By G9ija

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, sent congratulatory messages respectively to the opening ceremony of 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, which was held Saturday in Wellington.

In his message, Li said tourism is an important area of China-New Zealand cooperation and a driving force for the two peoples’ mutual understanding and friendly ties.

Last year, there were around 600,000 visits between the two countries, Li said, adding that China remains New Zealand’s second largest overseas tourist market.

The China-New Zealand Year of Tourism presents a new opportunity for the two countries to deepen tourism cooperation and enhance people-to-people communication, he said.

The two governments and their respective tourism authorities should enhance services to ensure better experiences for tourists from China and New Zealand, Li said.

More people-to-people contact between China and New Zealand will increase their mutual understanding, which are central to growing popular support for bilateral relations, the Chinese premier said.