Japanese Market

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Deputy Tourism Minister Faizer Musthapha last week emphasised the need to explore the Japanese tourist market as there is a lot of potential in that market.
In an interview with “The Traveller” on his return from the World Travel Fair, organised by the Japanese Association of Travel Agents in Tokyo, he said that there are 17.5 million outbound tourists from Japan annually vising other countries and Sri Lanka has been able to tap only 17,500 of this market.
Musthapha, spearheaded a recent campaign in the Middle East which has already borne results viz. an increase of over 20% in tourist arrivals from that region, has focussed attention on the Japanese market as well.
“All stakeholders must make a concerted effort in increasing our market share in Japan and, in this connection, the Tourism Ministry, Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Sri Lankan Airlines are working on a common strategy to woo the Japanese market.
The Deputy Minster said: “I have held discussions with the tourism authorities in Japan and had a meeting with the President of JATA, Harumi Umeda.”
Sri LankaA?a??a??s ambassador in Japan Ranjith Uyangoda and Presidential Advisor Hubert Jayakody, a seasoned campaigner in business circles in Japan, also participated in the discussions, he said.
With the much awaited Tourism Act coming into effect from October 1 and the launching of a Promotions Bureau, an sustained campaign to woo the particular market will commence, he added.
One of the areas that we could explore in this market is Pilgrim tourism, since both countries are predominantly Buddhist, Musthapha pointed out.
There is a lot of scope in the Japanese market for adventure tourism and Arugam Bay in the east coast has earned a name as a popular surfing destination internationally. In fact, Arugam Bay has been a popular destination with the Japanese and we must explore the possibility of increasing our market share, he stressed.
JATA World Travel Fair is considered the biggest travel fair in Asia with 134 countries participating and an approximately 110,000 visitors from all over the world.

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