The chief executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa has slammed comments the tourism industry is facing backlash amid a purported break down in New Zealand's relationship with China.
An English version of China’s People’s Daily Newspaper suggests New Zealand has fallen out of favour with Chinese travellers and claims some travellers are dumping plans to come here.
The article quoted one would-be traveller who said New Zealand was stabbing his country in the back.
"Is it a kind of robbery? New Zealand stabbed us in the back but asks for our money? This is double-faced," the 30-something Beijing-based worker surnamed Li, who was described as identifying himself "as a patriot", told the publication.
The chief executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chris Roberts says 90 percent of the article is repeating New Zealand stories that have been written by New Zealand reporters.
"There is one comment about one traveller who does not want to come to New Zealand and we have to take it in that context," he said.
Earlier Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the relationship between New Zealand and China is a complex one and has its challenges after it was questioned this month.
The National Party questioned the relationship after an Air New Zealand flight was turned back from Shanghai on Sunday, and a Chinese tourism event scheduled for next Wednesday at Te Papa was postponed. They also questioned why Ms Ardern hasn't visited China as Prime Minister.