The Central Economic Development Agency, CEDA, has partnered with Take Me 2 The World, a Palmerston North-based TECNZ ITO member, to create a Short-Term Study Tour itinerary, aimed at potential Chinese international students and their parents.
The purpose of the one-week programme and itinerary is to raise awareness of the secondary school study and lifestyle opportunities in Manawatu and offer an immersive experience for students and their families to experience all that’s on offer in the city and region. CEDA is responsible for organising the education element of the programme, while Take Me 2 The World, which specialises in customised tours, will lead the tourism component.
China is New Zealand’s second-largest international tourism market and this programme is also designed to leverage the opportunities created through the 2019 China New Zealand Year of Tourism. Each year, Palmerston North hosts around 800 international students from China, 100 of whom study at secondary school.
CEDA is responsible for supporting the growth of the international education sector in Manawatu by working in partnership with education providers in the region. This is achieved through promoting and showcasing Manawatu as a fantastic place to study and live, ensuring students who are studying here have the best possible experience, and identifying pathways for international students to enter regional employment opportunities.
“China is one of CEDA’s focus markets and this programme is an exciting way to grow awareness and engage with people who are actively looking at studying abroad, and ideally have them choose Manawatu” says CEDA’s International Market Coordinator, Gatsby Wang.
The programme will take students into secondary school classes so they can experience the learning environments and culture of the education providers here, while Take Me 2 The World will take parents to experience local highlights like Wildbase Recovery, Feilding Sale Yards, Te Manawa Museum, Te Apiti Windfarm, and Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge and Tui Brewery, amongst other things.
The week-long itinerary is a road trip from Auckland to Manawatu and then on to Wellington. Along the way, families will experience a range of New Zealand ‘must-do’ activities such as the Auckland Museum, including a Maori cultural performance, Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, Agrodome Farm Show and Tour, Redwood Treetop Walk, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand and Weta Workshop, to name a few.
The programme will officially be launched at the New Zealand Sister Cities Conference in Palmerston North, from March 21 – 23. The conference brings together mayors from around New Zealand and international delegations from Palmerston North’s sister city, Missoula in Montana, USA and the city’s friendship city in Japan, Mihara.
Nats Subramanian, the Chief Tour Leader at Take Me 2 The World says, “This is a fantastic example of collaboration between a local Inbound Tourism Operator and the region’s Economic Development Agency. This really helps in bringing international visitors to the Manawatu region and gives us the opportunity to provide an authentic Kiwi experience to them”.
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