Glenorchy Discovery Group guide Jin Jing Li, of Dart River
Jet, introduces Chinese visitors to the native herb horopito
on a forest walk earlier this month.
The 25-year-old from Sichuan, China, graduated with a degree
in information technology and is applying to do her master's
degree in the United States.
She took the job with Dart River Jet because she wanted to do
something different and learn more about New Zealand.
''I'm very much enjoying the work and helping Chinese
visitors understand the wonders of New Zealand, while I'm
still learning about geography, plants and animals,'' she
Miss Li and fellow Chinese staff member Qui Wenrong work in
guiding and customer service, but are familiarising
themselves with all aspects of the tourism operation before
Chinese New Year celebrations, from January 31 to February 9.
Dart River Jet general manager Clark Scott said the Glenorchy
Discovery Group was launched in mid-2013 in response to
''substantial increases'' in the number of Chinese visitors
over the past two years.
The tour combines three outdoor activities to explore and
discover Glenorchy and its surrounds in half a day, including
a jet-boat ride on the braided Dart River, followed by a
30-minute bush walk, during which a guide introduces several
special New Zealand plants.
A back-road bus tour through Paradise and past Diamond Lake
stops to view Middle-earth filming locations and also passes
through private farms, before finishing with a tour of
''It's been hugely popular and we're anticipating that
through the New Year celebrations and into the remainder of
summer and autumn it will continue to delight these
visitors,'' Mr Scott said.