Queenstown has the beauty and serenity craved by Chinese
tourists, but the challenge is to tell those millions of
travellers that what they can do in the Wakatipu they cannot do
This was one of the observations made by Destination
Queenstown after a Tourism New Zealand-led fact-finding
mission to the country's second-most important tourism market
involving counterparts from other regional tourism
organisations, including Dunedin and Christchurch.
Mr Budd returned to the resort last weekend after a week in
Hangzhou and Shanghai, huge and accessible modern
conurbations about two hours apart.
Mr Budd said his experiences reinforced the impression China
had huge middle-class consumer wealth which included the
massive potential for outbound travel.
"We learnt a lot about the numbers of Chinese travelling
internationally and how it continues to grow rapidly," he
said on Monday.
"There's no questions we can attract high-value visitors to
New Zealand and to Queenstown that go beyond what is
currently perceived to be a relatively low-value visitor,
particularly those who are adding New Zealand on to a trip to
Australia and therefore only spending three days in Auckland
"There's a lot of potential to get high-value visitors coming
to New Zealand as their sole destination and certainly coming
to the South Island and to Queenstown.
"These are not people who are going to be travelling cheaply
or do not want to experience the full range of things we have
on offer here, so I am greatly encouraged by that potential."
Mr Budd said Queenstown already had a reputation in China's
tourism industry of being a beautiful place to visit.
Some representatives had first-hand experience of the resort.
"Our role now is to keep reinforcing that and get deeper,
more specific information about activities," Mr Budd said.
"Certainly adventure activities are interesting to the
Chinese, maybe not all of the extreme stuff, but that will
come as well. Young people will want to include those things.
"Also higher-value areas such as golf, weddings and
honeymoons, walking and wine.
"They are all opportunities."
With the lower-end visitor on coach tours coming to the
Southern Lakes anyway, Destination Queenstown was free to
develop a marketing strategy during the next few months to
appeal to high-value Chinese, most likely within the three or
four regions of the republic with easier outbound air access.
Influencing the high-end market would occur through the type
of media DQ used and the people it hosted at events.
The beauty of the Wakatipu was an excellent point of
difference when marketing to China, Mr Budd said.
"Just now, [we are] starting to build those next layers of
information about the experiences, beyond the landscape, they
would have when they come to Queenstown.
"That's the same job we do for all of our markets that we
target. The fact is the Chinese market is at a relatively low
level of development, so it's back to some basics."