Growing off-peak travel from Japan

Hot on the heels of summer campaigning, Tourism New Zealand's largest campaign for the year out of Japan is underway with Air New Zealand, specifically promoting the New Zealand shoulder season.

In the first week of the campaign, Air New Zealand reported its best ever online sales week in Japan. Nick Mudge, Tourism New Zealand's Regional Manager Japan and Korea was happy with this positive indicator and is confident about growing the number of off-peak visitors to New Zealand.

"Part of Tourism New Zealand's strategic marketing plan is to spread the flow of visitors to New Zealand more evenly throughout the year, aiming to take pressure off some of our busy summer hotspots. The more growth we achieve during the shoulder season, the more evenly spread operator revenue becomes throughout the year too."

Headlining the campaign, Air New Zealand has released a special all-inclusive airfare of ¥88,000 (~NZ$1,000), targeting our key segments of Young Adventurers and Senior Nature Lovers. This year's campaign target for the Japan market shoulder season is an additional 7,000 visitors across the April to October 2015 period, which is forecast to add almost NZ$20 million to the tourism sector.

Tourism New Zealand's own campaign, trade partner and PR activity have been closely aligned with Air New Zealand's activities to support the campaign. For example, 100% Pure New Zealand and Air NZ digital promotions are planned across Facebook, Google and numerous Japan advertising networks until the end of February, using imagery from Auckland, Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook and Queenstown.

There are eight newspaper advertisements appearing in the Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri with a combined circulation of 18 million in the greater Tokyo area. 

TV broadcast exposure is confirmed with three high profile Japanese travel shows airing throughout February to coincide with campaign on sale dates. The total combined audience for these broadcasts is upwards of 15 million with an expected estimated advertising value (EAV) of more than NZ$5 million.

Air New Zealand General Manager Japan Scott Carr says the airline is confident in the growth of the Japan market for travel to New Zealand.

"We're investing significantly in the Japanese market through marketing initiatives and joint campaigns such as this one, as well as investing in the customer experience for those travelling on the Tokyo - Auckland route. We recently introduced the revolutionary new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on the route, which is fitted with the very latest in on-board technology including the innovative Economy Skycouch, spacious new Premium Economy and lie-flat Business Premier seats," says Scott.

Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand have also launched the 2015 individual famil programme during the campaign period, inviting 50 travel sellers here to experience New Zealand for themselves during the shoulder season.

The Japan market is currently in a growth phase reaching 81,136 visitors for the year ended December 2014, representing an 8.8 per cent increase for the year with holiday arrivals in December 19.2 per cent ahead of last year.

"This campaign will ensure strong momentum from Japan market is continued into 2015," says Nick.

View the campaign here.

Read Air New Zealand's media release here.