New statistics reveal Christchurch Airport to be New Zealand's
fastest growing point of entry for Chinese visitors.
The figures from Statistics New Zealand show Christchurch to
have had a 60% increase in Chinese passengers in the past six
General Manager of Aeronautical Business Development, Matthew
Findlay, says the statistics underline the fascination Chinese
travellers have discovered for the South Island.
"At these growth rates, modelling indicates that more Chinese
will travel via international hubs than domestic ones to travel to
and from the South Island," he says.
"The new Chinese government travel regulations of last October
discourage the low-value very short stay products which fuelled
early growth from China. Visitors to the South Island spend more
and stay longer on average - the average South Island stay is 25
days versus 13 days in the North Island . This highlights the
enduring value the South Island offers New Zealand's tourism
Mr Findlay says the increase in Chinese tourism expenditure in
the South Island benefits more than just tourism.
"These new figures clearly show the South Island as the site of
the fastest growing Chinese expenditure in the country, up 74% year
on year. There is no doubt Christchurch Airport's growth
means the gains from Chinese tourism will be widely spread across
all regions in the South Island, which is great news for regional
economies and employment."
Mr Findlay says as well as tourism, many other South Island
industry sectors will benefit from improving visitor volumes and
increasing air networks.
"Increased passenger numbers drive increased aircraft sizes and
frequencies," he says. "Because Christchurch Airport can
accommodate all aircraft types, visitor growth will open up export
and economic growth opportunities for South Island producers to
export high value product to fast growing Asian markets.
"A recent PWC report estimated South Island businesses and
regional economies are missing out on exporting as much as 17,000
tonnes of premium value products annually, because the air capacity
doesn't yet exist to export it.
"There is a symbiotic relationship between growing visitor
numbers to Christchurch and unlocking what appears to be a large
amount of untapped economic export potential across the South
Island's many regions. Unlocking that potential is great news for
the New Zealand economy."