There is a wave coming. The wave is of 50,000 tourists that will pour out of planes from China in a single week. The wave is expected to hit sometime following the start of the Chinese lunar new year on 07 February 2016. Most will come in via Auckland, but also via Christchurch which has a Chinese airline flying three times a week direct to/from China.
How will New Zealand handle it? Hopefully with grace and classic New Zealand hospitality. Because for all of the negative publicity about Chinese tourists and their driving in New Zealand, their money keeps New Zealand businesses afloat. I should know, working in the rental car industry.
Will it test individual parts of the tourism sector at large? In terms of logistical capacity definitely, especially in towns such as Milford Sound where physical space limits the capacity to develop new facilities and the associated infrastructure.
So, let us welcome this wave of tourists heading for our shores. Let us show them the best New Zealand has to offer and they can take away good memories, mementos and photos of the country. If we see bad driving, rather than follow the Roger Brereton example and strike the driver, let the police know via the *555 hotline.
Keep it classy New Zealand.