eGate open to Chinese travellers
12.28pm 17 November 2017 | News
The first Chinese travellers to officially use the Customs eGates (formerly known as SmartGate) have been welcomed at Auckland International Airport.
Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri and representatives from the Chinese government joined staff and key partners to mark the milestone.
“Customs is part of a multi-agency group, working collaboratively to make eGate available to more nationalities. China is our second largest visitor market, and has contributed to the strong growth in visitor numbers in recent years. So extending the use of eGate facilities to eligible Chinese passport holders makes sense.”
“The expansion of eGate to Chinese passport holders will help enhance the quality of their experience as visitors to New Zealand,” says Ms Whaitiri.
Customs Acting Comptroller, Christine Stevenson says expanding eGate to more countries will help to manage the increasing number of travellers arriving and departing New Zealand.
“By allowing eligible passengers to complete their Customs and Immigration checks quickly and easily, it also enables Customs officers to focus on travellers who may present a higher risk,” says Ms Stevenson.
“More than 24 million people have used Customs’ eGates since they were introduced at New Zealand airports in 2009, and China is the sixth country that we’ve extended the service to.
“Our e-Gate are available in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown to eligible ePassport holders aged 12 years and over from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and from today, China.
“We expect this number will continue to grow, with plans underway to enable ePassport holders from more countries to have access to eGate technology in the near future.”
In 2016, Chinese visitors to New Zealand spent approximately $1.7 billion, and this is projected to increase to more than $5 billion by 2022.