Japan claws back Australian visitors

By admin

Australian arrivals to Japan clawed their way back in the second half of 2011, with December recording a decrease of just 11.7% compared with the year before.
The improvement comes as Japanese tourism prepares to launch a major trade, online and print marketing campaign.
Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) figures revealed the December figure was far better than the dramatic fall just after March’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear scare. Visitor number in the months after tragedy virtually evaporated.
The improved performance in the second half of the year took the total number of Australian visitors for the year to 162,700. While still down by almost 28%, the month-by-month declines are slowing.
“Australian tourists [have returned] to Japan since September 2011 when the Smarttraveller Advisory for travel to Japan by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade returned to the normal pre-event level,” JNTO executive director Yukio Yamashita said.
He added that Japan was seeing last minute bookings for its ski season with its “generous” snowfalls, and for cherry blossom tours in the spring.
February and March will see the tourism body undertake a major trade, online and print promotion of Japan in Australia, its sixth most important market.
Overall visitor numbers to Japan for the year totalled 6.2 million, down 27.8% on the 2010 figure of 8.6 million, its best record to date.

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

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