Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has this week concluded a series of educational seminars in Brisbane and Sydney for the travel trade. More agents than ever participated in this year’s roadshow with 319 Australian agents enjoying the opportunity to meet 41 suppliers in Brisbane and 53 in Sydney including local governments, DMCs, accommodation, attractions and transportation.
The Japanese Consulate-Generals of Brisbane and Sydney and JNTO Sydney Executive Director, Yoko Tanaka, welcomed the agents and thanked them for their support of Japan.
New air routes were a focus at both events with Virgin Australia commencing their direct daily route from Brisbane to Tokyo (Haneda) from March next year, ANA launching additional daily flights to Haneda and JAL switching from Narita to Haneda. The additional capacity into Haneda offers travellers easier access to regional areas through connecting domestic flights. Virgin Australia also sponsored the lucky door prize of two return air tickets to Japan for the Brisbane event.
Yoko also spoke of JNTO’s plans with the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics games next summer and the increased media presence of the destination, to capitalise and promote not only the event itself but also Japan’s regional areas, diverse attractions and unique experiences.
A presentation summarising some highlights from the new '100 Experiences in Japan' guide was shared by JNTO’s Stephanie Sng and Sally Miles.
Australia continues to be a key market for Japan with the most recent figures from October 2019 showing that there were 51,600 Australian visitors that month, an 8.8% percent increase on the same month in 2018, and 500,800 Australian visitors between January and October 2019 (11.5% Growth).
Special guest speaker Ms. Stacey Porter, who has represented Australia in softball, winning silver at Athens 2004 and bronze at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, shared her personal experience of life in Japan. She is currently based in Japan playing professionally in the Japanese Softball League.