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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Edmund Bartlett departed the island Tuesday to attend the Tourism Expo Japan 2018 and VISIT JAPAN Travel & MICE Mart 2018, taking place in Tokyo from today to Sunday.
A release from the Ministry of Tourism said yesterday that the trip is part of its efforts to re-engage the Japanese market, on what it described as a “more sustained basis” in order to grow visitor traffic to Jamaica.
“Two decades ago, Jamaica received upwards of 20,000 Japanese visitors per annum, but that has since declined to roughly 2,000 per annum, due in part to a long economic slowdown in Japan and other factors.
“Outbound connections that Jamaica has with Delta, through Naruto is significant. Delta has a number of rotations through Atlanta and they fly directly into Tokyo. That connection will help to re-engage this market,” Bartlett, minister of tourism, is quoted as saying in the release.
He said, too, that “with the world’s fourth largest economy offering up 17 million overseas travellers every year, we want to take the opportunity to promote Jamaica as a premier vacation option for the Japanese traveller”.
According to the release, Tourism Expo Japan is a premier event for travel brands serious about capturing a share of the lucrative Japanese outbound market. It is one of the largest travel events in the world and provides opportunities for travel professionals from more than 130 countries to exchange travel information and conduct effective business meetings, while inspiring consumers through the power of travel, the release said.
The event was organised by Japan Travel and Tourism Association, Japan Association of Travel Agents and the Japan National Tourism Organization, under the theme ‘Managing Sustainable Tourism for Community Development’.
It is expected to feature presentations by industry leaders such as Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization; and Gloria Guevara Manzo, president and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council.
During his visit, the minister is also expected to engage in a series of meetings with Japanese tourism stakeholders such as Japan Association of Travel Agents and members of the Japanese Government. He is expected to return to the island on Sunday.