Tokyo opens tourist office in Canada


For the first time ever, Tokyo has opened a tourist office in Canada. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which oversees the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, has announced the appointment of Akira Tsushima as its representative in Canada. He will be based in Toronto.

“I am very pleased to be the new Canadian representative as I am very passionate about the city as it is my hometown and offers so much to the leisure and business traveller,” said Tsushima.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted tourism promotions in Toronto and Vancouver in 2009 and 2010 and realized the tremendous interest of the people in Canada for learning more about Tokyo.

In 2010, the number of visitors from Canada to Japan was 153,400, a 30% increase from 10 years ago.

With the earthquake and tsunami in March, the appointment takes on even more importance as Japan rebuilds the infrastructure and economy while restoring confidence to the world at large.

Tokyo itself was shielded from most of the damage and it is business as usual for the city.

“I will be able to provide timely and useful information to the Canadian media, travel trade and public on what actually is happening in Tokyo so they can travel there with confidence,” added Tsushima.

“Tourism plays a vital role in the health of the economy not only to Tokyo, but Japan and we need both business and leisure travellers to continue to travel there.”

Tushima, who came to Canada 26 years ago, is no stranger to tourism as he worked for a major Japanese travel company in its Toronto office and promoted outbound tourism from Canada to Japan.

Previously, he worked for a Japanese company that was in charge for exporting products to the United States and for the last 10 years in that capacity was its chief executive officer. He currently runs a tourism and investment consulting business.

In his new role, his main responsibilities will include providing information to Canadian travel agents, wholesalers and meeting planners; be a point of contact and provide information to the Canadian media; act as Tokyo’s representative at various events including trade shows; work in close conjunction with the Toronto-based office of the Japan National Tourist Office (JNTO) on various activities; educate travel trade, media and consumers on Tokyo.