Paul Chaplow, Whanganui & Partners(external link)’ Strategic Lead – Visitor Industries, will be travelling to China in September for the Shanghai Tourism Festival to promote the region as a destination.

The visit was motivated by Brass Whanganui’s invitation to Shanghai to perform in the opening event.

Chaplow said Brass Whanganui’s performance will expose millions of people to Whanganui. “The opening ceremony will be viewed live and televised to a massive audience. Brass Whanganui, who will be marching with a Whanganui flag, will be seen by several million viewers. This is a great chance to promote Whanganui as a destination to the Chinese market.”

Chaplow said China represents huge potential for the Whanganui visitor market. “China is New Zealand’s second largest visitor market, but Chinese tourists make up only 1% of Whanganui’s international visitors. New Zealand is already an appealing destination, now it’s only a matter of raising the profile of Whanganui and convincing more people to add it to their itinerary.’

Research on Chinese tourists indicates that Whanganui has a lot to offer Chinese tourists. “According to MBIE, the Chinese market is currently undergoing a shift towards Free Independent Travellers as they become more confident organising their own trips, seeking fresh, unique experiences. Whanganui could supply many of their ideal activities, such as observing wildlife, tramping and walking, Māori cultural experiences, beaches, scenic boat trips, and museums or art galleries.”

To make the most of Brass Whanganui’s exposure in the opening ceremony, Chaplow will be meeting with key influencers in Shanghai’s travel industry, including Tourism New Zealand’s staff in China. He hopes building international contacts and developing networks with key Shanghai-based tourism influencers will lead to more Chinese visitors interested in Whanganui.

“We have the right product, we have the right audience. All it takes now is showing them what Whanganui has to offer.”

For more information, contact Jonathan Sykes, Whanganui & Partners Strategic Lead – Brand, Events & I-Site at Jonathan.Sykes@whanganuiandpartners.nz or 027 304 7429.

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