Japan is New Zealand's fifth-largest tourism market and
is a large, attractive market for New Zealand to
pursue, both due to its current value and its future potential.
Japanese visitors are valuable from a 'total lifetime' perspective
with visitors, on average, returning to New Zealand 2.7 times after
their first trip.
For around a decade visitor arrivals to New Zealand
were in decline, reducing 60 per cent between 2002 and 2011. This
was largely the result of the slowing Japanese economy and a number
of one-off events/natural disasters. Since 2012, however, the
market has been showing good signs of recovery.
The mix of age groups travelling from Japan is changing, with an
increasing number of outbound tourists being younger in age (20-29
year olds are now the largest outbound segment). Historically, New
Zealand has focussed on appealing to the older Japanese traveller;
however, this has resulted in New Zealand's positioning, appeal and
preference being lower for the younger segment.
Tourism New Zealand, with key partners, has initiated a strategy
to target the younger audience. This is being done by
employing different messages and media selection, through different
product offerings and by utilising different channels.
The strategy also continues to target the older visitor segment
due to the value they deliver New Zealand, and the potential from a
large about-to-retire baby-boomer demographic.
Early results from the new strategic approach to dual target
audiences are promising, with arrivals returning to
Japan is the new "comeback kid" thanks to good growth,
which started to be seen in 2012 for the first time in over a
decade. This growth looks certain to continue...