New Zealand tourists offered visa-free access to China

2024-06-14 09:35:13Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China on Thursday announced that New Zealand is now placed in the list of the visa-free countries. After the announcement, the searches by New Zealand tourists for China-related keywords, in 30 minutes, increased by 65 percent from the previous day on online travel agency

Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Thursday that China will include New Zealand in the list of unilateral visa-free countries and hopes that New Zealand will provide more convenience for Chinese citizens to visit New Zealand too, Li said, during his talks with New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in Wellington, Xinhua News Agency reported.

"China is willing to further strengthen the bonds of cooperation with New Zealand, enhance people-to-people exchanges in such areas as education and culture, expand personnel exchanges, and support the people of both countries in creating more stories of friendly interactions," Premier Li said.

Industry insiders said that the visa-free policy will further promote personnel and economic and trade exchange between the China and New Zealand and facilitate inbound tourism to China.

"New Zealand and China are each other's important destinations and sources of tourists. Since December 2023, direct flights between China and New Zealand have resumed to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, supporting the growth of tourists from both sides," Qin Jing, vice president of, told the Global Times in a statement on Thursday.

Since the beginning of 2024, inbound tourism orders made by New Zealand tourists have increased by nearly 60 percent year-on-year, ranking the 15th largest source of inbound tourism in China, said Qin.

Currently, the number of flights between China and New Zealand has surpassed that in the same period of 2019. Many airliners have started or resumed direct flights between Chinese cities and Auckland, a large metropolitan city in New Zealand.

Industry insiders said that the increasing number of flights have helped stimulate the tourism potential between the two countries.

The number of Chinese tourists to New Zealand has also increased. The number of Chinese visitors reached 10,400 in April, compared with a year earlier, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Wednesday.

Of the 225,000 overseas visitor arrivals in April 2024, 10 percent were from China, ranking second after Australians, according to Stats NZ.

By Wednesday, the bookings for flight from China to New Zealand more than doubled on Chinese travel platform, according to statistics sent to the Global Times by Qunar. Chinese tourists often choose to visit firefly caves and hobbit villages, and see glaciers and penguin habitats in New Zealand, the platform said.


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