Technology partnership connects New Zealand with Chinese travellers


New Zealand is tapping into a leading digital platform to attract Chinese tourists to visit New Zealand as the important visitor market recovers, Tourism Minister Peeni Henare said today.

A new partnership between Tourism New Zealand and Xiaohongshu announced today in Shanghai will enable New Zealand to be promoted to as a travel destination to a significant Chinese consumer base.

“Global competition for visitors is fierce, this partnership with what is referred to as China’s Instagram will help reach Xiaohongshu’s 260 million monthly active users and attract more tourists, helping to drive our economic growth and recovery,” Peeni Henare said.

“We want the Chinese consumers to know New Zealand is open for business and this partnership will help showcase our special offerings for travellers to share their experiences with each other.

“The tourism sector is continuing to strengthen to close to pre-pandemic levels, according to latest data and estimates, over 600,000 visitors are expected to arrive this winter.

“The Government’s investment in regional infrastructure while the borders were closed, means were ready to welcome our Chinese visitors who were our second largest visitor market pre covid.

“Chinese consumers are increasingly utilising trusted social media platforms that provide recommendations and reviews to guide their purchasing decisions.

"Partnering with Xiaohongshu is an opportunity to tap into influential travel content creators, enabling Tourism New Zealand to share the beauty and diversity of New Zealand to potential visitors in China,” Peeni Henare said.

The first international media tour from China visited New Zealand in March, generating over 150 social media posts reaching almost five million people. 

“Tourism New Zealand hosts a range of international media in New Zealand to experience all we have to offer for themselves and share it with their readers and viewers. Increasingly, recommendations of this kind are important drivers to influence others to travel,” Peeni Henare said.

International visitors spent $3.2 billion into New Zealand in the first quarter of 2023, up from $1.8 billion in the December quarter. This $3.2 billion makes international tourism the second highest export this quarter behind dairy exports (milk powder, butter, and cheese – $5.2 billion).

Notes for reporters

Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) has 260 million monthly active users. It has become one of the preferred platforms for Chinese travellers to seek travel advice from their peers, experts, and key opinion leaders. Through Xiaohongshu, travellers can exchange travel experiences, recommend attractions and unique experiences.

The partnership with Tourism New Zealand will encourage visitors to do more, travel more widely. This supports Tourism New Zealand’s strategy to attract visitors who contribute to Aotearoa New Zealand’s society, culture and environment and economy.