A 10,000-strong Chinese incentive group will descend on Queenstown in 2018.
Prime Minister John Key announced in Shanghai last night Amway China will send its elite sales staff to the resort in multiple waves of 500 people, in five-day visits spread over four months, in autumn 2018.
The visit is thought to be worth more than $50 million.
The deal was secured after a pitch by Tourism New Zealand, Destination Queenstown, the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Air New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand.
“This is by far the biggest incentive business New Zealand has ever won, and it sends a strong message that New Zealand is a serious contender in the global incentive market,” Key says in a statement.
China is New Zealand’s second-largest and fastest-growing tourism market, boosting the country’s economy by almost $1.7 billion last year.
The same statement quoted Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden saying the local community will be excited to learn Queenstown was Amway China’s chosen destination.
“The benefits will extend far outside Queenstown itself.
“Other communities right across the district will see these visitors, and feel the impact of their time here.
Destination Queenstown boss Graham Budd says it is a significant piece of incentive business and the town is looking forward to delivering a world-class experience.
“This business will deliver a significant boost to our business community.”
Tourism New Zealand boss Kevin Bowler says the visit is timed for the off-peak season.
It will spread visitors across the season, supporting employment and bringing significant economic benefit, he says.
“The $50m in value is estimated just from Amway’s spend on the incentive alone. Each of the 10,000 staff will also contribute additional personal spend[ing]”
Bowler says Immigration New Zealand played a pivotal role, as bringing such a large group into the country will require significant co-ordination and efficient visa processing.
Otago Daily Times