Key people from the world’s biggest travel agent, the Japan Travel Bureau
(JTB), will be visiting Pelorus Sound on 8 October on board
Marlborough Travel’s Odyssea
Mr Toru Furasawa from JTB Tokyo head office and Auckland
based Mr Tadashi Echikawa, the recently appointed Managing
Director of JTB NZ, will be joining other VIPs from the Japan
New Zealand Business Council (JNZBC) annual conference in
Nelson. During their visit they will be able to experience
the waters and wilderness of Pelorus, and tastes of Marlborough
The scenery and cuisine of Marlborough will be showcased
to attract more visitors from Japan to this place and its
neighbourhood. The Pelorus visit is being supported by Marlborough
and allied interests coordinated by DecisionMaker Group.
The Ambassador for Marlborough to the Japanese and New Zealand
VIPs, nominated by the Marlborough District Council, will
be Tim Leslie, former CEO of the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.
He will introduce Marlborough’s key messages.
The members of the JNZBC will be provided with information
about and see for themselves the water and wilderness of Pelorus.
Such images can appeal to baby boomer and young urbanized
Japanese wanting an alternative experience. That’s an
image Marlborough Travel reflect for visitors on their Havelock
marina based Odyssea vessel, a floating experience from the
Greenshell Mussel capital of the world.
The VIPs will taste wines, and be introduced to some labels
that capture positive local images and can reach out to more
and more Japanese who could enjoy tastes of Wine Marlborough
here and there.
The visitors will be given beautifully presented gifts of
locally made chocolate. Gift giving and good presentation
are important features of Japanese culture.
They will hear of pristine waters, because Japanese consumers
will be impressed to know that salmon and other seafood is
bred safely here. That’s the message that matters to
New Zealand King Salmon.
Greenshell Mussels, from Sanford’s processing operation
in Havelock, and the sight of mussel farms in Pelorus will
further illustrate options for consumers as well as for business
interested in the potential in aquaculture.
The Department of Conservation will assist understanding
of our environment, and how we like to conserve and use it.
JTB, representatives of the Tokyo and Auckland offices of
the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), of the NZ Overseas
Investment office and other VIPs now being invited, will hear
of hotel investment needs in Blenheim and Picton.
They will hear a targeted set of messages determined with
Destination Marlborough, as it joins others in its region
to present the case for influential Japanese to help take
Marlborough’s message to the Japanese travel trade,
their companies, their connections and clients. The message
is that the Marlborough experience is available for more Japanese,
old and young. The message is supported locally and nationally
by New Zealand tourism leaders.
After the Japanese visitors have come and gone, local interests
and their partners can step up efforts to take the Destination
Marlborough and Marlborough District Council tour, hotel investment
and export messages to Japanese inbound tour operators in
Auckland, to potential investors, hotel managements and other
When local interests are left alone to take the case from
small and medium enterprises to demanding Japanese marketplaces,
they may wilt under the weight. But the gathering on and around
the Marlborough Tourism Odyssea from on Pelorus will be progress
along the route to a cooperative “NZ Inc” marketing
Relevant decision makers may not yet have decided to join
an overtly Destination Marlborough cooperative approach to
the Japan option, giving and sharing leads, expertise and
connection. But they and other institutions in the Marlborough
neighbourhood could develop regional and cross sectoral strategies
and projects to share investment in building Japanese markets.
The Progress Marlborough Economic development strategy draft
report, now available for public consultation, is a tool relevant
local interests can use together.
The strategy, prepared by John Cook and Associates, regional
economic development analysts, for Marlborough Regional Development
Trust is a blue print for the region’s development over
the next decade.
Nelson based John Cook, also a consultant to the United Nations
World Tourism Organisation, has identified questions to explore
Tourism minister Damien O’Connor, who hopes to meet
the JTB representatives, aptly says Japan has been a valuable
tourism industry partner for many years. “It is vital
we work hard to maintain strong links and build on the opportunities
through good relationships” he says.