Tourism industry welcomes New Zealand-China initiative
New Zealand tourism industry leaders on Monday welcomed measures to support tourism from China.
The measures, including making 2019 the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, recognized the importance of the China market and the need to keep evolving in order to get the best value from it, according to the Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) business group.
"Visitor numbers from China have grown quickly to the point where they are now our second biggest visitor market after Australia, with 409,000 arrivals a year, spending 1.7 billion NZ dollars ($1.19 billion)," TIA chief executive Chris Roberts said in a statement.
"There is every reason to believe this will continue, especially given the enhanced air service agreement with China, and changes to the visa and arrival processes also announced today," Roberts said.
"With two years to prepare for the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, the tourism industry will be looking to develop further quality visitor experiences for this market, to encourage more high-value visitors."
The 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism initiative was announced by Prime Minister Bill English as part of the official visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Officials would be working with the China National Tourism Administration to establish a focus for the year that reflected the priorities and interests of both countries, Tourism Minister Paula Bennett said in a statement.