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India among top 10 source markets for Japan tourism

Having received approximately 45,000 Indians between January and August 2012, a 20 per cent increase from the same period last year, JNTO has recognised India as one of the top 10 source markets. JNTO is now set to increase these numbers, with a focus on the high end leisure segment, aided by a simplified visa application process done through VFS Global and Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS). This information was provided by Motonari Adachi, Executive Director - Singapore Office, JNTO, at the Visit Japan Seminar and Tourism Exchange held recently in Mumbai.

“September 2012 recorded the highest number of Indian tourist arrival numbers so far, and to give these a push we have roped in Bollywood actress Dia Mirza to promote Japan as a popular tourist destination in India. We appreciate Mirza’s valuable support to our promotional campaign in the Indian market. India is one of the key focus markets for us and we have witnessed a remarkable recovery from it,” Adachi said adding that there is all possibility for more tourism exchange between the two nations over the years with new flights ex-Delhi by All Nippon Airways (ANA), and new daily services by Japan Airlines Ltd (JAL).

Shedding light further on JNTO’s efforts in India, Adachari added that the JNTO is planning a FAM trip for 16 travel agents in November. “Currently, our focus is Delhi and Mumbai as these are our strong source markets. Next, we will look at Chennai and Bengaluru as well. By April 2013, these destinations will have transit flights to Japan and will automatically become a focus then,” he stated. He also expressed hope that Air India will soon resume its flights into Japan thus increasing the nations’ seat capacity, which was 12,892 between JAL, ANA and AI so far, and is expected to go up to 22,346 with the addition of the new flights.

Adachi further revealed that JNTO will be opening its Jakarta office in May 2013, and hopes to have an India office soon as well. In addition, the body plans to tap Indian travellers through Bollywood. “We would like to invite IIFA to host the award function in Japan some time. The average Indian tourism spend is US$ 2500 per trip, making them the third highest spenders,” concluded Adachi. The seminar also brought in a delegation of representatives from JTB Global Marketing and Travel; Shinsu Travel; and Hakkaida Tourist Centre to network with the Indian travel trade.

Speaking about ANA’s effort to increase Indian footfall to Japan, Rita Uttamsingh, Regional Manager, ANA, revealed that the airline is offering special rates of Rs 60,000 per person for Business Class bookings for a minimum of two pax on flights ex-Mumbai. The inaugural offer for the ex-Delhi flight is Rs 9,000 for bookings for 29-31 October 2012. In addition, the airline is continuing its five per cent IATA commission for all travel agents. JAL unveiled its tour based special fares of Rs 18,000 + taxes for flights ex-Delhi and Rs 30,000 + taxes for flights from other metro cities.

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