February 3 was an exciting day at the airport, with the arrival
of a China Southern Airlines charter flight to celebrate Chinese
More than 220 Chinese travellers to Christchurch and the South
Island arrived on the flight, which was notable as the first
Dreamliner to fly to Christchurch commercially, the first Chinese
airline to fly to New Zealand's second largest city and the first
China Southern Airlines charter flight to the South Island.
Between October 1 and December 31 2013, Chinese arrivals to New
Zealand fell 9%, but the number of Chinese visitors arriving
internationally into Christchurch Airport was up 21% on the
These are visitors who want to experience the Mainland. We know
Chinese travellers who want to travel around the South Island are
high-value visitors who spend more time and money in New Zealand
than those who do not visit the South Island.
It's a fact that Chinese travellers are lured to New Zealand by
the iconic images of New Zealand's South Island. This island is
very much a key weapon for New Zealand in its bid to continue to
attract high value visitors from China - research shows Chinese
visitors to the South Island spend an average 3,400 NZ dollars per
visit. Their total expenditure in New Zealand is $737 million
dollars a year. Put simply, Chinese visitors coming to the South
Island are good for the whole country.