Kerala Tourism Makes Foray Into Japanese Market

First-ever road show in Tokyo draws 'enthusiastic response'

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 20:  Kerala Tourism has made its foray into the vast outbound tourism market of Japan, with a first-time road show in the capital Tokyo.

As many as 55 leading trade participants from the Japanese travel and tourism industry participated in the road show held onOctober 19 at the landmark Hotel New Otani Tokyo, venue of several G-7 summits and location for the Bond film 'You Only Live Twice'.

The road show follows the assurance given by the Japanese government to support the state in promoting tourism, during the meeting between Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri G Kamala Vardhana Rao and Japan's Ambassador to India, Mr Takeshi Yagi, in New Delhi on October 6.

"As the world's third largest economy, Japan is a very important market for us," said Shri A P Anil Kumar Hon. Minister for Tourism. "After the 2009 global financial meltdown, Japan has been on the path of recovery with increased employment and income in the recent years," he added.

This is the first time Kerala Tourism organised a road show in Japan though the state tourism department had taken part in the biggest travel and trade show in Japan, JATA Tourism Expo, in the last two years.

"The road show in Tokyo is a significant step for us to position our state as a top destination for Japanese travellers as well as a MICE destination for CEOs of its major companies to conduct meetings and conferences," said Minister.

The Kerala Tourism delegation was led by Additional Director (General) Smt Anupama T V, who made a detailed presentation about the tourism products at the road show.

"There was an enthusiastic response to the road show from the Japanese industry," said Smt Anupama. "The leading outbound travel companies wanted to get further insights into the products offered by us," she added.

The office bearers of Japanese Association of Travel Agents attended the road show. The Japanese media also showed its keen interest in the event, with a participation of several media persons representing mainstream news organisations attending the road show.

"Japan is certainly going to be big market for Kerala Tourism in the future," said Smt Anupama, adding products like Ayurveda treatment packages came in for special attention at the road show.

Tourist arrivals from Japan have witnessed a 25 per cent growth in the last five years. The number of Japanese tourists to Kerala last year was 8,785.

The state delegation included trade partners Ayurveda Mana, Eastend Hotels & Resorts, Kairali Ayurvedic Village, Kumarakom Lake Resort, Thomas Hotel & Resorts, Travel Planners. The road show was partnered by Singapore Airlines and Air India. 

India Tourism Additional Director Smt Bidisha Sen Gupta was also present on the occasion. 

In September last year, the Kerala Tourism pavilion at the JATA Tourism Expo in Tokyo had showcased Ayurveda and the backwaters as the main theme.

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