A campaign to bring Chinese New Zealanders to Rotorua was launched in Auckland this week.



This includes a competition to create a Rotorua itinerary that will appeal to the 200,000-plus Chinese living in New Zealand.



Named 3+2 Love Rotorua, the competition was aptly launched on Valentine's Day and requires entrants to create a three-day, two-night itinerary - from accommodation and dining to activities - in one of four categories - Family Fun, Luxury, Romance and Adventure.



Winners will be announced on April 18 and prizes include two return tickets to China, sponsored by China Southern Airlines, and a mystery Rotorua holiday package.

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Destination Rotorua Marketing Asian business development manager Shelley Huang said this was a good place to start educating the Chinese market about what there was for them in Rotorua and a good way to find out what this market is looking for in a holiday or short break destination.



"We want to help the large population of Auckland Chinese become aware that Rotorua is an activity playground on their doorstep, just 2.5 hours away, which is suitable for multiple annual visits with friends and relatives visiting from Chinese-speaking countries."



Huang said many people in this market did not have up-to-date knowledge of what Rotorua had to offer and the promotion was a chance to educate them and provide great experiences for them.



"The knowledge and passion they have about Rotorua will grow by two, three or four times as it is shared with family and friends."



She said it was the first regional tourism competition and media campaign to specifically target Chinese New Zealanders.



"We'll really get to understand where Chinese want to go and what they want to experience."



Destination Rotorua Marketing general manager Oscar Nathan said the China market was key to the growth of tourism in Rotorua.



"We have identified the domestic Chinese community and 'visiting family and relatives' market as being extremely important to us achieving this goal and we welcome them with open arms."