With Chinese and Japanese tourism on the rise, A Queenstown-based travel company recently launched, Qbook maps – maps of Queenstown produced in both Japanese and Chinese languages.

Since launching in late December 2013, the pocket-size maps, which open up to full information sheets on local attractions, activities, shops and restaurants, have proved popular among Asian visitors.

“Not only do visitors love them but we’ve had really strong support from Queenstown businesses keen to be listed on the maps as they see this as a fantastic platform to connect their business to the Asian market,” Qbook director Yoji Kimura said.

Mr Kimura, who owns and operates two booking centres, Qbook Central in Shotover Street and Qbook Kawarau Village, said that while many businesses were focused on emerging Chinese markets, they should not lose sight of continued growth in the Japanese market too.

“I know from my visits to both countries that we’re going to see more independent visitors from Japan and China, people who aren’t travelling in groups where their itinerary is fixed,” he said.

“We’ve also seen an increase in younger travellers from Japan with more time and more opportunities to experience adventurous activities.”

The Chinese version of the Qbook map and website has links to the top Chinese social media site Weibo and there is also a QR code linking through WeChat, another new Chinese communication tool.

Mr Kimura said Qbook was already seeing WeChat being used as a last-minute booking tool.

“Mainly through WeChat we have a lot of Chinese New Year bookings coming through, and looking at the numbers I’d say this year’s celebrations are going to be huge for Queenstown,” he said.

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