The South Island has welcomed an increasing number of Chinese
travellers in the weeks since implementation of a new Chinese
The new China travel law came into effect on 1 October,
effectively requiring travel sellers in China to offer better
quality, and so more expensive, group tour packages both
domestically and internationally.
Christchurch Airport CEO Jim Boult says Chinese travellers who
want to travel around the South Island are high-value visitors who
spend more time and money while they're here.
"It's a fact that Chinese travellers are lured to New Zealand by
images of the South Island. This island is very much the driver for
Chinese visitors to New Zealand, but in the past, only 20 per cent
of Chinese visitors to New Zealand made it this far south," says Mr
"In the seven weeks since the new policy came into effect, the
number of Chinese travellers coming into Christchurch Airport is up
27%. These are tourists who want to see and do what we offer on the
Mainland. They want to take their time to see and experience it
Statistics New Zealand shows Chinese visitor arrivals to
Christchurch in October were up 42% on last year, while total
Chinese visitors to Auckland and the rest of New Zealand were down
12% on the same time. Preliminary figures for Chinese arrivals into
Christchurch Airport in the first three weeks of November show 9%
growth on last year.
"Research shows Chinese visitors to the South Island spend an
average 3400 NZ dollars per visit. Their total expenditure in New
Zealand is 737 million dollars a year," says Mr Boult.
"Put simply, Chinese visitors coming to the South Island are
good for the whole country."