The South Island has welcomed an increasing number of Chinese
travellers in the weeks since implementation of a new Chinese
law, Christchurch Airport's chief says.
The new China travel law came into effect on October 1,
effectively requiring travel sellers in China to offer
better-quality, and so more expensive, group tour packages
both domestically and internationally.
Christchurch Airport chief executive Jim Boult, of Lake
Hayes, said Chinese tourists who want to travel around the
South Island are high-value visitors.
''It's a fact that Chinese travellers are lured to New
Zealand by images of the South Island.
''This island is very much the driver for Chinese visitors to
New Zealand, but in the past, only 20% of Chinese visitors
made it this far south.
''In the seven weeks since the new policy came into effect,
the number of Chinese travellers coming into Christchurch
Airport is up 27%. These are tourists who want to see and do
what we offer on the Mainland. They want to take their time
to see and experience it all.
Statistics New Zealand shows Chinese visitor arrivals to
Christchurch in October were up 42% on last year, while total
Chinese visitors to Auckland and the rest of New Zealand were
down 12% on the same time.