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New Zealand eyes customized tours for Chinese visitors

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-06 09:11
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Tourism New Zealand Tuesday reached an agreement with major Chinese online travel agency Ctrip to attract more independent Chinese tourists.

Under the agreement, Tourism New Zealand and Ctrip will offer more routes and products mainly to woo Chinese tourists who prefer customized trips over group tours.

China is the second largest source of tourists for New Zealand. From July 2017 to July 2018, Chinese tourists made 448,000 trips to New Zealand, up 11.9 percent year-on-year. Among them, over 40 percent were independent travelers.

Chinese travelers are sophisticated and like individualized itineraries, according to Gregg Wafelbakker, general manager for Asia at Tourism New Zealand.

"For example, Chinese are now attracted more by hiking in New Zealand, but still spend less time for each hiking tour than traditional European visitors," said Wafelbakker, "therefore we will develop more specialized services for them."

Under the agreement, Tourism New Zealand and Ctrip will also jointly train more professionals to serve Chinese tourists, currently focusing on those specializing in honeymoon or family trips.

Wafelbakker estimated that the annual number of trips made by Chinese to New Zealand would double by 2024.

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