Direct China to Christchurch air services announced last week could see a growth in business event activity for the South Island of New Zealand.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive, Tim Hunter, anticipates tourism numbers from China to grow by 20,000 per annum, and numbers could also rise in business event activity.

China Southern Airlines, the largest airline in Asia and the third largest in the world, will fly three services a week between the South Island and China from December. The year-round service will add 70,000 seats into the South Island and $100 million per annum to the GDP across regional South Island.