Enticing Chinese visitors to stay longer and spend more
in New Zealand will be a key focus of Tourism New Zealand's
next three-year marketing strategy.
About 50 Dunedin tourism professionals attended a Tourism New
Zealand presentation in the city, led by TNZ chief executive
Kevin Bowler, this week.
He explained the organisation's priorities for the next three
years, aimed at increasing the value of visitors to New
Mr Bowler said Chinese visitor numbers had increased 39.2% in
the 12 months to the end of October, but about 80% of Chinese
tourists only went to Auckland and Rotorua on the back of an
In that sense, TNZ was ''doing it all wrong'' and needed to
persuade Chinese visitors to make New Zealand their sole
destination, so they travelled more extensively throughout
the country and for longer, he said.
Without the increase in Chinese visitors, overall tourist
numbers to New Zealand were down.
Of TNZ's six main markets, the United Kingdom had been the
biggest upset with a 16.9% decrease in visitors to New
In general, visitors were also spending less, largely as a
result of the high New Zealand dollar.
In the past five years, New Zealand had become about 30% more
expensive for tourists, Mr Bowler said.
Annual visitor spending had dropped almost $1 billion from a
peak of $6.102 billion in 2009.
In the 12 months to September, visitors spent $5.493 billion
(excluding air fares).
Mr Bowler said TNZ was building on the outstanding exposure
New Zealand received when Chinese actress Yao Chen, a TNZ
brand ambassador, married and honeymooned in Queenstown
She had 26 million ''followers'' on social media websites.
There was great opportunity to market New Zealand as a
honeymoon destination for the growing number of young,
affluent Chinese, he said.
He saw India and Indonesia as the next big markets and
encouraged industry professionals to target the ''emerging
The UK market was likely to continue slipping, Germany
remained New Zealand's strongest European market and United
States visitors would be the most attracted by
Hobbit-associated tourism, Mr Bowler said. Tourism Dunedin
chief executive Hamish Saxton said the information was
invaluable for regional tourism operators, to develop their
own marketing strategies.
Another TNZ marketing session will be held in Queenstown at
the Millennium Hotel from 1pm tomorrow.