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Weibo helping Te Papa tap into changing face of NZ tourists

Dec 11th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Uncategorized

Tourists visiting Te Papa

Tourists visiting Te Papa, which is actively engaging with Chinese tourists in their own language.

Te Papa is getting into Weibo, China’s answer to Facebook, as one of a range of steps to satisfy the constantly growing Chinese tourist market.

China visitor numbers jumped 35% in the past year, and Te Papa wants to be on their itinerary.

Kate Camp, Te Papa communications manager, says it has just had its third busiest financial year since it opened, with over 1.5 million visitors.

“We have a full-time China tourism advisor. We also have a social media presence in China, which we established this year.

“We have our Weibo account there, which is something new for us, but we’ve recognised it’s a great way to reach the Chinese tourists when they’re at home.”

Weibo has been described as the Chinese version of Twitter, and has over 200 million active users.

Ms Camp says around half of Te Papa’s visitors are international.

“We’re definitely noticing the uptake in independent travelers from China”

She says they are now offering daily tours of the museum, in Mandarin.

Deborah Gray, communications manager of New Zealand Tourism which is responsible for the international marketing of New Zealand, says China is a top tier, priority market for them.

“One of the biggest things we do is work with influencers, or high profile celebrities in China,” Ms Gray says

“Part of the reason we work with them is because of their reach through social media.”

“For example, earlier this year, NZ tourism brought Chinese celebrity Huang Lei to New Zealand for 10 days, under an agreement that he would post about his social media accounts about it while he was here.

“Photos captioned “Here I am in New Zealand, Look how beautiful it is”, that sort of thing,” Ms Gray says.

She says a significant change in recent times has been in airline capacity.

“There’ve been lots of new airlines coming on board, which means there are more seats, which means you’ve got more ability to come to New Zealand.”

The number of visitors to New Zealand has reached the highest level recorded, with 3.06 million arrivals in the year to October 2015.

The rise is an increase of 9% from the previous year, according to the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand.

Chinese visitors account for more than a third of the increase, with 86,608 more Chinese visiting New Zealand during the October 2015 year than in the October 2014 year.

Chinese make up 10.9% of visitors, with 335,392, an increase of 34.8% from last year.

Australians account for 42.8% of visitors, with 1,310,256, an increase of 5.3% from last year.

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