8 Apr 2019
Important win for six South Island tourism organisations
Six more South Island tourism organisations are about to get a valuable hand up to attract and do business with Chinese visitors.
They have just been named as the latest participants of Christchurch Airport's New Horizons programme.
Each will receive $16,000, enabling them to create new marketing collateral for the China market, and to travel to China with Christchurch Airport team members, to meet with travel buyers over there.
Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson says they will also receive valuable mentoring from the airport team.
"We have been working with the Chinese tourism sector for many years now, so have genuine insight into what appeals to those visitors and how to reach them," he says. "We also have great relationships with the travel trade in China and will connect our New Horizons participants with buyers who can send visitors in their direction."
Past recipient Encounter Kaikoura's Business Manager Lynette Buurman says New Horizons will literally immerse the new participants into the Chinese market.
"It'll equip them to make confident business decisions, because of the valuable insight from and introductions by the Christchurch Airport team. Our Chinese visitor numbers are steadily growing, largely due to the generous assistance the airport gave us, through New Horizons, to grow our business."
The latest recipients are Mt Hutt Ski Area, Snow Farm, Cardrona Ski Area, the Alpine Pacific Touring Route, Experience Mid-Canterbury and Destination Marlborough.
Justin Watson says the three snow experiences were chosen to capitalise on the growing interest in winter sports in China.
"Beijing will host the Winter Olympics in 2022, and that has sparked a surge in winter sport popularity. By having Mt Hutt, Cardrona, and Snow Farm as part of the programme, we will be well positioned to show Chinese visitors just how much the South Island has to offer in this space.
"We are equally delighted our other recipients are well placed to encourage Chinese visitors to explore the attractions the South Island's regions offer. That leads to a dispersal of visitors which shares the economic benefit to a wider area, and offers our visitors a better experience."
The New Horizons programme is part of the work Christchurch Airport undertakes to champion tourism in the South Island.
"We focus both on attracting high value Chinese visitors to the South Island and improving the experience they have when they visit," says Justin Watson.
Other examples of this work include the annual Kia Ora South trade shows the airport hosts in China, its roll-out of Chinese superapp Alipay to more than 3,300 businesses across New Zealand, and the launch of the 'South' store on Alibaba's travel platform, Fliggy.