Chinese tourists can look forward to better quality group tour
experiences, following changes to New Zealand's Approved
Destination Status (ADS) programme released this week.
A revision of the ADS Code of Conduct, jointly developed by
Tourism New Zealand and the Ministry of Tourism, will help address
quality issues impacting travel from China and improve the value of
Shopping is one area that will come under increased scrutiny in
the new code, with souvenir shops visited by ADS tours requiring a
Qualmark endorsement from 1 January 2011.
Zealand's official quality accreditation programme for tourism
businesses, is currently working on finalising Qualmark criteria
for retail stores, which should be announced in the next few
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the
satisfaction levels of Chinese visitors have improved since the
first Code of Conduct was released in 2007, but average
satisfaction levels are still below those of other markets.
"Around half of our Chinese visitors travel here on ADS visas.
Many spend just a few days in New Zealand - they go home less
satisfied and spend less while they are here," says Kevin
"The way travel is sold in China and the distribution structure
around how tours are organised and paid for means that souvenir
shops are very influential in the distribution chain.
"Unfortunately this can result in visitors feeling pressured to
shop or being exposed to overpriced shopping experiences, which is
impacting satisfaction levels among ADS visitors. Qualmark
endorsement will help ensure that the ADS programme has some
influence and control over the shopping experiences included in ADS
Under the new code, all transport and activities included in ADS
tour itineraries will also need to be Qualmark rated or endorsed.
Accommodation providers are already required to be Qualmark
"China offers big opportunities for New Zealand tourism, but we
need to improve quality, as well as visitor numbers in order to
grow its value to New Zealand's economy," says Kevin Bowler.
"This revision to the ADS Code of Conduct includes a number of
changes designed to streamline administration of the code and
ensure it is effective in increasing the quality and value of ADS
China is New Zealand's fourth-largest inbound tourism market,
with just over 100,000 visitors in the year to 30 April 2010.
Chinese holiday visitors spend a median of three nights in New
Zealand and contribute around $3,200 each to New Zealand's economy
(year end March 2010).