WTM 2019: Japan to focus on sporting events to boost tourism

Japan is pinning its hopes on forthcoming high-profile sporting events boosting tourism to the destination in the same way the Rugby World Cup has helped to raise awareness this year.

The country is hosting the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and the World Masters Games in 2021.

More: WTM 2019: Full coverage from this year’s event

A spokesman for Japan National Tourism Organisation said: “The Rugby World Cup has made it clear that Japan is much more accessible than people thought it was and we know that bookings to the country have been phenomenal.

“We have seen some of our largest-ever visitor figures from the UK for September and we are hoping that the Olympics next year will cement this to a degree.”

The country hopes to drive an increase in tourism to the destination for all of 2020, not just around the three month period of the Olympics, and is promoting lesser-known, smaller towns and regions outside tourism hot-spots such as Tokyo to visit.

Other markets the tourist board is looking to promote are cruise, with islands such as Okinawa and Hokkaido already used by some cruise lines; wellness; and ski. Tour operator Inghams recently added Japan to its ski programme.

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