Auckland pioneers local advocacy destination guide on WeChat

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and WeChat have launched the Auckland WeChat Mini Program in Guangzhou, China, to provide a way for Auckland’s Chinese-speaking community to recommend the best of the destination to Chinese visitors in a real-time, live chat environment.

The ATEED-developed Mini Program, which was first piloted in February 2019 in Auckland, is aimed at connecting Chinese locals with visitors, thereby providing the latter with “a more local and authentic experience”, said ATEED general manager destination Steve Armitage.

Auckland launches tourism app with WeChat to connect Chinese travellers to locals; AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand attraction pictured

Developed in partnership with an Auckland-based software developer, ATEED publishes user-generated content by locals and visitors that highlights their experiences around the region.

New Zealand tourism minister Kelvin Davis said: “As more and more Chinese tourists choose to travel New Zealand as FITs, the Auckland WeChat Mini Program will become an important platform for connecting these tourists with all that Auckland has to offer.”

“Considering there are over a billion monthly active users on WeChat/Weixin, this is a great opportunity for Auckland to raise its profile and promote its tourism offerings to the Chinese market.”

China is New Zealand’s second largest visitor market, and for Auckland, Chinese visitors are the highest spenders, contributing more than NZ$960 million (US$639 million) in tourism spend annually.

Armitage said the number of Chinese FITs visiting Auckland continues to grow and these visitors are moving away from traditional ways of finding out more about places they want to visit.

“Travellers nowadays want recommendations of what to do and where to go at their fingertips and this mini programme allows for that interaction between visitors and locals,” he said.

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