Auckland International Airport Ltd’s (AIA.NZ) chairwoman, Joan Withers, has said that Chinese visitors to New Zealand should be encouraged to spend more.
Acknowledging that the China tourism market was one of the few growth areas in New Zealand, Withers said that more avenues should be made available that would encourage Chinese tourists to spend more in the nation. She said that spending by Chinese tourists in Australia was higher than that in New Zealand, and therefore visitors need to be encouraged to spend more to bring Chinese tourist spending in the two countries on a par.
Withers said, ‘Global markets are now increasingly Asia-centric and likely to become more so. A global race is now on to capture value from the massive rise in the Asian middle-class that is projected.’
The tourism industry in New Zealand has been facing up to many challenges. It accounts for approximately 3.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, and in recent years, the strong New Zealand dollar and weak economies in the US, the UK and Europe have been acting as deterrents to tourism in the nation. Auckland Airport said that routes between Auckland and China continued to perform strongly, with the number of Chinese visitors passing through the airport increasing by 74.2 percent in September.
Chinese tourists are now the second largest tourist group coming through Auckland International Airport. For the average Chinese traveller, Auckland, the city of Rotorua, known for its natural wonders, and Waitomo, are the three most preferred destinations.