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Japanese tourists signal summer in Christchurch

Media release for immediate use

Japanese tourists signal summer in Christchurch

The arrival of Japanese tourists into Christchurch Airport is a sure sign of summer.

The scheduled seasonal flights from Japan arrive here on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and come direct from Narita in Tokyo.

Jim Boult, Chief Executive of Christchurch Airport, says the services have always been popular with Japanese visitors, who know exactly what they want to see here.

“Like most international travellers, Japanese visitors come to New Zealand for the scenery they see in travel brochures – the South Island mountains and lakes,” says Mr Boult.

“That is why they love flying in to Christchurch over the Southern Alps. They fly in here over the mountains, land with a clear view out the windows of the mountains and the promise of the brochures starts to be delivered.

“Christchurch Airport welcomes millions of visitors every year and it’s clear the South Island is a must-see destination for Japanese travellers.”

Air New Zealand General Manager Japan Ed Overy says this year’s charter programme is additional to Air New Zealand’s regular scheduled services from Tokyo and Osaka and is expected to bring up to 3500 additional Japanese tourists into New Zealand over the peak summer months.

“Christchurch is a hugely appealing destination for Japanese visitors and these charter services will be a welcome boost to South Island tourism over summer,” says Mr Overy. “The services are very popular and consumers and trade partners like flying directly into Christchurch, because they can begin tours of the scenic South Island immediately after landing. Travel to New Zealand for our high season from Japan is looking very positive and we hope to bring many thousands of Japanese visitors to Christchurch over the summer, on our scheduled services from Tokyo and six charters from Nagoya commencing on Boxing Day (December 26).”

The seasonal services from Japan direct to Christchurch will have the added appeal of a new service being offered by Air New Zealand, flying to Mt Cook and on to Queenstown. The Mt Cook flights begin on December 23, coinciding with celebration of the birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.

The beginning of the regular seasonal services from Japan in late October has led to a 110% increase in Japanese arrivals into Christchurch for the past month. Arrivals from Asia are also on the rise, with Korea up 70% this month. So far this year, Singapore is up 20%, Chinese arrivals are up 32% and Hong Kong up 44%.

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