In Part I we highlighted high level statistics around the New Zealand international tourism industry. Part II focused on some interesting tourism trends that have developed over the last few years. Part III concludes the series by highlighting behavioural patterns of Chinese tourists in New Zealand.

As mentioned in Part II, there has been an explosive growth in free independent travellers to New Zealand. Currently the most popular independent traveller’s tour (as recognised by, China’s largest online travel website) is an 11 day trip beginning from Shanghai to Christchurch.

After punting on the Avon River, and a visit to Bridge of Remembrance, a stopover to Kaikoura is made for a whale watching trip before heading towards Arthur’s pass and Shantytown.

For some great photos to show off to their friends back home, visitors go to Lake Matheson’s to take pictures of Mount Cook and Tasman.

Next, travellers head to Lake Wanaka before visiting Milford Sound. There are also opportunities to ride the Skyline Gondola, take a scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu as well as an adrenaline filled Skydive opportunity.

Visitors then take a flight back to Auckland to visit the Harbour Bridge, One Tree Hill and pay tribute towards the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial.

A bus ride to the Waitomo Glow-worm caves and a visit to the Hobbiton movie set takes place before finishing the 11 day trip off with a stop-over at the Hamilton Botanic Gardens and an 11 hour flight back to Shanghai from Auckland Airport.

Apart from travelling choices, another characteristic  that differentiates Chinese visitors is their love for shopping. Two product categories which Chinese visitors are over representative in include healthcare and infant formula products. Due to the perceived “Clean, Green and Natural” image, New Zealand products are currently seen as being superior to Chinese domestically produced goods. As a result, demand for many New Zealand products has skyrocketed during recent years, creating an entire new logistics industry exclusively focused on sending goods back to friends and family in China.

However, after my recent trip to China to better understand Chinese demand characteristics, one key conclusion that can be drawn is that Chinese demand is extremely dynamic. Coupled with intensive global competition, what is currently the most popular product today, may not be tomorrow. As a result, companies must be continuously innovative in their marketing and distribution strategies to succeed.

Despite New Zealand currently being a favoured destination by Chinese tourists, in order for the long term success of the New Zealand tourism industry, we must ensure that our Clean and Green image is not compromised by the increase in tourist numbers. We must also be adaptive to ensure that New Zealand continues to be a preferred tourist destination for everyone as there will come a day when the Chinese tourism boom ends.

Shing Zhu


Disclaimer: This is intended to provide general information only. It does not take into account your investment needs or personal circumstances and so is not intended to be viewed as investment or financial advice. Should you require financial advice you should always speak to an Authorised Financial Adviser.