VisitBritain goes to Tokyo to secure more business from Japan

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VisitBritain is leading a tourism delegation to Japan, the home of 1.7 million High Net Worth Individuals second only to US, to build on the profile Britain received in 2012.

The national tourism agency will introduce key travel trade buyers form the world’s third largest economy to 18 British tourism businesses in Tokyo on 21st and 22nd November. The trip follows VisitBritain’s successful mission to China this week where a record number of delegates met with Chinese travel trade.

As well as 121 business appointments, the Japan Mission will see a series of meetings and strategic tourism seminars looking to secure more business from a pro Britain market. The strong delegation includes; tourist attractions, musical organisations, hotels, airlines, specialist tour operators and tourist boards.

Japan remains significant for Britain and is one of the world’s top 10 largest source markets for tourism expenditure. In 2011, Britain welcomed a 6% increase in arrivals from Japan (237,000 visitors spending £191 million) compared to the previous year. VisitBritain’s aim is to reverse the decline seen in recent years and attract an additional 61,000 visits by 2020 which would equate to welcoming 298,000 visitors.

In the spring of 2012, VisitBritain rolled out a record £1 million worth of image advertising in Tokyo, whichincluded GREAT branded JR Yamanote trains, billboards and digital screen commercials at Tokyo Metro Underground.

Following the success of hosting the world’s largest sporting event, Britain is now regarded as one of the top sport destinations for the Japanese. This comes after Shinji Kagawa’s move to Manchester United, which opened up a new footballing connection for potential visitors.

In October, VisitBritain launched the “Bond is GREAT” campaign in Japan prior to the launch of 007 Skyfall on 1st December, followed by a new multi-million pound joint campaign with British Airways to boost inbound visitors. ‘The Big British Invite’ campaign features ‘real’ British people inviting Japanese travellers to visit Britain and enjoy their own favourite places.

VisitBritain’s Director of Overseas, Keith Beecham said: “Japan is real growth market for Britain and one that we are working hard to increase nearly 30% by 2020.”

“Millions of commuters here in Tokyo would have seen our GREAT images which will go some way to inspire more travel from this burgeoning tourism market. To compound this interest we are sending the delegation to Japan, putting the UK trade right in front of the people they need to be talking to.

“Our commitment to the Japanese outbound sector is as strong as ever.”