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Japan Push As Market Improves

Date Published: 21 June 2010

Skiing is one of the 10 themes being promoted through Tourism New Zealand's current search engine marketing work in Japan.

Tourism New Zealand has just launched a new online marketing campaign in Japan, which aims to convert interest in New Zealand into bookings as the market picks up.

The campaign will raise the profile of Tourism New Zealand's consumer travel website and target groups of consumers most likely to be interested in a New Zealand holiday.

Ten new themed features have been added to the Japanese-language website highlighting ski/snowboard, world heritage, food and wine, hiking, cycling, golf and luxury holiday experiences. These are supported by around 70 special deals from operators and Japanese trade partners.

Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager Japan Jason Hill says the 10 themes were chosen for their popularity among Japanese consumers.

"Our research shows these types of holidays appeal to the Japanese but are not well known in relation to New Zealand."

He says the campaign is using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to ensure New Zealand is visible when Japanese consumers search for holiday ideas relating to these themes.

"Buying keywords in search engines such as Yahoo! and Google ensures consumers find us when they search for "ski" or "NZ ski" online. Through our paid search work Tourism New Zealand's website will appear in the paid sponsors section at the top of the search results page, attracting the interest of those planning their next ski holiday," says Jason Hill.

"SEM allows a very targeted and cost effective approach to delivering quality information of interest to our target audience (Japanese consumers already considering New Zealand) leading them down a path to purchase."

Running over the next year, the campaign will build on signs of a recovery in Japanese visitor arrivals, after numbers last year were negatively impacted by Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu and the economic downturn. Japan's economy is growing more strongly than expected and consumer sentiment is on the up.

Japanese arrivals are up 6 per cent for the calendar year to date (five months to end of May 2010), with early feedback from agents suggesting the 2010/11 summer should be better than last year.

Joint promotional activity with industry partners (JTB, Hankyu and Air New Zealand) will also run in leading Japanese newspaper Asahi for three weeks from the end of June.

The campaign is set to reach around 18 million readers in the Tokyo area, primarily within New Zealand's core target market of 50+ group travellers, and will promote travel over the spring shoulder season.

"The Japanese love flowers and gardening so we are using this sort of imagery to attract them in what's traditionally a quieter time for travel to New Zealand," says Jason Hill.

He says the 50+ target audience are still high consumers of newspaper media. A newspaper promotion in Asahi in February successfully generated an additional 600 bookings through partners and with Air New Zealand during the four week period, creating an additional incremental spend of around NZD2.8 million.

Japan is New Zealand's fifth largest visitor market, with 80,687 arrivals in the year ending May 2010.

The campaign will raise the profile of Tourism New Zealand's consumer travel website www.newzealand.com/travel/japan and target groups of consumers most likely to be interested in a New Zealand holiday.

Ten new themed features have been added to the Japanese-language website highlighting ski/snowboard, world heritage, food and wine, hiking, cycling, golf and luxury holiday experiences. These are supported by around 70 special deals from operators and Japanese trade partners.

Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager Japan Jason Hill says the 10 themes were chosen for their popularity among Japanese consumers.

"Our research shows these types of holidays appeal to the Japanese but are not well known in relation to New Zealand."

He says the campaign is using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to ensure New Zealand is visible when Japanese consumers search for holiday ideas relating to these themes.

"Buying keywords in search engines such as Yahoo! and Google ensures consumers find us when they search for "ski" or "NZ ski" online. Through our paid search work Tourism New Zealand's website will appear in the paid sponsors section at the top of the search results page, attracting the interest of those planning their next ski holiday," says Jason Hill.

"SEM allows a very targeted and cost effective approach to delivering quality information of interest to our target audience (Japanese consumers already considering New Zealand) leading them down a path to purchase."

Running over the next year, the campaign will build on signs of a recovery in Japanese visitor arrivals, after visitor numbers last year were negatively impacted by Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu and the economic downturn. Japan's economy is growing more strongly than expected and consumer sentiment is on the up.

Japanese arrivals in May were up by 51.4 per cent on the previous year, and up 6 per cent for the calendar year to date, with early feedback from agents suggesting the 2010/11 summer should be better than last year.

Joint promotional activity with industry partners (JTB, Hankyu and Air New Zealand) will also run in leading Japanese newspaper Asahi for three weeks from the end of June.

The campaign is set to reach around 18 million readers in the Tokyo area, primarily within New Zealand's core target market of 50+ group travellers, and will promote travel over the spring shoulder season.

"The Japanese love flowers and gardening so we are using this sort of imagery to attract them in what's traditionally a quieter time for travel to New Zealand," says Jason Hill.

He says the 50+ target audience are still high consumers of newspaper media. A newspaper promotion in Asahi in February [link to story] successfully generated an additional 600 bookings through partners and with Air New Zealand during the four week period, creating an additional incremental spend of around NZD2.8 million.

Japan is New Zealand's fifth largest visitor market, with 80,687 arrivals in the year ending May 2010.

Read more about Japan in the online market guide

 

Search Engine Marketing is becoming a foundation of Tourism New Zealand market campaigns around the world. Read more