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Chinese opinion leaders promote New Zealand to 220 million

Tourism New Zealand's work to target special interest groups in China has seen two influential Chinese opinion leaders enjoy a tailored tour of New Zealand and their stories could reach some 220 million readers.

During their stay internet businessman Zhang Xiangdong and Wang Wei Chung brought to life a range of activities, including cycling, golf and cuisine, wine and accommodation, with regular updates and posts to their online networks on Weibo and 3G.cn.

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Journalists from high profile media including ELLE Men, GQ, Shanghai Morning Post and Gootrip Magazine were also invited to join the famil trips with their proposed coverage set to reinforce social media activity.

"This activity is part of our ongoing effort to deliver targeted messages to special interest groups in China," says Tony Everitt, General Manager Asian Markets.

"Xiangdon and Wei Chung are both known for their notoriety and influence in China. The word-of-mouth promotion they generated by sharing their personal experiences is invaluable and increases the reach and effectiveness of our special interest marketing activity to this audience in China."

President of one of China's largest mobile internet portal's 3G.cn, Zhang Xiangdong is known to many as a successful businessman. However it is Xiangdong's passion for cycling that the famil fulfilled - with the itinerary developed to include a selection of the best mountain biking and cycling tracks in the South Island.

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Throughout his trip Zhang Xiangdong produced a daily dairy that featured on the 3G.cn website. The site attracts more than 220 million visitors, with 150 million aged between 19-30 years.

"From our research we know that a significant proportion of our target market in China falls within this age group. They are looking for a destination where they can feel happy, safe and comfortable.  Our opinion leaders personal experiences reinforce these messages thereby increasing the potential for them to book a trip to come and experience New Zealand for themselves," says Tony.

An industry leader in entertainment and culture in Taiwan, Wang Wei Chung has developed a following of 179,593 on Weibo that regularly engage with his stories and expert opinions on art and culture.

Mr Wang spent his time in New Zealand exploring the country's top cultural attractions whilst enjoying award winning cuisine and hospitality.

Tourism New Zealand coordinated the experience with the support of Air New Zealand and Regional Tourism Organisations.

See more information on Marketing Activity in China here.