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Xi visit: Tourism to see renewed Chinese boom
The new agreement between New Zealand and China will help to achieve the goals.
Agreements signed between New Zealand and China during the visit of President Xi Jinping will help achieve the forecast of boosting visitor expenditure to $1.7 billion by 2020, the industry says.
Figures released show total spending by Chinese visitors hit $979 million in the year to September 30. This is up by a third on a year ago when a crackdown on cheap “shopping tours” had a big impact.
Chinese spending is now well ahead of the aggregate of American and British visitors, who are next biggest group.
But at an average spend of $4200 a head, the Chinese are ahead of visitors from the US and the UK at $3900 each but below those from Canada ($6300) and Germany ($5200).
The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) estimates total spending by Chinese will rise to $1.7 billion by 2020.
Included in the new agreements is an extension to the Chinese working holiday scheme that will allow participants to work for the same employer for up to six months.
TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says this is one of the initiatives from the tourism industry’s Tourism 2025 growth framework.
“Workers with Chinese language skills are highly sought after by many tourism employers, to enhance the visitor experience for Chinese travellers,” he says. “The current three-month restriction has been a significant source of frustration.”
Holders of Platinum or Gold UnionPay credit cards will be able to use them to qualify for vias in lieu of employment and funds documentation.
Mr Roberts says the TIA has been advocating for more streamlined visa processing for high-value, low-risk Chinese visitors.
“The Tourism 2025 goal of almost doubling total tourism revenue to $41 billion a year can only be achieved by the public and private sectors cooperating to remove barriers to growth and seizing opportunities,” he says.
“Smart schemes to target high-value Chinese travellers to get the visas they need as quickly and easily as possible will make New Zealand more internationally competitive for this crucial market, which has grown quickly to become our second biggest source of visitors after Australia.”
  Source: The National Business Review

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