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JNTO resumes promotion of Japan travel

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Singapore has, as of 25th April, stepped up its promotional activities to encourage more locals to visit Japan. The March 11th earthquakes and tsunamis which devastated the Tohoku region of Japan are still fresh on our minds, and tourism numbers have taken a hit (plunging by 50% in March and 62.5% in April). However, JNTO President Tadatoshi Mamiya has expressed his confidence that “Japan will overcome all hardships and recover very soon as one of the world’s best travel destinations”.
Throughout the months of April and May this year, JNTO has organized a series of 4 seminars for travel agents and the media, updating them on the present situation in Japan. The seminars also brought in representatives from various prefectures of Japan such as Kyushu, Okinawa and Osaka to give presentations on “Upcoming and Hot Destinations”. Travel agents organized a number of tour groups to Japan, the first of which left Singapore for Japan on 29th April, and many more have been planned in upcoming months.
Efforts by JNTO, Japan, and various other organizations and travel agents have worked encouragingly well. My Paper reported on 20th May that bookings for Japan tours have been increasing, and JNTO has also recently published articles in Lianhe Zaobao (on 30th May) and the Straits Times (on 31st May) reporting that many Singaporeans are once again travelling to Japan. The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) lifted its travel advisory against non-essential travel to Japan on 12th May, which is, according to Mr. Lim Meow Seng, chairman of the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), “an irrefutable confirmation that it is safe to travel to the country”. This was further helped along by former Minister Mentor Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, who on 26th May said that Japan was once again safe to visit.
But that’s not the end of JNTO’s efforts to promote travel to Japan. Media trips have already been slated for the months of May to July, where representatives from various media channels will visit Japan and report on their experiences. In addition, about 100 students from Singapore and other ASEAN countries are being invited to Tohoku in August this year for an exchange program with Japanese students. As for the local consumers, JNTO will be participating in the NATAS Holidays 2011 travel fair in August, and will also hold a Japan Travel Fair at Takashimaya Singapore in October this year.

·Credit for images copyrighted by JNTO





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