Thanks to extra lenience in the world of visas and the Chinese government long-awaited willingness to release its citizens from the world’s most populated country, the Chinese are traveling all over the globe and spending lots of cash in the process.
The attitude towards China in the world of tourism is rapidly changing. China has kept its reputation as a deeply mysterious and culturally rich place that is overloaded with people. However, whereas China has for a very long time deserved a reputation for being able to produce and export almost anything from plastic and metal, it is currently its people that are the most important 'commodity'. It is no coincidence that literature for tourists is now being translated into Chinese languages faster than it has been translated into any other language.
Despite the whole of Asia having been hit by the swine flu crisis of last year, the number of Chinese tourists visiting New Zealand was still on the rise. Now that the fears of the pandemic have been soothed, there has been a 112% increase in the number of Chinese tourists this year. The good news for the New Zealanders is that the Chinese also tend to spend a significant amount of cash while traveling.
It is also true that Chinese tourists have partially replaced tourists from countries that are still reeling from the global financial crisis. For example, the number of Britons has dropped by 15% this year as Britain still struggles to cope with a weak pound. As long as the Chinese stay for the same period of time as the British used to stay and spend the same amount of money, New Zealanders will probably not care about the very evident changes.