The PATA Foundation’s original Japan Appeal Support cheque for one million yen (US$12,318) has been invested in online communications in Japan. The funds are at the centre of a new campaign to spread accurate information about the Tohoku region of Japan which includes Sendai, Matsushima and Fukushima, the areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami in March.
Mr Kanji Saito, General Manager of Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization said: “We are using this donation to dispatch accurate and updated information in multiple languages via our homepage so that tourists around the world can visit Tohoku with a sense of security.”
He added: “We believe tourism should be a key factor in revitalising the Tohoku region.”
Tohoku Tourism is in the process of developing a multilingual website to enhance its global online presence and its e-marketing activities.
PATA Interim CEO, Mr Bill Calderwood, said: “PATA reaffirms our total confidence in the recovery of Japan as both a vital source market and a safe destination.”
PATA’s Strategic Intelligence Centre noted that inbound and outbound travel in Japan are showing signs of recovery. According to the latest estimates from the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), the number of Japanese outbound travellers in June 2011 was down by less than 3% year-on-year, compared to a drop of 8.4% year-on-year in May 2011.
International arrivals to Japan decreased 36% in June, year-on-year, an improvement on a drop of 50.4% in May.
Visitor arrivals from Korea (ROK), a major source market, dropped 42% in June compared to 58.3% in May.
Visitor arrivals from the UK to Japan were down 42% in April. By June, however, the numbers had recovered to just 30% behind the comparative 2010 numbers.
Calderwood said: “There are initial positive signs of upward momentum that we fully expect to continue in the months ahead.”
PATA noted that there are many attractive B2B and B2C Japanese promotions available in the market place. Many Japanese hotels and airlines are offering special deals. Tour operators have availability for autumn tours 2011.