The impact of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan and measures that need to be taken throughout the Travel & Tourism industry to ensure a speedy recovery, will be discussed by industry leaders during the closing session of the 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas on Thursday 19 May.
Japan received 8.7 million overseas visitors and more than 16 million Japanese people travelled overseas in 2010, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). Total tourism expenditure (including overseas and domestic visitors) was JPY 13 billion. The JTB Corp had expected this growth to continue in 2011.
However, following the earthquake and tsunami that struck on 11 March, there were sharp falls in international tourist arrivals, with potential visitors from all countries reluctant to visit, according to JNTO.
In addition to this drop in visitors to Japan, the JNTO has reported that resident departures from Japan fell by 18% in March over 2010, representing a decline of 280,000 trips from 1.56 million to 1.28 million.
Early estimates of damage suggest costs could be up to US$300 billion or around 6% of Japanese GDP, according to recent figures from the Japanese Economy Ministry (compared with US$100 billion for the Kobe earthquake in 1995).
A high-level delegation of senior Japanese business leaders will come together in Las Vegas on Thursday 19 May to describe first-hand what the events of 11 March have meant for the country, its people and the Travel & Tourism industry.
The concluding Summit session in Las Vegas will address the twin themes of rebuilding infrastructure and confidence - what challenges lie ahead in reconstruction and how can the country reassure the world consumers that Japan is fully open for business in order to kick-start the recovery in inbound, domestic and outbound Travel & Tourism.
Speakers on this important panel include:
Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman, Toshiba (Chairman, Tokyo 2012 Host Committee)
Mutsutake Otsuka, Chairman, East Japan Railway Company (Vice Chairman, Tokyo 2012 Host Committee)
David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC
Topics that will inform the discussion include:
How can Japan reassure consumers around the world that Japan is open for business?
What is the plan of action for the next twelve months?
What role can the media play in supporting the recovery?
What are other organisations inside and outside Japan doing?
What are the key messages for the industry and governments?
To what extent is the recent fall in visitors the result of traveller perceptions?
Why is it so important for Japanese nationals to continue travelling?
The role that the WTTC can play in supporting Japan’s recovery
WTTC has pledged their support for Travel & Tourism in Japan in the run up to the 12th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, which will take place in Tokyo in April 2012.