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Market overview

Japan is a large market that we are active in due to its current value and future potential.

Japan is currently in a growth phase following a long period of decline from 2004-2011. Visitor numbers recently returned to the 100,000 mark for the first time in a decade. This growth looks set to continue due to a large about-to-retire-baby-boomer demographic, strong airline capacity commitments and improving consumer confidence.

We organise and participate in a number of offshore training and networking events with travel sellers each year which New Zealand regions and operators can take part in. Take a look at our event calendar for more information.

Key insights 

  • Our primary target segment in Japan is independent professionals.
  • The traditional peak period for Japanese visitors is from November to March.
  • Research shows Japanese youth are motivated by adventure and refreshment and active boomers by nature and the outdoors, which is great news for New Zealand as these types of activities exist in abundance.

Marketing and trade activity

Marketing communications in Japan are responsible to grow motivation and preference of New Zealand as a holiday destination in line with our seasonal and regional dispersal strategy.

Key marketing activities include the implementation of the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign and joint venture campaigns with online travel agents (OTA’s) and airlines. Both of these focus on driving shoulder season travel to New Zealand.

We also have global media partnerships that enable us to deliver strong destination engagement in display and social media through targeting capabilities. 

Our international travel trade training programme, the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Programme, is active in the Japan market. The programme up-skills travel agents’ knowledge of New Zealand so they can better sell it as a holiday destination. As part of this programme selected travel agents are invited to New Zealand on familiarisation (famil) trips to experience the product they are selling to their client.

100,000 Visitor arrivals from Japan recently surpassed this number.

We also host and attend travel trade events in Japan, such as KiwiLink Japan 2018 which will take place on 8-9 March 2018.

Airline activity            

Air New Zealand operates daily flights from Narita International Airport to New Zealand, increasing to 10 times a week during peak season.

In November 2016 Air New Zealand added a seasonal Osaka service. In July 2017 the airline also added a direct service from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to New Zealand. This service is expected to create an additional 40% growth in capacity over the shoulder season.

More information

Exchange rates: www.xe.com

GDP growth: www.economist.com

For more information on the Japan economy view the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Japan market guide