Kiwi Link connects China to regional New Zealand tourism operators

One of Tourism New Zealand’s largest industry networking events was held last week in China. Kiwi Link China 2017 saw more than 4,500 one-on-one networking meetings held over just three days.

“Kiwi Link China provides a platform for buyers from all over China to learn about New Zealand tourism products directly from New Zealand operators,” says Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager - Asia, Gregg Wafelbakker.

“As our largest Asian market, China continues to have huge potential with more than 400,000 visitors per year – and growing.

“We’re also seeing an increase of free and independent travellers from China, which means longer stays, higher spend, and more regions visited.”

Tourism New Zealand hosted 112 Chinese buyers and 56 tourism operators and airlines in Foshan, China between 7-10 November.

The speed-dating style meetings gave New Zealand tourism operators the opportunity to sell their product to buyers and gain valuable insights into changing Chinese attitudes and preferences.

“We are seeing increased confidence from Chinese travellers who are looking for fresh, unique experiences outside of traditional group tour offerings.”

Operators showcased products from Hawkes’ Bay, Wellington, Tasman, Marlborough and Nelson as well as our tourism hot spots of Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch and Queenstown.

“Tourism New Zealand remains focused on showcasing what there is to see and do in the less-travelled regions of New Zealand, as well as our traditional hot spots. The recent ‘Heart of the Long White Cloud’ campaign in the China market was designed to encourage Chinese visitors to Wellington and the top of the South Island.”

Kiwi Link was held in Foshan (outside of Guangzhou) for the first time this year, recognising the significant airline growth in Southern China which now occupies 40 percent of total air capacity out of China.

Three airlines now fly direct from South China to New Zealand: China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines. 

Kiwi Link China 2017 followed the China Frontline Training Road Show held across Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, and Guangzhou from 30 October - 6 November 2017.