Japan plans to lift up the profiles of the smaller regional airports

Published on : Thursday, March 14, 2019

A team led by the National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) of Japan plans to lift up the profiles of the smaller regional airports of Japan.


While speaking at the Route Asia event this week which took place in Cebu, Philippines from 10-12 March, Yuri Nishiyama of JNTO’s global projects section said: “These airports have small budgets, so we want to promote them by bringing them under the JNTO umbrella.”


Nishiyama added that the Japanese government is also “setting a target of 40 million visitors by 2020 and 60 million by 2040. Since the capacity at the major hubs is becoming full, the only way to meet the target is to bring tourists through these smaller airports.”


The JNTO booth at Routes Asia has representatives from Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Takamatsu, Kagoshima, Shizuoka and Chitose airports. In addition, Okinawa, Tokyo-Narita, Sendai and Chubu have their own individual booths.


Without disclosing the exact city pairs, Nishiyama said Thailand is expecting a huge growth, with 1.1 million inbound visitors last year and 14.7% growth year on year, after Philippines with around 504,000 visitors, an18.8% increase year over year. Also, there is good traffic from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. She explained that JNTO has a tailor-made budget that is allocated to these six Southeast Asian markets for “aggressive marketing”.


JNTO Global Projects Section deputy manager Daisuke Kobayashi also observed that the region was witnessing high demand for the Hokkaido region of Japan due to the cold climate which is not found elsewhere in Southeast Asia. He mentioned that Hokkaido was often second only to Tokyo in regards to traffic and can witness more traffic than Tokyo in certain markets and seasons.


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