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New opportunities: Chinese and Halal tourism

There has been a lot of talk about China lately - the growth, the opportunities and the challenges that many of us are facing in getting the most out of the market.

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Tourism New Zealand is committed to further enhancing New Zealand's position as a quality visitor destination in both the Chinese and emerging Halal markets of India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East. Halal is the term used to describe people who follow the Muslim faith and their needs relate specifically to food, space and facilities. It is estimated that Muslims will make up almost one in three of the world's population by 2025.

Key goals for Tourism New Zealand are to increase the number of high-value visitors to New Zealand from these markets but equally as important, support the delivery of a quality visitor experience for travellers once they are here.

To this end, in October we will be running a series of workshops aimed at passing on our expert market knowledge, to you as operators. The full-day workshops will be presented by Tourism New Zealand's market experts and business consultants that we are bringing in specifically for these sessions. They will be structured to offer something for all operators whether they are new to these markets, or already confident but wanting more.

Presenters include me alongside, Manager of Tourism Operations Paul Yeo, Manager of Business Development Bjoern Spreitzer, China Media Advisor Christiana Zhu and staff from our China Development Unit Andrew Johns and Cici Huang.

Amy Adams from Occam Consulting, Tony Boot from Tony Boot Marketing and Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating will provide additional expertise to these sessions.
Numbers will be limited and registration is vital. There is a charge of $50+ gst for attending these workshops which will be used to cover food and beverage, and contribute to the cost of our business experts.
 
Don't worry if you can't make the October round of workshops - if they prove really popular we will look at running them again. We will also be running a series of webinars that cover similar content and updating the corporate website so everyone will be able to access the information.

More details can be found here.

About the markets:

China is a Tier one market for Tourism New Zealand. This represents the highest level of priority and investment reflecting the recent growth in visitor arrivals and the potential for future growth in visitor numbers and value.

Chinese visitor numbers are growing strongly and for year ended July 2012, over 177,900 visitors arrived, an increase of 33.5 per cent on the previous year. The holiday sector has seen even stronger growth with 125,500 of the total visitors arriving for a holiday, up 40 per cent on the previous year. This growth has seen China become the fourth largest market in terms of visitor arrivals.

While arrival growth has been strong, the average length of stay for holiday visitors is only 6.1 days, less than half the average length of holidays for all markets of 14.1 days.

India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East have introduced a new traveller to New Zealand with specific expectations and needs, the halal traveller. Halal is the term used to describe people who follow the Muslim faith and their needs relate specifically to food, space and facilities. 

We consider the halal traveller as another opportunity for the industry - a growing group with particular needs and expectations. Indonesia is a small but growing tourism market for New Zealand, with 11,824 visitors coming here in the year to February 2012 (a year-on-year increase of 22.5 per cent). With the recent announcement of Garuda Airlines entering the market arrivals will increase. Operators who are able to cater for different needs, will reap the benefits.

Tony Everitt

General Manager Asia Markets