Chinese tourism opportunities for Central Otago
Waitaki MP and Tourism Private Secretary Jacqui Dean said she saw opportunities for tourism through a greater cooperation between China and New Zealand and was positive about its benefits for the Central Otago region.
Dean met last week with Chinese Zhejiang Province vice-governor Sun Jingmiao, who was on a visit to New Zealand to promote tourism links between the two countries.
“China is New Zealand’s second largest source of visitors after Australia. It’s a growing market and one that’s certainly worth developing.
“In support of Chinese tourism Immigration New Zealand has just rolled out a new online Chinese language visitor visa application form, which it’s hoped will streamline the process.
“Chinese visitor expenditure in NZ grew by 50 percent in the year to December 2014,topping NZ $1 billion for the first time, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
“Interesting free independent travellers accounted for around 33 percent of all Chinese holiday visitors to NZ in the year ending March 2015, up more than 60 percent on the previous year.
“These statistics are particularly relevant to areas like Central Otago where independent travel is well suited to the area.
“I believe last week’s meeting was very productive and is another step towards greater cooperation between our town countries.”
Zhejiang Province has a population of 55 million and is China’s fourth largest province in terms of GDP, Mrs Dean said.