Auckland targets Chinese business travellers

An alliance between Auckland Airport and China Southern Airlines will aim to increase event and conference travel to New Zealand’s largest city.

A partnership between Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Auckland Airport and China Southern Airlines has been signed with the plan to grow Auckland as a destination for Chinese business travellers.

The memorandum of understanding will see the three organisations focus on growing numbers to attend conferences, meetings, trade exhibitions and incentives.

Auckland Airport chief customer officer Scott Tasker says the partnership aims to build on China Southern Airlines’ daily non-stop flights to Guangzhou.

“We have seen a strong return of Chinese travellers since international travel fully resumed post-pandemic,” he says.

“With such solid personal and trade links with China, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Auckland Airport and China Southern Airlines can see an opportunity to grow market share among Chinese businesses looking to hold an event or conference in a distinctive and memorable location.

The head of Auckland Convention Bureau (a division of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited), Ken Pereira, says Auckland offers world-class opportunities for business travellers.

“This is a ground-breaking agreement for Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, as it is the first time Auckland Convention Bureau has partnered with an international airline to boost Auckland’s profile as a business events destination in the Chinese market,” he says.

“This memorandum of understanding offers us the chance to further strengthen our partnerships between Auckland and China – in particular across business events and incentive travel.”

Chinese business travel has recovered to 65 per cent of pre-COVID-19-pandemic volumes, with Auckland hotel capacity growing 23 per cent since 2019.

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