Chinese talk show promotes New Zealand as a "dream destination"

Around four million Chinese were this month told that "New Zealand is a place that makes people relaxed and happy" by one of China's most prominent opinion leaders, Gao Xiaosong.

Popular Chinese online talk show Morning Call is hosted by Gao Xiaosong and airs on Youku Tudou (China's version of YouTube). It recently featured two New Zealand episodes titled "Explore Middle Earth".

The hour-long episodes were filmed in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown earlier this year with the production hosted by Tourism New Zealand and partner Air New Zealand. 

The first episode has been seen by 3.8 million people while the second episode screened in China on Friday 9 May and by Monday morning had received 1.7 million views.

A household name in China and one of the most prominent opinion leaders in the country today, Gao Xiaosong has earned his fame through various music and film productions, including as judge on China's Got Talent. 

His online talk show Morning call gains significant attention and online discussion.

Gao Xiaosong spoke of being extremely impressed with what New Zealand has to offer the Chinese visitor saying: "New Zealand tourism pays a lot of attention to Chinese tourists and many places offer a Chinese translation."

Tourism New Zealand's GM of Asia David Craig says the Chinese market in particular responds well to opinion leaders and celebrity endorsement, making it an effective way of reaching large numbers of a target market.

"The Chinese market is also significant in its use of on-line and social media which is what makes host Gao Xiaosong so valuable to us. He has a huge social media presence with more than 35 million followers on Chinese micro-blog site Weibo."

Air New Zealand's Economy Skycouch™ seat played a starring role in three episodes with Gao Xiaosong anchoring the talk show from the innovative Economy Skycouch™, overlooking Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.

In the show Gao Xiaosong discussed his experiences on the Auckland Sea Plane, with NZONE Skydive and the Te Papa Highlights Tour, encouraging his viewers to come to New Zealand.

Gao Xiaosong described New Zealand as being the destination he dreamed of, praising the breathtaking landscape, environment and friendly hospitality. Waiheke Island received special mention as a particularly spiritual place for creative minds and he claimed Glenorchy's Paradise was the most beautiful place he has ever been.

"New Zealand is a place that makes people relaxed and happy. During my eight days in New Zealand, I never once got annoyed or angry," says Gao Xiaosong during the show.

"It is such an unusual, but pleasant feeling for someone coming from a less peaceful part of the world."