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Published on : Thursday, August 3, 2017
The Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), in association with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), organized a seminar on INVEST JAPAN – Opportunities in travel and tourism sector on June 23 at Hotel Taj West End. The objective of this seminar was to provide a sector-specific session on tourism and allied sectors. The Japanese government has rolled out several initiatives and packages in tourism to attract foreign companies to set up base in Japan, in the wake of 2020 Olympics slated to be held in Tokyo.
The welcome address was given by Junya Tashiro, Director General, JETRO Bangalore, followed by an address by Thyagu Valliappa, President, BCIC. The Guest of Honour was Takayuki Kitagawa, Consul-General, Consulate General of Japan in Bangalore. The keynote speech was delivered by Kazuya Nakajo, Chief Director General, JETRO New Delhi while there were presentations made by Japan National Tourism Organization’s (JNTO) Director General Kenichi Takano, as well as Jet Airways, Sonangi Travels and JETRO Bangalore. The Consul General spoke about the shared culture between India and Japan.
The visa regime has been simplified for Indian nationals applying to visit Japan. The validity of business visas has been extended from five to 10 years and the requirement to furnish bank statement by Indian students has been waived off.
Kenichi Takano said, “The JNTO was established in 1964 when the Tokyo Olympics were held, in order to help give information to tourists coming to Japan. From then on, JNTO has been focused on expanding Japan’s inbound tourism. Presently JNTO has 21 offices in 19 countries. JNTO in Delhi opened in March this year. This is the Year of India-Japan Friendly Exchanges.
India is a very important market for us. The number of tourists visiting Japan has dramatically grown in 2012 and 20 million and 24 million tourists visited Japan in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Hence, JNTO’s budget has also increased accordingly.
The increasing interest in Japan could be attributed to seeing the Cherry Blossom Festival, savour Japan cuisine, governmental initiatives such as relaxation for visa requirements and expansion of tax-free programmes as well as the increase in middle-income groups in, especially Asian countries.
The main source markets are China, Korea and Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. 83% of the total tourists coming to Japan are from Asia. Unfortunately, Japan is receiving only 123,000 tourists from India. We need to increase tourists from India, USA and Europe.”