Tourism in Japan has come into sharper focus recently, with the Rugby World Cup taking place next year and the Olympic Games to follow in 2020. Here Matthew Joslin, marketing and communications manager in the UK for the Japan National Tourism Board, tells Breaking Travel News how the local hospitality sector is preparing to welcome travellers from across the globe.
ITB Asia has signed a partnership with the Japan National Tourism Organisation of Singapore. The memorandum of cooperation with Asia’s leading travel trade show looks to propel Japan up the international business and events destination chart. “Japan is a prime MICE destination in the region,” said Katrina Leung, executive director of Messe Berlin (Singapore).
Japan has ended speculation suggesting its national tourism authority would offer 10,000 free flights to the country in 2012. While the initiative, designed to boost consumer confidence in the wake of the 2011 tsunami, did initially appear to have government backing, funding has now been withdrawn.
Japan National Tourism Organization President Tadatoshi Mamiya (pictured) has praised tourism industry partners from all over the world for the level of material and emotional support that was received in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster.
After assessing the situation in Japan, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has reaffirmed its belief the vast majority of the country is safe to travel to. Nearly all the country is operating as normal, with the exception of the locally impacted tsunami area in the vicinity around the Fukushima nuclear plants.
Japan is to take centre stage for the final session of the 9th WTTC Travel & Tourism Summit, against a backdrop that the country has returned to recession as a result of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Its economy has been dealt a harsher blow by the disaster than expected, contracting by 0.9 percent in the quarter ending March 30.
The British government is chartering planes to fly Britons who want to leave Tokyo back to the UK. The FCO has advised its nationals in Tokyo and in north eastern Japan to consider leaving due to radiation fears after explosions at a nuclear power station in Fukushima Daiichi.