Media tourists on royal trail
Three international media tourists from prominent Chinese fashion magazines are in Marlborough following in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Yesterday they toured Blenheim's Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, which gained world attention after the royal couple were photographed there in April.
Tourism New Zealand are hosting Elle Men China feature editor Lan Zhoa, Rayli Fashion Pioneer director chief special editor Duan Jinxi, and Elle China feature editor Jamie Ge for six days, taking them on their own "royal" tour.
Destination Marlborough marketing communications manager Jason Henry said they were the first international media tourists to follow the path of the royals. "We've had others through that have been quite interested and it's been a good drawcard. But in terms of specially wanting to follow the royals this is the first lot."
As part of their visit to Marlborough they would also be wined and dined at Wither Hills and would stay overnight at Bay of Many Coves resort, Henry said.
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre chief executive Jane Orphan said the royal tour had given them worldwide exposure and the best April visitor numbers on record.
"It's brilliant. It's the great job that Destination Marlborough does - bringing these international tourists, the tour operators, directly here, because a place like Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre you've really got to experience it.
"There is starting to be more definite interest from China . . . I think the Chinese have gone to some of the major tourism destinations in New Zealand but they are starting to show more interest in the other provinces, including Marlborough."
Shanghai-based Elle China feature editor Jamie Ge said they were invited by the New Zealand Tourism Board and given the option of a "themed" tour.
"It's a wonderful trip and we wish we had more time here."
They had visited Christchurch and Kaikoura before heading to Marlborough, she said. "China hasn't covered many details about New Zealand travel, up until now, so it's the first time [we can] present this country and the places of interest to our readers."
Zhoa would focus on the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre because that was what his readers would be interested in.
"In China, there's a huge group of military fans. [They want to know] about the history, about the different models of the aircraft and they would be fascinated by this place and the original ones [aircraft] that are still [able to] fly."
The trio would also take a Greenshell Mussel Cruise as part of their two-day visit to Marlborough.
The Marlborough Express