Where is the UNWTO, WTTC, or PATA? How can the world tourism industry rely on leaders that have no influence on governments to avoid blanket travel warnings?
High-profile meetings, speeches with little action, and gala dinners for those leaders seem to be self serving. Half a million cancellations have been received for inbound travel to Japan, based on inaccurate travel warnings. The Japanese travel and tourism industry has little prospect of recovery without some drastic and immediate corrections.
This question is currently asked by many involved in the Japanese travel industry. Japanese in nature are reserved and soft spoken. ETN Reader Tony Virili of Solares Hotels in Japan is voicing his frustration in a comment posted today on eTurboNews:
“Though northern Honshu in Japan has been decimated by the 3.11 natural disaster and the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis has made travel to that area impossible and created concern about visitation to Tokyo, the rest of Japan (including Hokkaido, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, all of Kyushu, and all of Okinawa) is as safe as the earthquake was far away.
“No abnormal seismic or radioactive activity, no tsunamis.
“Those countries with ongoing blanket travel advisories against visiting Japan are counter-productive and do not reflect reality.
“The USA and Australia, amongst others, already have modified their travel warning limited to Eastern Japan.
“As a resident of Tokyo and someone actively involved in lodging, it is heartbreaking to see the damage these ill-informed travel advisories are having on our industry and its employees.
“Today’s press, quoting government sources, report well in excess of 500,000 cancellations have been received across Japan since March 11. Whilst large hotel chains will survive, at risk are the smaller stand alone establishments, including many of Japan’s famed ryokan.”