A study by a hotel booking site finds Chinese millennials will become one of the travel industry's fastest growing markets.
China is New Zealand's second biggest source of tourists and a survey by Hotels.com finds Chinese millennials will spend more than a quarter of their income on travel during the next 12 months.
In the year ended May, 394,528 Chinese travellers travelled to New Zealand, up 27 per cent on the previous year. They were among 120 million Chinese who travelled overseas in 2015, up from 117 million the year before.
This year's report shows two-thirds of outbound Chinese travellers consider travel to be an essential part of life - and one-third of travellers from China say they plan to spend more on travel in the next year.
Katherine Cole, regional director Australia and New Zealand for Hotels.com, said although New Zealand had slipped from the top 10 list of destinations that Chinese people most wanted to visit, this was not a sign they wouldn't continue to come in big numbers.
The surge in the millennial travellers from China was good news for New Zealand which offered activities and experiences attractive to them, Cole said.
The number of Chinese millennial guests (aged under 35) increased 12 per cent around the world last year, slightly more than the median increase of total Chinese guests (11 per cent).
Unlike other groups, more of the millennials were women. They were "aesthetically minded" and travelled for non-material enjoyment, seeking value-for-money accommodation.
They spent on average US$474 a day, among the highest holiday spending.
The survey of 3000 revealed that in hotels what Chinese wanted most was Wi-fi.
Japan was rated the most welcoming country, followed by South Korea and Hong Kong.