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Published on : Friday, June 24, 2016
This particular menu was actually an innovation by none other than the Japan branch of the Korea Tourism Organisation. It comprises of special Korean food loved by Japanese people, which includes, kimchi pasta and bulgogi (Korean marinated beef).
If you take a tour inside the cafe, you will notice various advertisement videos of Korea playing over there, also you will find heaps of Korean tourism brochures, especially written in Japanese for the visitors. Korean pop songs keep playing in the background.
Omuta Chisako, a 48-year old visitor of the cafe said, “Since the Middle East respiratory syndrome [MERS] scare last year, I’ve been reluctant to visit Korea, but having looked at the latest tourist information, I am now considering going on a visit.”
The number of people from Japan visiting Korea last year reached a low of 1.84 million, which is 19.4 percent less than its previous year. Weak Japanese yen and MERS scare could be precisely the reasons behind it. If we look at a long term cause, it could be the icy cold relations between Japan and Korea.
There was a ray of hope, as the situation was reversed when around 144,493 Japanese people visited Korea. It can be said to be a 1.3 percent increase if we compare it to the situation in last February.
It has been on an upward rise since then, with March witnessing a 2.5 percent and a striking 11.9 percent increase in April, when compared to last year.
With these kind of positive response, the KTO hopes that the number of Japanese people coming for the whole year, will soon reach the number that was in 2014, around 2.28 million.
To make this happen, the KTO is doing everything it can to popularise Korea in Japan. It has come into collaboration with Travel Cafe to activate “Everybody’s Korean Trip Cafe” in June.
Travel Cafe is a chain of Japanese cafes advertising tourism, with near about 25 locations around Japan, with also one in Osaka. The KTO is handing out information on tourism in Korea around all of the branches.
There are a few events at the coffee shops which foster particular regions in Korea. For instance, there is a branch in Osaka which is presently conducting a promotional week for Daegu. The one which is close to Umeda Station shall endorse Seoul from Monday to Thursday.
The KTO is also endorsing Korea to Japan through the social media on the internet.
The president of the KTO in Osaka, Lee Byeong-chan said, “We launched our promotions for Korea in cafes that are popular among people in their 20s and 30s because we are aware that most Japanese visitors to Korea are free independent travellers. We are going to actively promote Korea because interest among Japanese tourists has grown again.”