JNTO sets out 2012 Aussie plan

JNTO sets out 2012 Aussie plan
By admin


 

Japan’s tourism agency will turn its focus in 2012 to convincing Australians to visit the destination outside of the popular ski season.
While Australian visitor numbers during 2011’s ski season had returned strongly post-earthquake, down just 11.7% in December on the year before, there were fewer arrivals during the rest of the year.
The challenge was now to convince the Aussie market to try some of Japan’s “green season activities,” according to Yukio Yamashita, executive director of JNTO’s Sydney office.
“We continue to promote the snow season, but in addition to that, we will start promoting Japan golf, trekking, cycling, attending and taking part in Matsuri (Japanese festivals), surfing and other activities,” he said.
Yamashita told Travel Today that Australian numbers had recovered since the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade downgraded its travel advice. He stressed that “word of mouth” from returning travellers was its most effective tool in convincing travellers that Japan is now safe for travel.
He revealed that 2012 is looking promising, with many major travel agents reporting that cherry blossom (Sakura) tours are already fully booked and that school trips are “gearing up”.
MICE bookings had also recovered well, coming back “quicker than leisure”, he said.
Australia remained Japan’s sixth most significant market in 2011, totalling 162,700 visitors for the year.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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