Focus on China

There’s still plenty of activity to report from our China market adding to the strongest ever Chinese New Year period this year which returned a 15.2 per cent increase in visitors over the same period in 2015.  

We’ve seen recent media interviews by Kevin Bowler on CCTV China, highlights from our latest research and the positive results we continue to see from our tourism ambassador Huang Lei.

Media update
A two-part series featuring Chinese visitors to New Zealand was recently produced by CCTV – which is an English news television channel in China. Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler was interviewed for the series on keeping international visitors safe on our roads and Chinese visitors connecting with Maori culture.   

Kevin talks about Tourism New Zealand's involvement in a series of high-profile road safety campaigns to warn about the dangers of driving in other countries. The activity follows the growing number of foreign drivers in New Zealand with the number of Chinese taking self-drive holidays doubling over the past two years. It also mentions Tourism New Zealand's road safety video fronted by Chinese celebrity influencer Huang Lei. The item was also picked up by CCTV America.

Chinese visitors connecting with Maori culture in New Zealand was the second part in CCTV’s series and includes some great footage of Chinese visitors enjoying their New Zealand travels.

The latest China market research
Check Tourism New Zealand’s latest research on our China market. A few key highlights include:

  •          New Zealand total arrival growth from China is 34 per cent which is outstripping that of Australia at 22 per cent total arrival growth
  •          Chinese visitors show good appetite for considering off peak travel to New Zealand
  •          Chinese visitors are staying longer in New Zealand. Holidays of 8-14 days are up by 68 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014.

Measuring results – Huang Lei
Tourism ambassador Huang Lei returned to NZ for the third time in 2015 and was joined by his wife and two daughters to celebrate 20 years of marriage. This trip generated more than 1,600 pieces of media coverage with an equivalent advertising value of NZD$40m. The leading Chinese video site created a feature page with seven video travel diaries to recap the 7-day trip to Marlborough and Kaikoura. Huang Lei and his wife’s eight weibo posts received a total of 17k retweets and over 400k Likes, which is maximum impact for a relatively small effort.

The campaign aimed to increase our potential Chinese visitors’ understanding of New Zealand as both a romantic and family destination, and communicate the benefits of travel in the shoulder season (winter). This was done through Huang Lei’s word of mouth and Tourism New Zealand communication channels. The campaign also showcases New Zealand wine and food and wildlife experiences which are key motivators for Chinese independent travellers.

Read more about Huang Lei or how influencers are achieving great results for the tourism industry.