Air New Zealand today confirmed a summer season charter programme of 29 flights to New Zealand over the December 2013 - March 2014 season bringing around 6,000 Japanese visitors to experience the key tourist regions across the country, in comparison to 14 services carrying 2,800 visitors last summer.
Tourism New Zealand's Regional Manager Japan and Korea Nick Mudge says the return of an expanded charter programme will support the continuing recovery of the market.
"The 22 flights destined for Christchurch are also welcomed as the city works through its own recovery and will be a welcome boost to the wider region.
Japanese arrivals for the year ending July 2013 are up 8 per cent on last year and are starting to appear more like the arrivals we were seeing before the earthquakes of 2011.
"The quality of the Japanese market has long been important to the New Zealand tourism industry, and this charter programme provides a great opportunity to deliver more high value customers from Japan over our peak summer season.
Tourism New Zealand is supporting the charters with a programme of trade training and consumer seminars working directly with the Japanese trade partners.
Typical itineraries for visitors flying into New Zealand on the charter services include onward travel to popular tourist destinations including Auckland, Rotorua, Canterbury Mt Cook, Queenstown and Fiordland.
For more information on Japan visit the Japan market pages here.