Published on : Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Last month, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) made a colourful impression at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai aiming to build on the 31 million visitors that it welcomed in 2018, marking an 8.7 per cent increase year-on-year.
JNTO’s stand was adorned in real cherry blossoms to emphasize its spring colors and year-round seasonal appeal while luxury and authenticity were key promotional messages. Sport is expected to be another major inbound crowd puller with the Rugby World Cup coming up later this year and Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games. This means that the Japanese government is in optimistic mood, targeting 40 million visitors next year.
Executive vice president Tsutomu Shimura said that while the majority of its visitors are from neighbouring Asian countries (24.34 million), it is keen to attract more affluent, long-haul visitors. JNTO has a strong global presence via its 21 overseas offices.
The number of offices will soon increase to 22, with JNTO entering the Middle East market with an office in Dubai, which is expected to open before the Expo. It also plans to open a representative office this summer.
Strong connectivity from Emirates and Etihad Airways is another positive factor, fueling UAE visitor numbers from 7,106 in 2017 to 7,782 last year. Total GCC visitor numbers went up from 20,742 in 2017 to 21,976 last year.
ATM delegates visiting the JNTO stand enjoyed daily tea ceremonies, traditional street juggling acts and kimono shows.