Japan JNTO WTM 2018

WTM UPDATE: The JNTO shares Japan’s best kept secrets with agents

Looking into 2019, Japan will be in the global spotlight as it hosts the Rugby World Cup followed by the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

With the UK market already one of the biggest within Europe for travel to the destination, the exposure from these famed sporting events will likely inspire more UK holidaymakers to travel and in anticipation of this the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has shared its key campaign messages and some top travel tips.

Matthew Joslin, the organisation’s marketing and communications manager said: “We’re highlighting the regions and expanding awareness of destinations in Japan outside of Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Kyoto. With the Olympics coming up, this interim period will be used to help drive footfall to those other regions and showcase the diversity of experiences you can have in Japan - there's a lot to be found ‘off the beaten track’.”

2019’s Rugby World Cup has twelve different venues fixtured across the country helping fans and holidaymakers explore its different regions; from geothermal Kyushu in the south, the buzzing cities of Fukuoka, to Hokkaido in the north. In tandem, a new direct British Airways flight from Heathrow to Osaka is to launch on March 31, 2019; the first for a substantial period flying from the UK into Japan which isn't to Tokyo and further opening up the destination.

The JNTO is also looking to help broaden visitors’ preferences to when and how they travel. Joslin added: “We see these pinch points with places like Kyoto around springtime, the cherry blossom season and autumn but its educating travellers on what there is to do outside of those periods and how they can certainly be more cost efficient, easier and a lot more enjoyable in some respects. Winter for example, between November – February, has the bragging rights when it comes to the visibility of Mount Fuji and clearer skies all over Japan. Rainy and cloudy days are at record lows throughout these months and it makes for a great season to travel because it’s the best time to see things from viewpoints and vistas. There’s also less crowding so holidaymakers will have better access to these locations.”

Mountainous terrain covers 70% of Japan, providing more ski resorts per capita and some of the most reliable snow in the world, making it a big sell for winter travel and ski enthusiasts. The JNTO also drew attention to the ‘Diamond Route’ which aims to boost regeneration in rural areas. The project injects funding into certain locales and helps abandoned houses be reinstated as tourist properties.

Joslin concluded “It's about broadening people’s definition of Japan and what Japan looks like, what you can do and the experiences you can have. There's a big focus on authentic experiences and authentic travel these days which coincides very nicely with our message to the discovery of more ‘off the beaten track’ destinations.”

For more go to www.seejapan.co.uk

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