Japan intensifies destination marketing to boost international arrivals

Japan will carry out targeted marketing by country while focusing on high-valued-added travel, adventure travel, Expo 2025 in Osaka, and business events over the next three years.

The new plan released by the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) and Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) aims to boost sustainable and regional tourism as well as visitors’ consumption, and will run until fiscal year 2025 (end of March 2026).

Japan is introducing new tours to attract high-added-value travellers, such as the tour to Akami 48 Falls in Mie Prefecture, where participants can ‘throw’ ninja stars using a VR-assisted simulation

For East Asian markets and Singapore, the focus will be on attracting repeat visitors and strengthening ties with airlines to establish flights to more local areas. In South-east Asia, high-income groups will be targeted along with both repeaters and people who have not visited Japan. Europe and north American markets, meanwhile, will be the target of promotions to raise awareness of Japan, particularly what its regions can offer.

To attract more “high-added-value travellers”, JTA released details of 246 tours on a new website, Open the Treasure of Japan, which will be promoted by local governments, DMOs and the private sector. Defined by JNTO as “once-in-a-lifetime experiences that inspire and excite”, the tours are themed on nature and the outdoors, traditions, food and drink, art and culture, and cities.

“Cultural history lovers can enjoy special performances of kabuki and noh theatre” while “nature enthusiasts will have the opportunity to climb the peaks of the Japanese Alps with expert guides or see the beauty of volcanoes from the skies on a helicopter tour” said JNTO in a note.

In Nara Prefecture, visitors can opt for a monk-led private tour of Tsubosaka-dera Temple after closing hours, followed by a Buddhist prayer session. Neighbouring Mie Prefecture, meanwhile, offers a tour of Akami 48 Falls, a waterfall known as a ninja training ground, where participants can throw shuriken (ninja stars) using a VR-assisted throwing simulation.