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Tourism body gets $2 million shot in the arm

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 28th November 2001

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The government plans to inject another $2 million into Tourism New Zealand to be spent on marketing the country to visitors from Japan.

The move is a response to a 20% drop in tourists from Japan following the events of September 11 and concerns about air safety and general economic uncertainty.

Tourism Minister Mark Burton announced the extra funding in the middle of a visit to Japan, where he is meeting with senior government and tourism industry officials in an attempt to rekindle business for New Zealand's tourism industry.

Tourism New Zealand has welcomed the extra cash and says it will be used to implement a major recovery initiative in Japan without having to divert resources from other key markets.

As part of the strategy there are plans to run the "100% Pure New Zealand" campaign in daily newspapers in Japan.

Tourism New Zealand says altogether around $5.5 million will be spent on a marketing campaign in combination with Japanese industry partners and Air New Zealand (NZSE: AIRVA), which will stump up with discounted airfares.

"This is the largest private partnership campaign Tourism New Zealand has ever negotiated in Japan," says Tourism New Zealand boss, George Hickton.

"Japan is a very important tourism market for New Zealand both in size and foreign-exchange earnings. The security-conscious Japanese market has been the hardest hit since the aftermath of 11 September."

The campaign will also had further impetus to a "reassurance letter" from Prime Minister Helen Clark which was published as a full-page advertisement in major Japanese newspapers on Wednesday.

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