Tourism Industry Aotearoa is praising the announcement of the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, a new set of measures which TIA says acknowledges the importance of tourism to the New Zealand economy. The announcement for Prime Minister Bill English came during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

“Visitor numbers from China have grown quickly to the point where they are now our second biggest visitor market after Australia, with 409,000 arrivals a year, spending $1.7 billion,” said Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts. “There is every reason to believe that this will continue, especially given the enhanced air service agreement with China, and changes to the visa and arrival processes also announced today.”

These new measures, allowing visitors to stay longer and spend more, is a key factor in reaching the Tourism 2025 goal, which aims to grow annual tourism revenue to $41 billion.