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Minister looks to rekindle Japanese interest

25 November 2001 Media Statement

Tourism Minister looks to rekindle Japanese interest

The Minister of Tourism Mark Burton flies to Japan tomorrow (Monday) as part of a concerted New Zealand effort to encourage Japanese to start travelling again.

"Many Japanese have reacted to the September 11th terror attacks by putting off travel plans and staying home," Mark Burton said.

"New Zealand hasn't been affected as badly as the USA or Europe, but in October, Japanese visitors to New Zealand were down by 19.5 percent, compared to the same month last year.

"With the average Japanese visitor to New Zealand spending over NZ$4900 per visit, that's $9.7 million less going into the New Zealand economy.

"I have already written to Japanese travel wholesalers advising them that New Zealand remains a welcoming, secure and quality destination. This visit is intended to push that message more directly."

Mark Burton will meet with the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) and major Japanese travel companies. He will also attend a special New Zealand Workshop at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

The Workshop has been organised by Tourism New Zealand and will give New Zealand tourism operators and Regional Tourism Organisations the opportunity to present to over 80 key members of the Japanese travel industry. The Minister will then give the opening address at a New Zealand Night dinner at the hotel.

On Wednesday Mark Burton will promote New Zealand's tourism message at a media conference at the Press Club in Tokyo. He will also visit the New Zealand exhibitors at the JATA Travel Mart.

This is the largest tourism trade show of the year in Asia in both the number of participating countries and exhibitors. Tourism New Zealand, Regional Tourism Organisations and New Zealand tourism companies are attending this year's show and have combined their ten booths to create a "New Zealand Plaza". Visitors to the Travel Mart include 30,000 travel industry members on the trade days and over 30,000 consumers on the Open Day.

"The Government and the industry are making a concerted effort in Japan," Mark Burton said. "It is a vitally important tourism market for New Zealand and I am confident that with the appropriate promotion and a lot of hard work we can achieve some significant results."

Ends

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