Hokkaido lures in Thai tourists with hot spring attractions

Published on : Wednesday, February 15, 2017

HokkaidoThe northern Japanese island of Hokkaido has started luring innumerable tourists to this region soon after the introduction of a Shinkansen bullet-train service.


The train would link the train service to Tokyo. Last week, Kaoru Ohno, the secretary-general of the Noboribetsu Tourism Association said that the Thai tourists are particularly drawn in by onset resorts and hot springs.


In 2016, China was the largest market for international tourist arrivals in Japan.


Japan had been capable of drawing in nearly 6.37 million visitors that represents a rise of 27.6% from the previous year followed by South Korea with 5 million (with a rise of 27.2%), Taiwan with 4.2 million (up 13.3%) and Hong Kong with about 1.8 million that marks an increase of 20.7%.


These East Asian markets along with Thailand have been responsible for 72.7% of all the global arrivals during the year 2016.


The ski-resort towns in Hokkaido have been investing a great deal of marketing effort into promoting skiing and other winter activities and even the onsen and hot spring facilities to the international markets. It also includes Thailand. The goal is to give a strong boost to the number of foreign tourists visiting the northern region of Japan.


The association is hopeful to witness a greater number of travellers throughout the year and this is its main goal during the winter, said Kaoru.


Kaoru also added that his association had been collaborating with the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA). Some of its members had been invited to visit and experience the thrill of snow festival in Sapporo on Hokkaido last week.


He said that the hotels and over 8,000 rooms in Hokkaido were packed during the winter season since this is the time when several tourists visit Japan, appealed by the snow. Having said that, many of the tourists have also started promoting hot springs and onsen for stays throughout the year.


The vice president of TTAA, Prawit Tongvanichobpakun said that the association would be conducting the annual ‘International Travel Fair’ in Bangkok till Sunday.


He is confident that this event would motivate more Thais to arrive in Japan. He feels that this year, more than one million Thai tourists would be visiting Japan, marking a rise from 900,000 last year. This is primarily due to the waiving of visa requirements.


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