WELLINGTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government tourism agency Thursday launched a new scheme to target Chinese travelers who are likely to spend more time and money in the country.
Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) said it was looking to generate greater value from the burgeoning Chinese market with its new Premier Kiwi Partnership (PKP) program.
Under the program, TNZ was working with 12 selected inbound tour operators and 18 China-based travel agents to develop and market innovative packages offering longer-stay, higher-quality itineraries in New Zealand.
TNZ general manager Asia markets Tony Everitt said the PKP scheme would help change the nature of holidays taken by Chinese visitors and the contribution they made to the New Zealand economy.
"Most Chinese tourists currently visit New Zealand for three days as part of a tour group on a dual-destination package that also goes to Australia. However, tourists traveling independently, or who come on New Zealand-only tours, are increasing in number and in value," Everitt said in a statement.
"These travelers generally spend far more time here, visit more regions, have more discretionary spending power and have a higher quality experience. Their value to New Zealand's tourism industry is greater, so it makes sense to focus on growing this part of the market."
Approved PKP itineraries for Chinese travelers would have to include a minimum of five nights in New Zealand and cover at least three regions and five prepaid attractions with a minimum retail price of 20 NZ dollars (16.77 U.S. dollars).
They were also banned from including "organized shopping," such visits to shops where travel companies or their representatives received commissions on sales or visits, but had to include "free shopping time" in central retail districts.
TNZ would support approved PKP travel sellers through digital marketing partnerships, joint marketing collateral, the use of a special PKP logo in advertising or marketing, and priority listings for familiarisation visits to New Zealand.
It would also develop PKP promotions with partner airlines servicing the China-New Zealand route, and explore potential partnerships in areas such as special interest travel, such as golf or luxury tours, he said.
"We believe the program will result in more Chinese travellers choosing higher-quality packages offering more enjoyable experiences in New Zealand. That in turn will help cement our reputation as a desirable destination in a highly competitive market."
Since New Zealand gained Approved Destination Status (ADS) in 1999, enabling Chinese tour groups to visit, the China market had grown to become its second-largest source of arrivals.
Around 195,000 Chinese arrived in New Zealand in the year to November 2012, up 38 percent from the year to November 2011.