Japan is New Zealand's fifth-largest tourism market. After
a challenging 2011, the market showed good signs of recovery in the
latter part of 2012 and on into 2013. This has been helped by a
general recovery in outbound travel from Japan, increased
promotions and capacity from multiple carriers, renewed demand
among Japan's traditional senior travellers and an increased focus
on attracting Japan's younger travellers to New Zealand.
Outbound travel from Japan is forecast to remain
consistent over the next few years, following growth of
4.5 per cent in 2012. Japan 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
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. In FY13 Tourism New
Zealand, with key partners, 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
Early results from the new strategic approach are promising, with
arrivals returning to growth. The next three years will see this
new strategy of dual target audiences continued.
Japan is the new "comeback kid" thanks to good growth
over the last 12 months, for the first time in over a decade.
This growth looks certain to continue due to...