A weaker New Zealand dollar against the Chinese Yuan has helped boost spending from that booming tourist market.
Latest Government figures show the kiwi dollar fell 9 per cent against the Chinese currency in the last quarter of the year to September and that’s given Chinese tourists great buying power and is one of the main reasons behind a surge in spending.
Total annual spend was up 14 per cent to more than $1.6 billion from the 453,000 tourists from China – up 11 per cent on the previous 12 months, according to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.
Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangdong province (with the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen) remain the major points of departure for Chinese visitors to New Zealand and during summer air capacity is stepping up.
Visitors direct from Guangdong, Shanghai and Zhejiang province grew considerably for the year ended September 2018, rising 21 per cent (up 14,600), 11.3 per cent (up 7,600) and 16.3 per cent (up 3,600) respectively.
Numbers direct from China have been increasing (up 13 per cent), while those who arrive to New Zealand via Australia have decreased 3 per cent.
Arrivals from Guangdong province look set to grow further as China Southern Airlines increases capacity by 30 percent between Auckland and Guangzhou this summer, seeking to capitalise on the New Zealand China Year of Tourism next year.
The Chinese market is moving towards slightly longer trips.