China-New Zealand Year of Tourism opens in February 2019

The official 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism opening ceremony will be held at Museum of New Zealand in February 2019, New Zealand tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said on Monday.

The opening ceremony, scheduled on Feb. 20, 2019, will feature a special event at the national museum Te Papa, hosted by China National Tourism Office. It coincides with the hosting of 2,300-year-old Chinese artefacts as a part of the Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition.

A tourism spot in New Zealand. [File photo: VCG]

A tourism spot in New Zealand. (File photo: VCG)

"The 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism is a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand to showcase what it is that makes us a world class destination, and for us to think about how we can best welcome Chinese visitors to our shores," Davis said in a statement.

"It's also a great opportunity for New Zealanders to learn more about China and its culture, through the Te Papa exhibition and two-way tourism," he said.

More Chinese visitors are coming to New Zealand than ever before, with 450,000 people visiting in the year to June 2018. This is set to increase to 800,000 visitors by 2024, the minster noted.

"New Zealand and China's shared tourism relationship is a special and enduring one and the Year of Tourism is a fitting way to celebrate this," he said.

The closing ceremony will be held in China near the end of 2019, and will be hosted by the New Zealand government.