AUCKLAND, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The 2019 China Tourism & Culture Week Auckland Breakfast and the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism Chongqing Tourism Promotion kicked off in New Zealand's Auckland on Thursday.
Zhang Changhong, head of the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Culture and Tourism Development delegation, said in her speech that Chongqing is an important strategic area for the development of China's western region. It is currently working hard on upgrading its tourism resources.
"Chongqing is rich in tourism resources. It has magnificent natural scenery comprising mountains, rivers, forests, springs, waterfalls, gorges and caves. It also has its own Chongqing culture, minority ethnic group culture, immigrant culture, Three Gorges culture, and food culture," said Zhang.
According to the "City Travel and Tourism Impact Report" published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in 2017 and 2018, Chongqing has been first in the top 10 cities with the fastest growing tourism industry in terms of direct contribution to GDP. Chongqing will hold the China Western Tourism Industry Expo in June, and the 2019 Chongqing Global Travel Business Conference in November.
Guo Zongguang, director of the China Cultural Centre in New Zealand, acknowledged that the promotion is not only part of the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, it is also one in a series of events marking "China Culture and Tourism Week," simultaneously celebrated across 34 China Cultural Centres and 19 tourist offices around the world.
"The data shows that the number of people traveling between China and New Zealand reached nearly 300,000 in 2018. China continues to be New Zealand's second largest overseas travel market, and one of its fastest growing. Promotion may inspire some of our New Zealand friends to travel there and see it first hand," said Guo.
Michael Stoke, Business Events Bid Executive, Tourism New Zealand, stressed that China has become the second largest source of tourists in New Zealand. The number of visitors from China reached a record 436,000 in the past year as of the end of April 2019. The Chongqing Tourism Promotion Conference will help the two countries to share high-quality tourism resources and promote tourism and economic cooperation.