Japan goes all out to attract Asians, especially repeat travellers

Asian markets are taking a significant lead in Japan’s inbound arrival numbers, with countries including China and South Korea making up 85 per cent of current visitor volume, shared the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

Further data from a case study by JNTO revealed that shopping expenditure took up half of total consumption per Chinese visitor in Japan. This was representative of the overall trend seen from Asian markets, said Michinori Yamasaki, JNTO’s executive vice president.

Japan looks to further grow arrivals from Asian countries; Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan pictured

In order to stimulate further growth for this region, JNTO and Japan’s travel industry players have risen to the occasion with strategies and campaigns targeting Asian travellers.

For instance, JNTO has joined hands with local prefectural governments and suppliers to launch 100 Experiences in Japan, a guide which casts the spotlight on local gems in outlying regions.

Tadashi Kaneko, executive vice president, JNTO, is confident that this campaign will be “especially attractive for repeat visitors”. This segment comprises 60 per cent of total Japanese tourist arrivals, of which 80 per cent are from Asia.

Regional government organisations are also rolling out their own developments to expand their Asian appeal. Kobe, which has been receiving high numbers of travellers from Chinese mainland and Taiwan, has launched a campaign promoting the area as a golf destination.

Buoyed by a growing roster of direct flights connecting many parts of Asia to Japan, Shikoku Prefecture is now stepping up participation in global trade shows such as Visit Japan Travel Mart. Its airport in Takamatsu has direct flights to Taipei, Seoul and Shanghai; and Matsuyama has direct flights to Seoul and Shanghai.

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