Hanmer Springs helps attract the new Chinese airline

Rolling out the welcome mat for a delegation from China Southern Airlines saw Hanmer Springs star in efforts to secure the just announced service.

A senior management delegation from the airline visited Hanmer Springs with Christchurch Airport managers, who asked Hanmer locals to show them the experience Chinese visitors could expect in regional South Island.

Airport Chief Commercial Officer - Aeronautical, Justin Watson, says the Hanmer effort blew him and the airline officials away.

"The teams at the Heritage and at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa did an outstanding job, local legend Mark Inglis shared his emotionally charged story and the team at Malabar Café knocked everybody's socks off. They hosted the group to dinner, personalised the menus in Mandarin and delivered a dessert in a sealed can with the China Southern logo on it. Simply put, they delivered a master class in how to make an impact."

"We wanted the group from China Southern Airlines to connect with the people of the South Island, not just the place, so we invited climber and explorer Mark Inglis to spend time with the group, share his story and join us as we visited the glaciers of the West Coast and Mt Cook regions. Mark climbed Everest from the Chinese side and is also helping a Chinese climber who lost his legs on Everest, to climb it again. Mark is one of the world's great story tellers and he certainly made an impression on the delegation."