Australian Chinese targeted for tourism
New Zealand’s tourism industry struck gold recently, with several Government-led initiatives potentially worth millions of dollars to the economy rolled out in one day.
With all this feel-good Government funding you’d think an election was fast approaching.
All jokes aside, the Government’s Tourism Growth Partnership programme has made $32 million available over four years to support innovative projects that will create new opportunities in the tourism sector, and will provide up to 50 per cent of the required funding.
In the first round of funding, the Government has given $4.49 million to projects.
Three of these include the Canterbury Tourism Partnership, Skyline Gravity Park (Rotorua) and, of particular interest to this region, China Travel Services NZ Ltd.
This collaboration between the Government, which has made a $50,000 investment, and New Zealand Maori Tourism, was a move that representatives hinted at during a recent visit to Queenstown, covered by the Mirror on July 30.
Australia was New Zealand’s largest visitor market and there was untapped potential for a significant new market, our trans-Tasman neighbour’s 1.2 million Chinese residents.
Australian Chinese were seen as perfect visitors to New Zealand ‘‘because they have higher educations and incomes than the average Australian, and are likely to have developed English skills’’.
The co-partnership aimed to create a promotional campaign to attract this market, along with their visiting friends and family, emphasising New Zealand landscapes, Maori culture, our food and wines, while connecting Maori and Chinese through their similar cultural values. The Government expected a $6 million return on its $50,000 investment by 2017.
The Auckland International Airport Ltd Food and Wine Cluster project also targeted Chinese, but from Quangdong in China.
Other partnerships included Orange Productions Ltd, Bachcare Limited, Select Evolution New Zealand Limited (a Christchurch Adventure Park) and, also of close relevance to Queenstown Lakes and the south, NZSki Limited.
This virtual platform targeted Australian visitors, receiving an investment of $450,000 in June, and was expected to reap a $196 million return in 2015-16.