year to 23.6% in 2021, totalling NZD 2.6 billion, as visitor numbers increase 11.6%.

The forecast was released by New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) at the country’s annual Trenz tourism conference in Rotorua, and reported by Wellington-based BusinessDesk.

The Chinese tourism market is shifting to include a greater FIT component – independent visitors who tend to travel more extensively and stay longer. Chinese FIT travellers are heavily influenced by the internet and social media, according to joint research by Auckland Airport and MBIE.

Australia still holds the position as top source of visitors to New Zealand and visits by Australians are increasing at 3% annually, Michael Bird, MBIE’s general manager for institutions and system performance, told Trenz.

Chinese tourists stayed an average 18 days in New Zealand last year. By 2021 this is projected to stretch to 28 days. The average Australian stay, 12 days, is expected to remain at about that length. It includes a strong VFR component.

In other news from Trenz:

  • Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand have renewed their joint marketing partnership. They will spend more than NZD 20 million in the 2016 financial year, each investing more than NZD 10 million in cooperative marketing activity in the key markets of China, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, North America, the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as activity in Latin America.
  • Taiwanese carrier China Airlines will continue seasonal direct flights to Christchurch into the coming southern summer, with three connections a week from Taipei in Taiwan via Sydney. The airline trialled the flights first last summer.

Edited by Peter Needham

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