Camping campaign aimed at Chinese

A marketing campaign encouraging Chinese tourists to rough it in New Zealand holiday parks might struggle to attract a big market, a tourism lecturer says.

The campaign by the Holiday Parks Association (HAPNZ) targets young Chinese to experience the country by travelling in campervans, stopping at holiday parks.

A video has been produced showing what people could expect if they visit a holiday park.

It shows a young couple pulling into the park driving a campervan and experiencing all the facilities such as the shared kitchen, the toilet facility and how to empty the septic tank and grey water.

The video was shot in Auckland using Chinese actors and is voiced over in Mandarin, Cantonese and English language versions.

HAPNZ chief executive Fergus Brown said an increasing number of mainland Chinese visitors were coming here, travelling in campervans and staying in holiday parks.

China is now New Zealand's third biggest visitor market, growing almost 40 per cent in the last year to more than 191,000 visitors a year. They contribute about $555 million a year to New Zealand's economy.

HAPNZ had offered cultural awareness training to holiday park operators to help them understand what Chinese visitors are looking for and that had proved popular, Mr Brown said.

New Zealand School of Travel and Tourism lecturer Adrin Misquitta said camping was an unusual concept for Chinese.

"Personally I don't think it will work, because the Chinese and Indians generally travel with guided tours."

He said this was because of language difficulties and for safety reasons.

Mr Misquitta said marketing campervan tourism would have to be directed at young people with disposable incomes who might be attracted to the freedom of not being restricted by a guided tour.

"Your advertising will need to be spot on."

It would take a while for Chinese to warm up to the idea of moving away from the security of organised tours, he said.

"It's getting there but it's not quite there yet."


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