By Political Editor Duncan Garner in Tokyo
Prime Minister John Key will today push for Japanese tourists to visit New Zealand.
But the reality is, they no longer travel down-under in the numbers they used to.
Before the recession hit in 2008, more than 114,000 Japanese tourists visited New Zealand every year.
Now that figure is down to 68,000, in the year ending July 2012.
Mr Key puts the decline in numbers down to the recession but says he is keen to stop the decline.
So the Prime Minister will host an event in Tokyo this morning pushing the latest tourism campaign, called ‘100% Middle Earth -100% Pure New Zealand’.
Representatives from Air New Zealand and Warner Brothers will also speak at the event.
Air New Zealand is expected to reveal a number of Hobbit related initiatives at the event.
Mr Key will hold a formal meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Noda later today, before returning home to New Zealand tomorrow night.
source: newshub archive