China’s economic slowdown has the world worried.
Fear about Beijing’s ability to manage a rebalancing of Asia’s biggest economy has been a big contributor to the rout that has enveloped global financial markets this month.
But New Zealand’s tourism industry doesn’t expect China’s economic woes to put the brakes on fast-growing visitor arrivals from that country.
In fact, local operators are gearing up for their busiest ever Chinese New Year period next month.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler says about 55,000 Chinese visitors arrived during a four-week stretch around the holiday last year.
Based on the number of visas being issued, he says that figure is expected to rise by almost 30 per cent, to about 70,000, this year.
“That’s partly because of increased air capacity into Auckland and also the new China Southern Airlines service from Guangzhou to Christchurch,” Bowler says.
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on February 8 this year. It is China’s most important holiday, with workers typically taking a seven-day break.
The arrival growth expected for this Chinese New Year period is in line with that seen over the course of 2015. Buoyed by growth in China’s middle class, almost 345,000 visitors arrived in the year to November, a 34 per cent increase on 2014 and a massive jump on the 141,289 who arrived in the same period of 2011.
Chinese visitors spent $1.5 billion in New Zealand in the year ended September, with an average spend of $5100, up from $3700 in the previous year, according to the International
Copyright © 2016 The New Zealand Herald. All rights reserved., source Newspaper