- “We work on promoting sites filled with attractions and on making Japan known beyond Tokyo and Kyoto” ·
- “The staging of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo has placed Japan in the spotlight of world tourism” ·
- “FITUR can be a great opportunity for collaborating with other tourism offices, airlines and industry professionals”
Which major attractions does Japan offer international tourists?
One of Japan’s major attractions as a tourist destination is the coexistence of modernity and tradition. Japan is also defined by being an archipelago that has remained isolated from the rest of the world over several periods of its history, and this has led us to develop a unique culture. Currently, some of the aspects that most surprise visitors are our orderliness, efficiency and safety. Another major asset is Japan’s beauty in all four seasons, each one with its own charms (landscape beauty, seasonal cuisine, traditions, etc.).
Which are the challenges you still have to overcome?
At the Japan National Tourism Office we work on promoting lesser-known areas to the general public, sites filled with attractions waiting to be discovered. We want to make Japan known beyond Tokyo and Kyoto.
What does the staging of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo mean for Japanese tourism?
The staging of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo has put Japan in the spotlight of world tourism. In addition, many athletes have come to Japan to train for the Olympics, and this has generated a following among many international media that has given Japan greater visibility. The opinions published by the athletes themselves on their life there also reach people around the world. For all these reasons we are developing numerous infrastructures and implementing policies aimed at welcoming the huge number of tourists who will visit the country during the Olympic staging. We thus hope that all of those who visit Japan during this event will enjoy a comfortable and unforgettable stay and return to their homes with some great memories. We also expect this pleasant experience to generate word-of-mouth communication that will encourage new visitors and entice those who have already visited to come back.
In your view, what is the role played by technology and sustainability in tourism?
In Japan, technology is a key factor in visitors enjoying comfortable, stress-free travel thanks to the precision and efficiency of all our services. In regard to sustainability and the environment, at the Japan National Tourism office we work with the country’s different regions on raising awareness among locals of the importance of maintaining and conserving the attractions of each area. Natural resources are unique assets and a source of tourism in themselves that should be valued and looked after so that they don’t disappear. An increase in tourism can be dangerous for the ecosystem and local resources if appropriate protective measures are not applied. At the same time we are working on encouraging tourism because it is an important source of local economic development. Our aim is a balance that will allow locals and the environment to coexist harmoniously with tourism.
How do you think a trade fair like FITUR can contribute to driving the activity, business and knowledge of the tourism industry?
Trade fairs such as FITUR can be a major opportunity for collaborating with other tourism offices, airlines and other industry professionals. They are also the ideal opportunity for showcasing our information and Japan’s attractions to the most important local media, thus increasing our visibility.