China becoming more aware of New Zealand’s luxury offering

Earlier this month, Tourism New Zealand attended the International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM) in Shanghai, alongside six of New Zealand's premium tourism businesses.

This year marked the ninth time Tourism New Zealand has attended the event, which took place from 1-4 June at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre.

According to David Craig, Tourism New Zealand's GM Asia, it was clear that luxury New Zealand has become a growing presence on the Chinese traveller's radar in recent times.

"ILTM is a fantastic platform for New Zealand luxury suppliers to create connections and develop partnerships with some of the most influential luxury travel sellers and buyers from across Asia.

"A highlight at this year's event was the increased awareness of New Zealand's luxury offering among Chinese travel trade attending the show - reinforcing the work our Premium team does to build New Zealand's reputation as a luxury destination across the Asia region."

Around 360 appointments were held over the three days - Asian buyers met with New Zealand suppliers Air New Zealand, Luxury lodges of New Zealand, Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses, Bay of Many Coves, Skycity Entertainment Group and helicopter company Over the Top.

"Attendance at trade shows such as ILTM Asia provides a great launch pad for New Zealand suppliers to enter a market", says David.

 "They help suppliers gain contacts, a good starting point from which to grow relationships when they travel to market independently at a later date."

Demand for high-end luxury travel has been on the rise across Asia in recent years, thanks to the emergence of the wealthier middle classes, especially in China. Total Chinese visitor arrivals to New Zealand continue to rise - for the year ending May 2015, these were up 29.3 per cent and holiday arrivals were up 31.1 per cent.

ILTM Asia returns to Shanghai from 30 May - 2 June 2016.

Tourism New Zealand will also have a presence at ILTM Americas, which will be held in Mexico's Riviera Maya, at the end of September.

Read more about Tourism New Zealand's Premium sector strategy