VisitBritain is reinforcing its increased investment and commitment to the world’s seventh most valuable source market for international tourism by taking a trade delegation to Japan this week, where it will introduce British tourism businesses to key Japanese travel buyers.
Taking place in Tokyo, the Japan Mission will see a series of meetings and seminars looking to secure business from Japan’s quickly recovering outbound travel sector.
The delegation includes regional tourist boards, city and tourist attraction organisations, hotel groups, transportation and specialist tour operators.
Earlier this month VisitBritain rolled out a series of advertisements in Tokyo, showcasing the best of British culture, countryside and heritage.
The ads form part of a £25m GREAT image campaign, which has included GREAT branded trains running on the JR Yamanote Line and billboards and digital screen commercials at Tokyo Metro Underground.
Japan remains an important market for Britain and is one of the world’s largest source markets for tourism expenditure, with an outbound traffic of 16.63 million tourists.
Britain ranks as one of the top European destination for Japanese travellers - in 2011, the UK welcomed a six per cent increase in arrivals from Japan compared to the previous year.
VisitBritain research shows Japanese visitors also come back to Britain more times than to any other European destination, with 26 per cent of visitors having been to Britain more than four times.
As part of the mission, VisitBritain is to launch its highly successful global online training programme BritAgent.
The programme, designed to equip Japanese travel agents with a deeper understanding of the UK, will see agents who complete the training awarded BritAgent certification. BritAgent is currently running in more than 20 countries around the world.
Head of the mission and VisitBritain’s overseas network director, Keith Beecham, said: “Our commitment to the Japanese outbound sector is stronger than ever, highlighted by the fact that we are bringing a strong delegation of British tourism businesses to meet with Japanese trade in this special year for Britain.
“We have increased our marketing investment in Japan and millions of commuters here in Tokyo will have seen our GREAT images that we hope will inspire them to choose Britain for their next holiday.”