JATA Tourism Expo Japan 2016, Japan Gastronomy Tourism Symposium
The JATA Tourism EXPO Japan 2016, held from 22-25 September 2016 in Tokyo, under the theme: “Be part of the world. Travel”, attracted over 200,000 guests from public and private sectors, and has become Asia’s largest and one of the world’s most substantial travel and tourism trade events. Over 1,000 exhibitions showcased products and destinations from 140 countries and the 47 Japanese prefectures and regions.
Opening Ceremony and Global Tourism Forum and WTTC Networking Reception
The opening remarks were made by Mr. Hiromi Tagawa, JATA Chairman, who noted that Tourism EXPO Japan has grown to become one of the most comprehensive travel trade events in the world, promoting inbound, outbound and domestic travel. UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai opened by highlighting this year’s World Tourism Day’ theme: “Tourism for All” and emphasized the right of each person to access tourism activities and services equally. He also noted the role of all tourism entities and stakeholders in achieving universal accessibility. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) President & CEO, Mr. David Scowsill followed Mr. Rifai’s remarks by discussing the latest tourism economic trends and reinstated the need for collaboration for sustainable growth. The keynote speeches were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Yoshiaki Hompo, specially-appointed Professor of Tokyo Metropolitan University and Tokyo Institute of Technology and Chief of the UNWTO Regional Support Office for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President of Ethihad, and Mr. Christian Mantei, General Manager of Atout France. The Opening Ceremony was followed by a Networking Reception hosted by WTTC and attended by over 250 industry leaders including JTB Corp. and All Nippon Airways.
The iconic Japan Night celebration was inaugurated by Mr. Yamaguchi, Chairman, JTTA, Mr. Akihiro Tamura, Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), and Mr. Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary. A total of 15,200 guests enjoy this popular event which included a barrel-breaking ceremony of traditional Japanese sake; music and live performances by kabuki actors, shamisen musicians, paper lantern performance and much more.
Japan’s traditional cuisine is without a doubt one of the most recognizable in the world and travelers all around the world often based their travel decisions upon the culinary options of a particular destination. Understanding the opportunities in developing gastronomy tourism as a way to sustain and invigorate regional communities, JATA Tourism EXPO Japan hosted the Development and Promotion of Gastronomy Tourism Symposium where UNWTO Director of Affiliate Members, Ms. Yolanda Perdomo served as keynote speaker. The session was moderated by Mr. Masato Ogawa, Executive Vice President & COO, ANA Strategic Research Co., Ltd., and panelists included Mr. Seiichiro Kubo, President, Gurunavi, Inc., Mr. Akira Shinoda, Mayor, City of Niigata, Mr. Qta Asada, 16th Generation Owner, Asadaya Ltd., and Mr. Naoki Iimori, President & CEO, Fukuchiyo Shuzo Co., Ltd, all of whom shared best practices and discussed ways to market and develop gastronomy tourism. The coordination has been arranged by Shin Nakamura, Executive Director of Japan Travel and Tourism Association, a UNWTO Affiliate Member in Japan.
Side event “JEEF Sustainable Tourism Development for Local Communities Seminar” on Sep. 23, 2016
Japan Environmental Education Forum (JEEF) organized a seminar on “Sustainable Tourism Development for Local Communities” in cooperation with JATA Tourism EXPO Japan Organizing Committee and supported by UNWTO, Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), the Kingdom of Bhutan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). After opening remarks by Mr. Junichi Kumada, Senior Officer of Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, the seminar was facilitated by Mr. Taku SAMESHIMA, Special Interest Tour Division, H.I.S. CO.,LTD. Panelists included Mr. Kenseii ODA, Global Environment Department of JICA (Sustainable Tourism in the National Park, Vietnam ), Mr. Taku YAMADA, Chura-boshi Company (Eco Bike Tour in HIDA-TAKAYAMA Mountain region, Japan), Mr. Koji TAGI, Japan Environmental Education Forum –JEEF (Sustainable Tourism in Haa region, Bhutan), Mr. Fumio KATO, Chiba Minamiboso Inc. (Japanese Business model of Roadside Station in Chiba, Japan). The seminar highlighted the importance of: 1) tourism development that is led and managed by the community and that fits the destination´s needs, 2) providing a sense of responsibility and ownership for destination management, 3) creating decent jobs within the community, and 4) establishing public-private partnerships.Mr. Koji TAGI and Ms. Akane MATSUO, JEEF coordinated this meeting.
The Asian Leader’s Seminar
In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the second Asian Tourism Leaders’ Forum focused on MICE and sports to highlight the interconnectivity of these industries and their role as tools for sustainable tourism growth. Presentations were given by Mr. Yoshiaki Hompo, Chief of UNWTO Regional Support Office for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Hiromi Tawaga, Chairman of Japan Tourism EXPO Japan, and Dr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) identified “Sustainable Tourism Development ~ Asia leads the world” as the forum’s theme for the next three years, and also commonly agreed and signed the “Asian Tourism Leaders’ Forum Tokyo Declaration 2016”.
In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the second Asian Tourism Leaders’ Forum focused on MICE and Sports to highlight these industries’ interconnectivity and their role as tools for sustainable tourism growth. The Forum highlighted the fact that now is the time for governments and the sector to collaborate in order to create long-term, strategic plans with a particular emphasis in the MICE and Sports industries. Furthermore, MICE and Sports have an enormous impact on the tourism value chain in the host destinations and thus it is also crucial for stakeholders to approach the growth of these industries from the locals’ and customers’ perspectives to assure sustainable development.
Understanding the need for sustainable tourism development and in collaboration of key tourism entities, Mr. Yoshiaki Hompo, Chief, UNWTO Regional Support Office for Asia, Mr. Hiromi Tawaga, Chairman, Japan Tourism EXPO Japan, and Dr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Forum participants identified “Sustainable Tourism Development ~ Asia leads the world” as the theme for the next three years, and also commonly agreed and signed the “Asian Tourism Leaders’ Forum Tokyo Declaration 2016.”