Bullish over close to double-digit growth from Indian arrivals, Japan is looking to promote novel products in India and also the destination wedding segment. “The total number of tourists from India to Japan was 134,400 with a growth rate of 9.3 per cent. This is less that our expectation; we thought that we will reach around 150,000. Some problems like the North Korea Missile issue have affected. I think this year we will grow rapidly. We have already invited over 20 travel agents and six media to Japan in 2017, to showcase that the destination is safe as ever. In 2018, we are looking at a growth of around 20 per cent,” Kenichi Takano, Executive Director (Delhi Office), JNTO said.
Speaking about the average spend Takano said, “According to a survey, the average length of stay for Indian travellers is close to 15 days. The spending by Indian travellers is 160,000 Japanese Yen (approx Rs. 90,000). Indians are high spenders and are very important for Japan.”
Mumbai has emerged as one of the biggest source markets for Japan in terms of the MICE market. Also the destination has steadily witnessed growth in the cruising segment from India. Takano added, “Japan is a big destination for the MICE segment from India, especially the Mumbai market. We have received a lot of visa requirement for MICE from this city. Cruising in Japan is very popular, especially for China, Korea and South East Asian travellers. Star Cruise is operating in Japan and I think we are receiving travellers from India for cruising as well. This is also one of our major target segments in India market.”
JNTO is now aggressively looking to promote the destination wedding segment in India. Today, India is one of the biggest source markets for global destination for this segment as the average participants in an Indian wedding is high.
Speaking about this segment Takano said, “Our big plan is to promote destination weddings in Japan for the Indian travellers. Average number of participants in Indian weddings is around 150 and average money spent is close to 50 million Japanese Yen. So we are recommending Japanese travel agents and hotels, to invite destination wedding to Japan. Okinawa is a beautiful destination for weddings and also Kyoto Temple is a destination fit for weddings. I also want to organise a destination wedding seminar in Japan to invite local government, Japanese travel agents and hotels to spread awareness of this segment.”
Speaking about the latest products for the Indian market He further said, “Tateyama Alpine Route is one of the latest products we are promoting in the India market. The operation period of this Alpine Route is same as the Indian school vacations from April until June. Indian travellers can experience snow there. We are also promoting Hiroshima and Hokkaido. Family is our top travellers apart from MICE. We want to grow other segments like students. Have special activities to attract students to Japan.”