27 September 2017 at 9:00 am

Education Tauranga makes first Japan visit

An Education Tauranga delegation visited Tokyo for the first time in early September to explore business opportunities.

Japan Tauranga site 1
From left: Kevin Su, of the Maibara Board of Education, with Taichi Yamamoto, Director of the Maibara Board of Education, and ENZ's Misa Kitaoka.

The delegation of 20 education providers ranged from primary school to tertiary, and were keen to establish new connections in Japan.

The three-day programme kicked off with a presentation on the Japan market by ENZ’s Misa Kitaoka. This was followed by visits by most delegates to four primary schools, arranged by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education and the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“The primary school visits provided an excellent opportunity to introduce the Bay of Plenty region including its Maori language and culture as well as the primary school experience available in Tauranga,” says Misa.

On the last day, ENZ and Education Tauranga co-hosted an agent seminar and networking reception for about 40 travel and education agents looking for new partners in the Bay of Plenty region.

Misa said the reception coincided with a visit by the director of the Maibara Board of Education in Shiga Prefecture. Maibara is a city set to act as a ‘host town’ for New Zealand while taking part in the Japanese government’s promotion of exchanges between local municipalities and nations participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

“The event provided a good opportunity for Tauranga and Maibara to explore future collaboration combining education and sports,” Misa said.

Misa said that, in Japan, destination marketing plays a key role when agents, students and families are choosing an overseas study destination.

“Visits by regional delegations are a good marketing practice because they combine the promotion of a region and the providers within the region.

“ENZ can provide in-market assistance by hosting an event at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo and in other cities to gather a group of Japanese agents and educators, resulting in a wider outreach to industry partners and stakeholders,” said Misa.

She added that the City of Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture, another host town for New Zealand, will shortly start a programme to send high school students to Otago Polytechnic.

With the new opportunities lying ahead of Japan's major sporting games in 2020, Anne Young from Education Tauranga reported that "many new agent relationships were established” at the reception.

ENZ had been an excellent conduit for building and increasing market opportunities between Education Tauranga and Japan, Anne said.

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