Tourism New Zealand believes the establishment of flights between Auckland and Guangzhou in China, will lead to an economic boost worth $50 million.
China Southern Airlines is to fly the route three times a week, via Melbourne, from April. Guangzhou is China's third largest airport.
Tourism NZ says that should increase visitor numbers from China over the next three years from 115,000 to 170,000 annually.
The organisation has already stepped up its marketing campaign in southern China.
Aviation commentator Peter Clark says it will be interesting to see what standard of service China Southern Airlines will provide.
Air New Zealand currently flies to Beijing and Shanghai five times a week.