Shanghai travellers vote Auckland Airport as best in the world

Press Release – Tourism New Zealand
New Zealand has been named the ‘World’s Best Luxury Destination’ for affluent Chinese travellers, by the Shanghai Travelers’ Club in its 2013 Luxury Travel Awards. Auckland International Airport was also named the World’s Best Airport.

The results follow a vote by the 3,400 Chinese members of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club.

Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Asia Tony Everitt says the announcement is fantastic news as the marketing board focusses its efforts on attracting high-value Chinese visitors to the country.

“Earlier this year we announced our Premier Kiwi Partnership (PKP) programme, developed to generate greater value from the burgeoning Chinese market by targeting those travellers likely to spend more time and money on visits to New Zealand,” he says.

“Through PKP and our other China marketing initiatives, we aim to change the nature of holidays taken by Chinese visitors and the contribution they make to the New Zealand economy. This award supports our belief that New Zealand can be successfully promoted in China as a premium destination.”

Under PKP, Tourism New Zealand is working with selected inbound tour operators and China-based travel sellers to develop and market innovative packages offering longer-stay, higher-quality itineraries in New Zealand.

The programme supports the work already underway in the Free and Independent Traveller (FIT) market in China and will further cement New Zealand’s market position as a desirable, high-value destination.

The awards come just two months after Tourism New Zealand’s Brand Ambassador influential Chinese actress Yao Chen chose to get married in Queenstown and broadcast photos of the luxury event to her around 35 million social media followers.

November 2012 international visitor arrival statistics showed that China had overtaken the United Kingdom to become New Zealand’s second largest source of arrivals.

Press Release – Auckland Airport
Auckland Airport today welcomed the recognition of New Zealand by the Shanghai Travellers Club in their 2013 Awards for Best Luxury Travel Experiences. Glenn Wedlock, General Manager Aeronautical Commercial for Auckland Airport, said, “This is great news for New Zealand tourism. While China has already become our second largest inbound market in terms of volume, the importance of positioning New Zealand as a premium destination to the very affluent high net-worth Chinese visitors who are increasingly interested in luxury travel is vital for our economy.” New Zealand was awarded the most coveted of the award categories, World’s Best Luxury Destination 2013, while Auckland Airport was awarded the World’s Best Airport, beating off competition from destinatPions and airports around the world. Martin Snedden, Chief Executive Officer for the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA), congratulated Auckland Airport on their win in the 2013 Chinese Luxury Travel Awards.

“Auckland Airport has been working hard to attract high-value Chinese visitors to New Zealand. This award is recognition of the success of their efforts and strategic direction and will benefit the wider New Zealand tourism industry.”

The members of the elite Shanghai Travellers Club vote on the awards. Members are typically very wealthy, experienced, independent travellers, with a taste for sophisticated, high quality and luxury travel experiences.

The award comes only a few weeks after the visit to New Zealand in December of 250 of China’s top travel agents as part of the annual China Southern Airlines agent incentive trip.

“That visit showcased premium New Zealand experiences, and was a massive opportunity to influence a large group of travel opinion leaders to promote our country through their networks to the affluent Chinese visitors we want to target,” said Mr Wedlock.

“Their visit was very much in line with our focus on our Ambition 2020 goals to develop more New Zealand experiences and build higher quality offerings for Chinese visitors.”

“Global markets are now increasingly Asia-centric and likely to become more so. A global race is on to capture Chinese visitor growth and benefits from the massive rise in the Asian middle-class that is projected. New Zealand’s visitor industry, because of its remote location and small scale, is disadvantaged in global terms, despite its powerful appeal as a destination. So we have to work a little harder to capture more of the value”, said Mr Wedlock, “which is why these types of awards matter.”

Mr Wedlock said the award announcement also reinforces the decision made by the Immigration New Zealand in November last year to look at ways to streamline the visa process targeting high-value, frequent travelling, low-risk Chinese tourists who want to visit New Zealand.

“World tourism is a very competitive industry, and the fact is that our tourism revenues are not keeping pace with our tourism numbers. Anything New Zealand can do to attract the premium end of the visitor market, meaning those who like to fly in the premium end of planes and sample the best New Zealand has to offer, will boost our economy and will make vital air-services more sustainable.”

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