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New Strategies to Increase Travel to Japan

29, January 2009

On January 28th the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) introduced plans for a new marketing strategy to increase foreign tourism to Japan by 2010. The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has recently started to slow due to poor economic conditions and the rising value of the yen. In response to these factors, JTA is refocusing marketing efforts onto less effected traveler types, including single females.

At the end of 2008, the number of Korean tourists visiting Japan had decreased by almost half compared to one year earlier. Focusing on Korean women in their 30s, the Japan Tourism Agency will try to recapture a portion these lost tourists through promoting trips to Japanese hot springs and similar getaways.

China and Taiwan also have large populations of high-net-worth individuals who remain relatively unaffected by current economic conditions. Seasonal discounts will be emphasized to entice these types of individuals who visit typically to enjoy shopping in Japan.

Other markets to be targeted include India, Russia and Malaysia. The number of individuals showing an interest in visiting Japan from these countries is growing. The JTA is currently inviting travel agencies from these countries to Japan to educate them on the finer points of the country. Forums and exhibits featuring the various charms of Japan are also being held in order to generate ideas for promoting travel. Research is also being conducted to analyze the number of individuals in areas such as Vietnam and the Middle East who wish to visit Japan.

A main goal of the Japanese government's effort is to increase the number of foreign tourists coming to Japan to 10,000,000 by 2010. During 2008 alone, an increase of around 835,000 tourists was noted. But, considering the fact that this number is down 24% from that of the previous year, the current outlook for tourism is less optimistic. The Japan Tourism Agency as well as all travel agencies involved in re-focusing overall marketing strategy will need to hone in on the market to re-vamp their tourism results for 2009.

January 28, 2009 47NEWS

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