The wedding of Chinese actress Yao Chen and Cao Yu, pictured outside St Peter's Anglican Church, rocketed Queenstown and the country's profile as a romantic destination to her and her guests' millions of social media followers, Destination Queenstown reported to the Queenstown Lakes District Council on Tuesday. Photo supplied.
A Queenstown Lakes District councillor has asked Destination
Queenstown to enable more Asian celebrity weddings, following
the massive exposure the nuptials of Chinese actress Yao Chen
gave the Wakatipu in November.
Cr Lex Perkins described Yao Chen's 37 million followers on
Weibo, China's equivalent network to Twitter, as a phenomenon
and ''great for us'', when the impact of the wedding was
included as a highlight in DQ's six-monthly report to the
council on Tuesday.
Tabling the report, Destination Queenstown chief executive
Graham Budd said the wedding was an example of the continuing
strong partnership with Tourism New Zealand.
The report said there were 40 million discussion items
registered on Weibo around Yao Chen and her wedding, with the
New Zealand location a key topic.
Tourism NZ monitored 6900 media articles about her wedding in
Chinese media by the end of November, coverage worth tens of
millions of dollars in publicity in the emerging visitor
Mr Budd told councillors, in summary of his report, the
visitor economy was in ''pretty good shape'' with a good
summer experienced by many operators. However, Easter arrived
a little earlier this year and it was unknown what would
happen afterwards, he said.
Cr Simon Stamers-Smith said he hoped for a good winter.
The report, which was received, told councillors Queenstown's
visitor numbers were making a ''slow, but steady recovery''
after the global financial market condition and patchy
weather created a challenging trade environment for
Destination Queenstown's more than 800 members over the
The high-end of the long-staying British visitor market was
showing signs of life, but a full return to market health was
still clearly a long way off.
Destination Queenstown was exploring and developing airline
connectivity with Tourism NZ to boost Asian opportunities.
Australians were being encouraged to visit the South Island
via road trips as part of a campaign between Tourism NZ and
RTOs, including Destination Queenstown, and encouraged to
visit Queenstown specifically in Destination Queenstown 's
east coast campaign, launched in February.
DQ will use the New Zealand PGA Golf Championship, the
rebranded Gibbston Wine and Food Festival, Queenstown Bike
Festival, Arrowtown Autumn Festival, Queenstown Winter
Festival and New Zealand Winter Games to leverage the
Wakatipu and motivate travel, the report said.
DQ was ''working hard'' to secure another airline sponsor for
the winter festival, after Air New Zealand did not renew its
contract for the 2013 event.
However, television broadcasts in 25 countries and increased
internet exposure of Queenstown was anticipated via a new
partnership with IMG Media when it covered the winter games