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Tuesday, November 16, 1999, updated at 14:33(GMT+8)
Culture New Zealand Tourism Board Looks to China

The New Zealand Tourism Board hopes to set up an office in Shanghai in a push to capitalize on the potentially huge Chinese market.

Tourism Board Chief Executive George Hickton said November 11 in a statement that he hopes to open the Shanghai office within a couple of months.

The Board has boosted its marketing spending in China by nearly 60 percent to almost 400,000 NZ dollars (210,000 US dollars) after New Zealand was given approved destination status by the Chinese Government this year, according to Hickton.

"New Zealand and Australia were the first countries, outside Asia, to gain the status to open the door to tourism with the world's most populous country," he said.

According to earlier reports, New Zealand Tourism Minister Lockwood Smith said the Chinese market is estimated to be worth 40 million NZ dollars (21 million US dollars) to his country, with about 17,000 visitor arrivals a year. He tipped this to grow to 60 million NZ dollars (31.2 million US dollars) within three years. (Xinhua)

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