As China and New Zealand is getting closer with their 2008 trade deal, the Chinese visitors’ numbers are surging to New Zealand.
The NZ government initiatives to increase tourism from China seem to be paying dividends.
The statistics NZ figures this week showed the number of Chinese arrivals rose 11 percent to almost 445,000 in the year ended April 30.
It is accelerating from an annual increase of just 2.6 percent a year earlier. Chinese visitor numbers have climbed at an average annual rate of 18 percent since April 2012.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment of NZ says China is poised to become the nation’s dominant tourism market in the next five years, projecting visitors from that nation will spend about $4.3 billion a year, accounting for just over half the total spend.
The immigration New Zealand tourism sector relationship manager Andrew Johns said Chinese tourist numbers have increased significantly in recent years, as a series of new policies have made it easier for Chinese nationals to visit New Zealand. That includes a visa initiative with Bank of China and a major Amway China incentive scheme.
In 2016, the Bank of China and Immigration NZ signed an agreement for the bank’s wealthy clients with Chinese passports to get an exemption from providing evidence of onward travel from New Zealand or their job status.
The bank said that’s cut visa-processing times to less than five days from 15 days, and with half of those approved coming within one working day. The agreement was the first time Immigration NZ signed a comprehensive cooperation arrangement with a commercial bank.
The government figures showed visitor numbers fell a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent to 315,000 in April, and annual arrivals rose 5.4 percent to 3.79 million, the smallest gain for an April year since it flat-lined in 2013.