Tourism gets a boost with Korean eGates expansion

Travelling to New Zealand will be even more attractive for Korean tourists following the Government’s announcement today of the expansion of eGates to eligible ePassport holders from the Republic of Korea.

“This is fantastic news for travellers. New Zealand is a popular destination for Korean tourists and international students. eGate access means travel will be quicker and more convenient for tens of thousands of Korean visitors arriving and departing each year,” Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa said.

“We’ve seen Korean visitor numbers rise from 53,000 in 2014 to 87,000 in 2018. Those 87,000 Korean visitors spent a combined $277 million across the country in our cities and towns, with the average traveller injecting $3,098 into New Zealand’s economy.”

“Making travelling to New Zealand even easier for overseas tourists is part of our plan to back the tourism sector, grow our regions and help create the jobs that comes with it.”

“Our government is doing everything we can to support thriving, sustainable regions and supporting tourism through a more attractive experience at the airport for travellers is a key part of that.”

“This is yet another way our Government is delivering for Kiwi businesses. Tourism operators will no doubt be welcoming this good news,” Jenny Salesa said.

The expansion of eGate access was confirmed late yesterday afternoon by Foreign Affairs Minister the Rt. Honourable Winston Peters during a bilateral meeting with Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul.

“The Republic of Korea is one of New Zealand’s largest trading partners, and our two countries enjoy a strong friendship that dates back to New Zealand’s contribution to the Korean War. Today, there are over 36,000 Koreans living in New Zealand – I am sure they will look forward to picking up their family a little bit quicker at the arrivals lounge following this important change,” Jenny Salesa said.

Mr Yeo Seung-bae, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to New Zealand, says, “We are very pleased to welcome the extension of eGate access to Korean nationals, which will streamline passage in and out of New Zealand for the 87,000 Koreans who visit every year. We hope eGate access will help Koreans visiting New Zealand for leisure, business and study and deepen the already close relationship between our two countries.’”

eGates are an automated passport control system available at international airports in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Currently, the passport holders of New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, China, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Japan who are aged 12 years or older, are able to use eGates.