“Tourism is the frontier for Japan”.
That was the message delivered by prime minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan to the 1,200 delegates assembled for the start of the Opening Ceremony of the 12th WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo.
Prime minister Noda recognised some of the issues facing Japan – its declining birth rate, an ageing population, amongst others – and he cited the importance of tourism as a factor in the economy.
He highlighted the many wonderful all-year tourism attractions of Japan, particularly of the Tohoku region which was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11th 2011.
Promoting Japan was therefore of significant importance to the Japanese Government and to the Japanese people – he recognised that some areas “needed further development, but tourism is the frontier for Japan” as it attracts international visitors, creates jobs and develops relations with people.
His final request was to the assembled delegates – to take home the message that Japan is “a safe, attractive destination for businesses, for conferences and for all areas of tourism”.
This was a message echoed by Michael Frenzel, WTTC chairman, and chairman of the executive board of TUI AG who said: “There is no doubt in our minds that Japan is well and truly open for business once again – and that Asia will be the main driver of growth for the global Travel & Tourism industry over the next 20 years or so.”