Tourism Minister promotes New Zealand as approved destination in China

  • Murray McCully

Tourism Minister promotes New Zealand as approved destination in China

The Minister of Tourism, the Hon Murray McCully, hopes to make progress in opening up access for Chinese visitors to New Zealand as a result of a planned trip to Asia.

Mr McCully leaves tomorrow for a five day whistlestop trip to hold meetings with government officials and tourism industry representatives in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul.

He will be speaking with Chinese officials about adding New Zealand to their list of "approved countries" which Chinese nationals are permitted to visit on holiday.

If successful the move would assist the New Zealand Tourism Boards marketing efforts to target high-spending visitors from China which is widely recognised as being the next big merging outbound market.

The Minister will meet with Chinese National Tourism Administration (CNTA) chairman, He Guangwei, to discuss how to progress outstanding issues on bilateral tourism between the two countries. The pair will also discuss He Guangweis proposed visit to New Zealand later this year.

Mr McCully will also meet with the heads of three of Chinas biggest tourism agencies, the China International Travel Service, China Travel Service and China Youth Travel Service on New Zealands tourism products and its bid to be listed as an approved country.

Currently, Chinese nationals are only permitted to travel to four overseas countries for a holiday: Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia.

"If New Zealand is added to the list of approved destinations, it will mean our tourism products can be marketed to an additional 1.2 billion people in China, the largest individual tourism market in the world." says Mr McCully.

The Minister of Tourism will also meet with the president of Air China, and representatives of Air New Zealand and Ansett.

In Beijing, Mr McCully will also be representing New Zealand at the 46th Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) annual conference starting on April 20.

New Zealand will be profiled at a breakfast function hosted by The Minister with the local tourism industry attending.

Mr McCully will return via Korea, currently New Zealands fastest growing market, to discuss some of the issues facing visitors to this country in recent times.