As many as 123,000 Indians visited Tokyo in 2016, but India is the 17th source market for the capital of Japan. The city recently held its first promotional drive in India to improve these numbers.
In a bid to increase interest about Japan in the Indian tourism industry and encourage more Indians to travel to the country, Tokyo Metropolitan Government organized their first promotional activity in New Delhi called Tokyo Wonderland. The event showcased the capital and its different attractions under five themes ‘Unique Culture’, ‘Excellent Dining’, ‘Exciting Shopping’, ‘Delightful Stay’ and ‘Comfortable Nature’ along with various ethnic performances and a Japanese tea ceremony.
With the relaxation of short-term visa requirements, the number of Indian tourists to Japan has been growing steadily, finally topping 100,000 in 2015. “In 2016, a total of 123,000 Indian visitors visited Japan,” informed Masahiko Sakamoto, Senior Director, Tourism Division, Bureau of Industrial and Labour Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. He said, “We are focusing on improving the arrival numbers from India through such promotional activities to showcase the culture and tourism products of Tokyo. 2020 is the year we host the Olympics and Paralympic Games and are expecting a large inflow of tourists too.” India currently ranks at a dismal 17th position for tourism source markets and Sakamoto hopes such activities will be instrumental in changing this. He informed that places like Ginza and Shibuya are undergoing an infrastructure transformation and are some of the things to look forward to, apart from the cuisine, shopping, numerous nature parks and theme parks. Furthermore, a familiarization trip will be held in the coming months for a firsthand experience of the city.
Ken Katayama, Deputy Director General, Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, highlighted that India and Japan have always shared a healthy bond through movies, trade etc., and planned to strengthen ties through tourism. “With an increasing number of outbound travellers, we believe that it will be beneficial for us to promote tourism in India,” he said. To counter the language barrier, more multilingual information centres across the city are being set up along with Wi-Fi at several important tourist points for travellers to access information with ease.
The Sun Shines: Japan is host to 2020 Olympics and Paralympics games and are expecting large inflow of tourists