Japan reasserts commitment to deeper cooperation with UNWTO
Recognizing tourism as one of the leading economic sectors in Japan, a high-level delegation visiting UNWTO reaffirmed the country’s commitment to improve sustainability in tourism, widen travel facilitation and increase Japan’s involvement in the international tourism community as part of the world region with the highest rate of tourism growth.
A high-level delegation from Japan visiting UNWTO (3 May 2013), spearheaded by the Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Manabu Sakai, underscored the existing strong bilateral relationship and highlighted Japan’s strategic steps to increase its international visibility.
Among the key points discussed with UNWTO were the recently launched tourism campaign “Discover the Spirit of Japan”, promoting intangible cultural heritage and people as key tourism assets, against the backdrop of the evolving tourism approach of the country. Within this context, easing visa policy towards countries of South East Asia seems an important element to attract additional visitors, considering the growth dynamic of this region.
UNWTO has been operating a Regional Support Office for Asia and the Pacific (RSO) in Japan since 1995, initially in Osaka and relocated in 2012 to Nara. The Organization scaled up its support to the country´s tourism sector after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Overall, Japan has been able to achieve an outstanding recovery in recent years, with almost 35% growth in international tourism arrivals and 37% in tourism receipts last year, also experiencing an exceptional turnaround in outbound figures in 2012.
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