Japan has selected 24 countries and regions in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific to receive priority promotion as tourist destinations in a newly-launched project to boost outbound tourism.
Run by the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) and the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), the project aims to support the country’s airline and travel agencies, whose recovery has been slowed due to Japanese people’s hesitancy to resume international trips.
Only 694,000 Japanese people travelled overseas in March 2023, equating to 36 per cent of the number recorded in March 2019.
The JTA and JATA announced the list of recommended locations as part of a public promotion of their initiative to unveil the slogan Ima-koso! Kaigai, which means “now’s the time to go abroad”.
The 24 countries and regions are China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Canada, the US, Hawaii, Guam, Mexico, Spain, Finland, France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Australia.
The official tourism bureaus of these destinations will collaborate with JTA and JATA to heighten the appeal of their offerings for the Japanese market, while Japan-based travel agencies are set to create more competitively priced packages aimed at younger people.
“We hope that this declaration will be a good opportunity for people to travel overseas,” said the JTA in a statement. “The appeal of overseas travel lies in spending invaluable time in breathtaking scenery, tasting authentic local cuisine and interacting with people from other countries.”
The campaign aims to “pave the way toward recovery in travellers during the summer holidays”, added JATA chairman Hiroyuki Takahashi.
JATA also announced it will open lottery applications on May 15 for Japanese people who acquire a 10-year passport and fly overseas between July 1 and September 30. Winners will receive 8,000 yen (US$59) in electronic money.