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Chinese flock to New Zealand to see its sights—and hoard its milk

AP Photo / David Rowland
Then Vice President Xi Xinping—the current president of the People’s Republic—got a taste of Maori hospitality on a visit to New Zealand in 2010.
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Come for the milk. Stay for the investment opportunities.

This year, Chinese visitors have flocked to New Zealand in record numbers. More convenient flights to New Zealand are helping Chinese tourists make the trek. Since Beijing approved of New Zealand as a tourist destination in 1999, Chinese have become the second largest tourist group in the country after Aussies.

China has already overtaken Australia as the top market for New Zealand’s exports, after an ongoing scare over tainted domestically-sourced prompted a quest for safer dairy supplies abroad.

The stampede of Chinese tourists in New Zealand is at least partially related to dairy dynamics too. Some Chinese and other foreigners have been dairy hoarding. Similarly, last year a record number of Chinese tourists visited Australia, partly in search of untainted supplies of infant formula.

Of course, some go merely to sight-see, and some to claim their own slice of the country’s growing tourism industry. Travel agents told the New Zealand Herald they’re seeing clear preferences from Chinese tourists for package deals and tours of famous sites such as Rotorua and Queenstown. China’s Shanghai Pengxin—who has already invested in New Zealand’s dairy industry—is now considering a fund to invest in the country’s tourism infrastructure.

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