Tourists from China brought $930 million to New Zealand

TLNZ websiteotal exports of goods and services were valued at 69.3 billion NZ dollars ($45.99 billion) in 2015, while imports totaled 66.9 billion NZ dollars ($44.4 billion), according to Statistics New Zealand.

Total exports rose 1.9 billion NZ dollars ($1.26 billion) from 2014, driven by a rise of 2.3 billion NZ dollars ($1.53 billion) in spending by international visitors and an increase of 895 million NZ dollars ($594.1 million) in exports of meat products, while the value of dairy exports fell by 3 billion NZ dollars ($1.99 billion).

“Although dairy exports were lower across the year, it has remained our top export earner. However, earnings from other export industries and markets have increased in significance, picking up the shortfall in dairy,” international statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said in a statement.

The growth in earnings from meat and travel was driven by key export markets, including China, the United States, and the European Union (EU).

Spending on personal travel by visitors from China had increased 1.4 billion NZ dollars ($929.32 million) since 2011 to 2.2 billion NZ dollars ($1.46 billion) in 2015, while visitors from Australia, New Zealand’s biggest tourism market, spent 1.9 billion NZ dollars ($1.26 billion) in 2015.

Pierre Gervois & Len Brown

Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland, and Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus

“We see clearly the result of the combined efforts of all New Zealand actors in travel & tourism over the last years”, said Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus, a New York & Shanghai  based company specialized in promoting international destinations for Chinese tourists. “The Luxury New Zealand campaigned launched in 2011 at the initiative of Auckland Airport, and managed by China Elite Focus, changed the perception of New Zealand. The new generation of affluent Chinese investors come now to buy real estate and invest in New Zealand companies, as well as spending in luxury travel experiences.

Last year, the EU was New Zealand’s largest source of imports, totaling 12.1 billion NZ dollars ($8.03 billion), followed by Australia on 11.3 billion NZ dollars ($7.5 billion) and China on 10.4 billion NZ dollars ($6.9 billion).

New Zealand’s largest import expense in 2015 was electrical machinery and equipment from China.

“The rise in electrical machinery and equipment was mostly due to consumer electronics such as mobile phones,” Attewell said.

“In recent years, cars from Japan or the EU had been our top import.”

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New Zealand is targeting wealthy Chinese tourists

Auckland tourism chiefs and Auckland Airport will launch a new strategy to attract rich Chinese tourists.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and the airport company say the strategy is based around targeting high yielding business and first-class passengers and selling premium experiences and accommodation on arrival in Auckland.
This will involve marketing direct to consumers through initiatives like partnering with airline frequent flyers and platinum credit card companies to promote tourism packages to wealthy customers and working with inbound tour operators.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown has announced a new marketing partnership with Guangzhou as part of the mayoral trade mission to five Chinese cities.
Up to 60 multimillionaire business people from the exclusive Shanghai Travelers’ Club were hosted at a function on April 19th in the city by ATEED, Auckland Airport, Air New Zealand and SkyCity.
China has more than a million millionaires, the number of which grew at more than 30 per cent last year.
Last year there were 134,444 Chinese arrivals into Auckland out of 145,524 Chinese arrivals to New Zealand. There was a total of 2.6 million tourists last year.
ATEED manager tourism Jason Hill said Auckland was investing strongly in attracting more high-yield Chinese visitors to Auckland.
“It is vital we work as an industry to maximise the potential of this fast-growing visitor market. This China delegation and luxury marketing fund will bode well for raising awareness of Auckland’s premium tourism offering and mix of sophisticated urban and natural experiences,” said Hill.
According to Pierre Gervois, CEO of China Elite Focus, the marketing agency who created the campaign “Luxury New Zealand” on behalf of Auckland Airport, “New Zealand has an enormous potential with wealthy Chinese travelers. Auckland’s Airport strategy to increase the number of premium Chinese passengers is the right strategy for New Zealand”. The official website of this campaign www.xindaohualv.com is the leading luxury travel website promoting New Zealand, exclusively in Chinese language.
Auckland’s China trade mission coincides with an announcement this week by the Ministry of Transport of a new air services arrangement with China that triples the amount of passenger flights that may be operated between the two countries.
Auckland Airport chief executive Simon Moutter said the initiative was part of Auckland Airport’s programme to develop premium travel markets.
“We are absolutely committed to capturing the lucrative Chinese travel market. It is important we jointly, as an industry, grab the opportunity to develop New Zealand as a premium brand to that market.”
Chinese tourists now spent on average $300 a night, more than European, North American and other Asian tourists.
Chinese holidays in New Zealand had now grown to an average of 6.1 nights per visitor.
“We expect this to grow as the Chinese become more confident travellers,” said Moutter.