Yokoso! – Welcome to Japan!

Posted in: Business Times – Japan 2016 Started by

Yokoso! – Welcome to Japan!

In 2013, Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, 60 years since the country last hosted the event. Winning the bid to host the Olympics and other events has shifted the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) into high gear.

“Tourism in Japan was always treated as somewhat of a hobby”, says Ryoichi Matsuyama, President of JNTO. “This is no longer the case. Mandated by the Japanese Government, we now view tourism as a major industry and we aim to transform Japan into a world-class tourist destination.” In addition to the Olympics, Japan will also host the World Masters Games in 2021 and the Rugby World Cup in 2019 – the first time the rugby tournament will be held in Asia. Japan’s inherent ability to plan ‘long-term’will ensure the country is ready to welcome the world when these major sporting eventstake place.

Ryoichi Matsuyama, President, Japan National Tourism Organization

Ryoichi Matsuyama, President

“Our promotion of Japan isn’t limited to the breathtaking destinations we have to offer – we are changing the perception of Japan in that it is not the complicated and expensive place it is perceived to be,” Matsuyama explains. “We are encouraging ‘Ease of Access’ within the industry and ensuring there are more English and foreign-language signs in key tourist destinations”.   Niseko Ski With Asian tourists representing the largest market for Japan, Singapore tourism continues to be a major market (one in every ten Singaporeans visit Japan). This year a ‘Memorandum of Cooperation’ was signed between JNTO and the Singapore Tourism Board as part of the fiftieth Japan – Singapore celebrations. “Singapore is our eighth largest market but more importantly, we consider it a high-quality market for us as we share common values,” says Matsuyama. Kurobe Gorge Trolley Train With an anticipated increase in Singaporean, regional and global tourists to Japan, the country’s focusing on providing visitors with quintessential Japanese experiences to compliment the abundant destinations, sights and sounds that Japan has to offer. “As a tourist destination, we are ensuring that visitors recognize that Japan is easy to get to and accessible once visitors arrive in the country. We are committed to improving our services and increasing accommodation capacity ahead of the fantastic world events we will be hosting in the next few years,” says Matsuyama.

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