REEMA LOKESH – Mumbai
The Japanese have finally arrived and are here to tap the Indian outbound market, with renewed focus and promotional activities. The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and the Embassy of Japan recently conducted a series of events to commemorate the 60th year of diplomatic relations between India and Japan in 2012. Apart from other events, there was increased focus on tourism promotion and JNTO conducted a two-city B2B road show and buyer-seller meet, in Mumbai and New Delhi, wherein tourism and hospitality industry stakeholders from the Japanese tourism fraternity were in the country to meet the Indian buyers. All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan Airlines (JAL), JTB Travels, Shinsu Travels, Hokkaido Tourists Centre were also part of the delegation.
Speaking at the event, Motonari Adachi, executive director- JNTO, Singapore Office, said, “India is one of the key focus markets for us to attract tourists to Japan and we have witnessed a remarkable recovery from the Indian market. Japan has made tourism as one their key priorities in uplifting the country’s economy out of the calamities of 2011. JNTO is actively promoting the destination in the Indian market as part of its emerging markets strategy to inspire leisure travellers to visit Japan. In first eight months of 2012, the total number of Indian visitor arrivals stood at 45,200; which is an impressive 18.4 per cent growth compared to the same period in the year 2011. Apart from traditional marketing strategies, Japan is also leveraging on social media platforms like a dedicated ‘Visit Japan from India’ Facebook page, specifically for Indians. Further, Japan has also appointed actor Dia Mirza Handrich to promote Japan tourism in India.
“We take this opportunity to express our gratitude and show appreciation towards Indian visitors for their continuous support to Japan, especially after the twin disaster of earthquake and tsunami last year. We are confident that we would achieve our goal of welcoming 18 million foreign tourists to Japan by 2016 through our sustained promotional activities and tourism friendly policies,” commented Norifumi Idee, commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency. Speaking on the occasion Hajime Hayashi, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan in India, said, “2012 is a landmark year which marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and India. As the ties between two countries grow and strengthen, we sincerely look forward to welcoming and supporting an increasing number of Indian visitors to rediscover the beauty of Japan.”