Chinese visitor insights: a message from the MBIE


MBIE-logo-blackChina is the fastest growing market for visitors to New Zealand.

The rapid growth in Chinese travel to New Zealand opens up significant opportunities for tourism operators.

The speed of the market’s evolution also challenges us to think about how we enhance the experience we deliver to our Chinese visitors, what we can do to encourage travel to lesser known parts of New Zealand as well as to our well-known tourist destinations, and how we can make fresh and compelling offers available to the many Chinese now returning to New Zealand on repeat visits.

Tourism operators have told us that, to build the value they offer to Chinese visitors, they need more practical information about the preferences and interests of Chinese visitors, especially those travelling independently. To help meet this need, the Tourism Policy team in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) commissioned Forward Insight & Strategy to undertake market research and develop the resources you will find on this website.

The resources are largely based on fresh qualitative and quantitative research. Surveys, interviews and focus groups were conducted in key areas, including Beijing and Shanghai, and with Chinese visitors holidaying in New Zealand.

The research team looked into how operators and regions can develop propositions for off-season and shoulder-season travel, work together to promote stories and iconic experiences to encourage exploration of lesser-known regions, optimise current offers and develop digital marketing strategies.

What differentiates this project from previous China research is the way we are activating and disseminating the findings. Rather than being held in a single large report, the findings will be shared in easy-to-digest ways that encourage the sector to apply the recommendations.

For people who prefer live interactions, sharing and identifying opportunities with others – there will be targeted presentations and workshops. For people with limited time or access to workshops, or a preference for written material, there will be interactive online modules. People who like to be engaged and enabled through smaller ‘bites’, or prompted to links, will want to participate in the #NZCNTourism social media programme – an exciting way of creating a community of interest to support the Chinese visitor experience in New Zealand.

Respecting the time pressures the sector faces during the busy summer months, the majority of the resources and workshops will be offered in early 2016, once Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) and operators have more time to consider them.

In designing this project, MBIE has been greatly assisted by industry experts, including the Tourism Industry Association, RTOs and Tourism New Zealand. We thank those involved for their support and input.

While MBIE has commissioned the project, the research has been undertaken independently. The vision is that the resulting resources have been developed by industry for industry. We hope this is the first of a number of projects of its kind.

We encourage you to dip into these resources as they are shared on this website, participate in the interactive workshops, join the social media programme and apply the findings to generate value for your operation or business. Please don’t hesitate to give us your feedback.

Kate West

Manager – Tourism Policy


November 2015