JNTO Anticipating The Return To Travel in Japan

Sydney event signals renewed positivity for border reopening

Japan National Tourism Organization hosted media at SOKYO restaurant on Tuesday night to discuss the future of travel to Japan, with an event featuring official guest Mr KIYA Masahiko, Consul-General of Japan in Sydney and the stars of JNTO’s new videos Gary Mehigan and Manu Feildel. The event was generously supported with flights and accommodation prizes from All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Hoshino Resorts, plus door prizes from Qantas.

Yoko Tanaka, JNTO’s Executive Director of the Sydney Office

“The border is opening step by step, with business travellers and international students currently able to enter, so we know consumer travel is the next logical step. We cannot wait to welcome Australians back to Japan and now is the time to start planning a trip,” said JNTO’s Executive Director of the Sydney Office, Yoko Tanaka.

Masahiko Kiya, Consul General of Japan in Sydney

Consul-General Kiya said, “In 2014 Japan had 300,000 visitors from Australia, but by 2019 it had doubled to over 600,000. The pandemic followed and as a result there is pent-up demand for travel to Japan for Australians who come to Japan for our cuisine, our cultural traditions, and our natural experiences. We look forward to welcoming Australians back to Japan.”

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The evening was highlighted with destination updates especially on the Shikoku region which was named in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2022’ list, with Shikoku ranked sixth in the Top 10 Regions category because of the sustainability of the region.

JNTO also encouraged Australians to go beyond the well-trodden Golden Route. Mehigan and Feildel shared personal anecdotes about Japan from miso sommeliers, shopping for knives, the joy of skiing, the art of sumo and the journey of discovery that takes place with a heavy culinary theme. Guests were also able to witness an abridged version of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony to recreate the experience of Japan at our own doorstep.

JNTO team: Sally Miles, Yoko Tanaka with Gary Mehigan and Manu Feildel, Toni Fan, Maho Iwasaki.

Tanaka noted that the key themes for 2022 that will be of interest to Australians are sustainable tourism, eco-friendliness being important as well as the preservation of local cultures and traditions; adventure travel, meaning not only adrenalin-laced outdoor experiences but also pushing outside of one’s comfort zone to experience Japan’s ancient traditions; and high-end experiential travel.

All Nippon Airways’ Ryo Sadayuki, Japan Airlines’ Hitoshi Hanasaki, Hoshino Resorts’ Australian representative Amelia Spagnolo-Messinger and Qantas’ Amanda Bolger all echoed JNTO’s sentiments, sharing their passion for Japan and expecting the bolster to travel once borders open to Japan, with excitement and anticipation.

Hitoshi Hanasaki, Japan Airlines
Ryo Sadayuki, ANA (All Nippon Airways)
Amelia Spagnolo-Messinger, Hoshino Resorts

To watch JNTO’s new videos, visit the VisitJapanAU YouTube Channel or go here for the 30 second and here for the 60 second TVC.

Lead image: Yoko Tanaka, JNTO; Gary Mehigan, Firass Dirani and Manu Feildel, with Masahiko Kiya, Consul General of Japan in Sydney.

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