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Published on : Saturday, April 9, 2016
The Japanese government has finally added a mandate that requires its citizen to take vacations. After seeing Japan’s record as the second worst country in the world taking paid vacations, the government has made it mandatory for all its employees to take five days paid vacations. The managing director at Hawaii Tourism Japan Eric Takahata feels that this is the best time to tap tourists from Japan to Hawaii.
Takahata has planned a well thought out itinerary and suggests that Japanese people can accommodate their leave between two weekends and that will stretch their holiday to 9 days instead of 5. The Hawaiian tourism is launching a campaign to make prospective tourists more aware of their destination.
Though Japanese visitors to Hawaii were slightly higher in February compared to last year, tourist spending has decreased due to exchange rates.
Hawaii is an expensive destination and the trips are proving to be pressing for Japanese tourists which are dissuading them. The airplane seat inventory has decreased on inbound-Hawaii flights, as some carriers shift economy seats to comfier but more expensive ‘economy plus’ seat models. The Hawaiian tourism needs to work on these before wooing Japanese tourists.
Takahata assured that a lot of trans-Pacific carriers are interested in Japan. Total seat capacity will rise when ANA introduces its Airbus 380, he said, and fuel charges are likely to remain minimal. Two low cost carriers to Hawaii Air Asia X and Jin Air are being looked upon as strong transits from Japan to Hawaii.
At present Japanese tourists are choosing tropical destinations like Okinawa which is close to their home. 1.5 million Foreign travellers visited Okinawa prefecture in 2015, in 2014 the increase was about 68 per cent. The destination is continuously growing in popularity. Carl Bastian, managing director of Ryukyu World Office, an international tourism consultancy feels that Okinawa will definitely become as big as Bali or Hawaii, based on sheer numbers.