Chinese people resident in Australia will be the target of a new $100,000 one-year campaign granted government assistance under the Tourism Growth Partnership scheme.
China Travel Service has won a $50,000 grant, which private funding will top up with a further $50,000 to tap what it believes is a relatively untapped market in Australia, which is already New Zealand's largest source of foreign tourists. Tourism from mainland China has been one of New Zealand's fastest-growing source of foreign tourists in the last three years and is the second largest source of foreign visitors.
Estimated potential from the project, which will target Chinese resident in Australia in collaboration with New Zealand Maori Tourism, is a total of $6 million by 2017.
"The Australian Chinese are perfect visitors to New Zealand because they have higher educations and incomes than the average Australian, and are likely to have developed English skills," says information provided with today's announcement.
"The challenge is to create a promotional campaign to target this growing segment of the Australian market."
Some 1.2 million Australians came to New Zealand in the year to February 2014, of who 478,496 came on holiday, while 175,504 of the 237,248 Chinese visitors to New Zealand in the same period came for a holiday, according to figures on the Tourism New Zealand website.
Tourism Minister John Key announced the grant along with a $600,000 TPG boost for the Canterbury Tourism Partnership, which will also target both the Australian and Chinese tourist markets as tourism operators in the region seek to recover momentum following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and subsequent rebuild.
The Canterbury grant seeks to "improve the slow rate of recovery" of the sector, "prevent further unnecessary business failures", and "create confidence for new private investment in accommodation and attractions."
TGP funding will be augmented with $1 million of funding from the tourism industry, with estimated benefits to the broader tourism sector in 2014/15 of $5 million.
The TGP programme is making $32 million of co-funding available over four years for projects judged to create new tourism sector opportunities.