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Japan is currently in double digit growth to New Zealand 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 following their first trip. In addition to the focus on Active Boomers, targeting a younger traveller mix will further increase the lifetime value of the Japanese market.

Following a period of strong demand and high load factors, Air New Zealand has recently announced an increase in capacity for the Japan market.

In the year ahead, Tourism New Zealand’s strategy of dual target segments will continue. Japan has an aging and wealthy population demographic increasing in size each year with an established trade distribution, so New Zealand will remain a popular destination with ongoing investment in airline joint venture and trade conversion activity targeting this older group dominant segment.

For the younger (increasingly FIT) segment, work to target this segment with a fresh ‘Play On’ message has seen preferences for New Zealand rise in the 20-35 demographic. While this segment is more price-sensitive to airfares and currency fluctuations, they remain crucial in our strategy to grow shoulder season arrivals from Japan.

As a result, Tourism New Zealand will continue to invest in repositioning NZ as a popular and fun destination for the younger segment with integrated campaign activity to target this emerging ‘Independent Professionals’ opportunity.

Results from this strategic approach to target dual audiences are promising, with arrivals returning to growth.