Tourism New Zealand's stand at the Japanese Tourism Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase in Tokyo last week was a crowd favourite, reinforcing the popularity and interest in New Zealand as a travel destination.
This is JATA's largest event and provides Tourism New Zealand with an opportunity to directly promote New Zealand to trade and potential travelers.
Almost 120,000 Japanese attended the three-day Expo including over 35,000 trade and press delegates. Around 2,500 potential travelers signed up on the New Zealand stand for further information about travelling to New Zealand.
Tourism New Zealand General Manager Asia Markets Mark Frood said participation in the Expo built on the country's reputation as a stunningly place to visit.
"Japanese love this time of year in New Zealand; the spring lambs and flowers and the longer days that make for ideal touring conditions and after dinner walks - so this travel expo is the perfect opportunity for our Tourism New Zealand team to engage with travelers considering an overseas trip."
Mr Frood also said that participating in the Expo during the Rugby World Cup 2011 period added an extra buzz around New Zealand, portraying it as a place where visitors from around the world were enjoying New Zealand's fun, festival atmosphere.
"I'm excited about the growing interest and popularity in New Zealand here in Japan."
Tourism New Zealand's Expo stand was in partnership with Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand Japan General Manager Ed Overy says the airlines capacity between Japan and New Zealand will increase from post-quake lows by the end of the year.
"The additional capacity reflects encouraging signs that Japanese people are resuming leisure travel again following the Christchurch earthquakes and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
"We're committed to the Japan market and remain confident in seeing demand on this route return," he says.
To take a video tour of the New Zealand booth at JATA Tourism Forum & Travel Showcase, go here (appears at 27:50 to 31:30).
Japan is New Zealand's fifth-largest international tourism market in terms of international visitor arrivals. Find out more about Tourism New Zealand's activity for this market here.