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Capital’s tourism under-promoted in Japan

Mar 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: Latest News, News


SAKAI: promotion opportunities for Wellington?

A WELLINGTON city councillor’s trip to Japan has prompted another look at potential business opportunities with sister-city Sakai.

Wellington and Hutt City must come up with a plan to strengthen business relations with their Japanese sister cities, Wellington City Council was told last month.

Reporting to the council about her visit to Japan, councillor Hayley Wain said it was vital for both cities to develop a long-term vision to explore potential opportunities with their sister cities Sakai and Minoh.

Both are located in the Osaka prefecture in Japan and sister-city relations were established with Wellington and Hutt City in the mid-1990s.

The Wellington Sakai Association promotes and supports the exchange activities between Wellington and Sakai to expand international understanding. The Hutt Minoh Friendship Trust plays the same role in relation to the Hutt City-Minoh relationship.

Ms Wain travelled to Japan in October 2009 as part of a delegation of members from the both organisations.

She says promoting the Osaka region as a tourism destination is an area to focus on in the next 10 years.

Minoh businesspeople are keen to test New Zealand products, she says. This could be an opportunity to link tourism and business, as one of the tourist shops near the Minoh Waterfall agreed to establish a New Zealand product section.


DELEGATE: Councillor Wain (pic: WCC)

Ms Wain says this could be reciprocated in Wellington.

The visit to Japan was a good chance to expose culture and to educate each other, she says. Staying with Japanese families as home stays was a great way to learn about cultural differences.

Ms Wain, elected city councillor at the age of 18 in 2004, says the people she met were surprised about her age, as in Japan politicians are considered young when in their 50s.

“They are now starting to see some changes. They wanted to see new ideas come in and they want to get young people in as well,” she says.

It was the first trip by the two regional organisations from Wellington together since the sister city relations were established.

At $1,123 the cost of the trip came $136 below budget as the Hutt Minoh Friendship Trust paid $1557 towards airfares.

Last June, Wellington City Council approved up to $1260 from the international relations budget to fund Ms Wain’s trip.

Councillor Rob Goulden, who had been rejected to join the delegation to Japan, says: “I can’t comment on the trip, because I didn’t go – which was fine, by the way – but I think it was a good report.”

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is a graduate from Whitireia Journalism School, now working for a rock magazine in London.
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  1. A direct flight from Wellington to Japan would be a great start… Christchurch and Auckland, and even Queenstown get all the Japanese tourism to NZ. Very rarely do Japanese visitors make it to the capital.

    Does the WCC co-owned Airport have any influence over Air NZ?

    – Jack M.

  2. how lucky we are if we have an opportunity to see some beautiful places in this world…

    nice info..thank you

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