Christchurch Airport and the associated 'South'
initiative are preparing to hold a series of workshops in September
and October to help southern business and tourism operators become
more aware of opportunities offered by the China travel market.
'South' is an initiative facilitated by
Christchurch Airport, in conjunction with the 13 Regional Tourism
Organisations, to collectively promote the entire South Island as a
Manager of 'South', Dave Hawkey, says
Christchurch Airport takes seriously its role as a leader in South
" 'South' is a way to grow the tourism pie, so
everyone gets a bigger slice and understanding the opportunities
China's travellers offer is part of that," says Mr Hawkey.
"We are working with Occam Consulting, a firm
which specialises in assisting Westerners to work with China and
vice versa. The firm has already delivered and developed the
Tourism New Zealand Roadshow sessions and the highly successful
'China Business' training programme to more than 1000 Kiwi business
"Becoming China Ready" workshops will be offered
in Christchurch, Hanmer Springs, Kaikoura, Blenheim, Nelson,
Greymouth, Franz Joseph, Wanaka, Queenstown, Alexandra, Te Anau,
Invercargill, Dunedin, Cromwell, Omarama, Timaru, Tekapo, Akaroa
Dave Hawkey says Chinese travellers now make up
the second biggest number of travellers into New Zealand.
"That market will definitely grow, so it is
timely that we assist businesses in the South Island to make the
most of the opportunity. The South Island has what these travellers
want to see - mountains, lakes, glaciers, wide open spaces, big
blue skies - and travellers come looking for the places they see in
the travel brochures. At the moment, the South Island only sees 25%
of Chinese arrivals into New Zealand, but it is inevitable that
more will come south.
Mr Hawkey says the free independent traveller
segment of the market is also beginning to explore areas off the
beaten track and seeking South Island places to do that.
Christchurch Airport itself is continuing to become China ready.
It recently introduced multi-lingual signage into the terminal, as
its own way to ensure visitors from Japan, Korean and China felt
welcomed to the South Island.