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Chinese tourists love NZ's fresh air
Chinese travel experts say that crucial market will continue to grow strongly.

China is New Zealand's second-biggest source of tourists behind Australia and for the past few years our fastest-growing visitor market. In the year to March, 404,000 visitors from China came here, up 7 per cent on the previous year. Three-quarters of those are here on holiday. 

 

Chinese are spending more as they travel more independently instead of on bus tours, and last year spent on average $4213 for a nearly nine-day stay. According to Tourism New Zealand, more than 26 million Chinese are actively considering New Zealand for a holiday.

 

Managing director of China Travel Service, Lisa Li, has seen the market evolve since setting up here as a one-woman operation in 2000.

 

China and New Zealand had then just signed a Approved Destination Status agreement which let Chinese holiday travelers visit a country in a tour group, the second such agreement after Australia.

 

"I was fortunate to oversee the path of the Chinese visitors coming to New Zealand. The majority back then were doing the dual destination Australia and New Zealand and at that time New Zealand was just a small part of it. They normally did Auckland and Rotorua for four days, three nights."

 

Her company handles 40,000 to 50,000 visitors a year and now up to 80 per cent are free and independent travellers.

 

"Before they just sat in a bus and did the sightseeing. Now they are more and more involved in the outdoor activities. There's a lot of interaction with locals rather than just sitting and watching."

  Source: NZ Herald

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