Wealthy Chinese families will be charged up to $25,000 a day for luxury travel packages featuring chauffeured limousines, private vineyard and fishing tours and exclusive helicopter transfers to lavish Kiwi venues.

The high-end itineraries will include tickets to the country's most exclusive lunch and accommodation venues.

NZ Chinese Travel and Tourism Association chair Simon Cheung said the tours aimed to help push New Zealand as a premier destination to Chinese visitors during the NZ-China Year of Tourism 2019, which was first announced during an official visit from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in 2017.

A fall in the New Zealand dollar against the Chinese yuan has also boosted spending by Chinese tourists, which is up 14 per cent to more than $1.6 billion in the last year.

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Simon Cheung, chair of the NZ Chinese Travel and Tourism Association, golfing at Te Hihi Estate. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Simon Cheung, chair of the NZ Chinese Travel and Tourism Association, golfing at Te Hihi Estate. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Cheung said the weaker kiwi dollar - which fell 9 per cent against the yuan last quarter - was also making more Chinese see New Zealand as a "value for money" destination.

"We need to move away from the cheap shopping tours that currently dominate the inbound Chinese market, because these really benefit no one except maybe the airlines," Cheung said.

"Tourism in China is huge, the market is booming, and the lower dollar means we can do more to make New Zealand a special place for luxury Chinese travellers."

One of the exclusive accommodation venues being offered to VIP Chinese travellers is the Te Hihi Estate in Karaka - which was previously owned by Kiwi rich lister Eric Watson.

Guests will get exclusive use of the six-bedroom villa, and 92 acres of thoughtfully designed grounds that includes a nine-hole golf course, swimming pool, out-door spa and access to a resident alpaca herd.

Cheung said the luxury itineraries — which could cost up to $25,000 a day for a family of four — were now being finalised, and would be ready in time for the 2019 year of tourism.

The itineraries could be personally tailored for the visiting families' needs.

The association, which represents more than 200 local Chinese operators and providers, would also be starting a licensing regime next month in a bid to weed out rouge operators.

Currently more than 100,000 Chinese visitors come here each year on group tours, but an increasing number are arriving as free independent travellers.

The Chinese market is moving towards slightly longer trips, and those arriving for one-to-two weeks and four-to-six days up 26.4 per cent and 23.2 per cent respectively.

Resident alpaca herd at Te Hihi Estate, Karaka, South Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Resident alpaca herd at Te Hihi Estate, Karaka, South Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs

This year, New Zealand is the third most popular holiday destination for Chinese New Year holidays in February, behind Thailand and Australia, according to the Huron Chinese Luxury Traveller 2018 report.

But a NZ Story Perceptions Research report - "How does China see New Zealand" - found the Chinese considered Aotearoa to be second best to Australia, which is perceived to offer everything we do and more.

"The itineraries will play on New Zealand's strengths, such as purity, nature, lifestyle and Kiwi hospitality, which is what research found these high value tourists want," Cheung says.

"We cannot compete with Australia or Thailand in shopping, nor do we want to."

Dishes like this Crayfish paella by Bellota on Federal St, Auckland, may be on the menu for wealthy Chinese visitors. Photo / File
Dishes like this Crayfish paella by Bellota on Federal St, Auckland, may be on the menu for wealthy Chinese visitors. Photo / File

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has announced that the official China-NZ Year of Tourism opening ceremony will be held at Te Papa on February 20 next year, hosted by the China National Tourism Office.

Davis said the event would be a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand to showcase what makes it a world class destination and for Kiwis to think about "how we can best welcome Chinese visitors to our shores".

About 453,000 Chinese people visited New Zealand in the last 12 months, and this is forecasted to increase to 800,000 by 2024.

The number of visitors arriving direct from China is also up 13 per cent due to an increase in direct flights, and those arriving via Australia fell 3 per cent.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is forecasting that China will overtake Australia by spend, reaching just over $3b annually by 2024.

Richard Davies, MBIE's tourism policy manager, said the goal for the year of tourism wasn't to get a big lift of Chinese visitor numbers.

"We're focused on attracting high-value visitors," Davies said.

"By 'high value' we don't just mean visitors who spend more, we want people who come outside of that peak summer season and explore our regions."