Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) said at a regular press conference that the tourism authority of Japan plans to restart promotional activities by market, depending travel restrictions of each country.
“Recovery of domestic travel is a premise to develop environment to receive international visitors. It is first important whether or not Japanese people welcome again visitors from foreign countries,” Masashi Kaneko, JNTO Executive Vice President, explained, “JNTO is calmly looking for a chance to restart promotional campaigns.”
It is obvious that the first target is East Asia market in terms of distance from Japan and the current COVID-19 situation, and then extended to Southeast Asia, Europe, U.S. and Australia.
Only JNTO can do at this moment is to send precaution protocols to the world and to inspire potential travelers to visit Japan in the future by delivering image messages online.
“We will see new travel trends with COVID-19, such as travel under required new normal lifestyle or acceleration of online booking and purchasing,” Kaneko said. “A bar to travel overseas is getting higher. It is important for us to motivate international travelers to visit Japan by proposing special purposes or themes.”
Toward recovery of the inbound travel market, JNTO is also establishing stronger partnership with local governments or DMOs, as Kaneko said that they should address forward-looking actions, such as decentralization of demands, reduction of burden on local community, preparation for diversity or serious consideration to environment. “One of the important elements to become a selected destination in the future is SDGs in tourism,” he added.
Kaneko also mentioned the MICE market, based on results of the survey to JNTO’s appointing MICE Ambassadors. All of them answered that international conference will transform to a different style from before, and 75% said a hybrid conference of real and online will be preferred more.
Kaneko, however, said, “It is difficult to organize an online conference for high-level discussion in terms of security. A real conference necessary for face-to-face discussion will be required as usual.” Placing MICE as one of the crucial markets for Japan, JNTO will launch an exclusive website page and open Facebook account in Japanese for organizers to deliver useful information.