Japan eyes piece of Indian pie
After opening the doors of its Indian office in New Delhi, JNTO is gearing up to draw more Indian tourists to the country and plans to add another office in Mumbai.
Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) opened its office in India last year in an attempt to tap the country’s booming outbound segment. With its presence in New Delhi, the NTO would now like to extend its services to Mumbai, informs Kenichi Takano, Executive Director – Delhi Office, JNTO.
Japan has witnessed a steady growth in the number of Indian tourists, he says, and the idea is to keep adding to the numbers. He adds, “We received around 123,000 Indian tourists in 2016 as compared to the year before, and growth of about 20 per cent was witnessed. Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka are some of the popular places in Japan Indians have been visiting.”
Apart from Mumbai and New Delhi, JNTO is also eyeing cities like Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata as potential source markets for tourists.
The Japanese capital, Tokyo, is a natural pitstop for most travellers and about 60 per cent of Indian tourists travelling there are mainly for business purposes, informs Takano. “However, we are targeting families, honeymooners and business travellers as Japan’s tourism products are extremely diverse,” he comments. “We have theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios for families, onsens or natural hot springs for wellness lovers, history and culture, and breathtaking natural products like the world-renowned Mt Fuji.” He states that Indians usually visit Japan for about two weeks and there is a rising interest for Hokkaido to experience the sakura season, which occurs between spring and summer.
While JNTO has been promoting the destination extensively through print and electronic media, branding in malls and airports and B2B seminars in Mumbai and New Delhi, they plan to etch the destination in Indians’ minds through the most popular and prevalent medium – Bollywood. A remake of the 60’s blockbuster movie, Love in Tokyo, the film will partly be shot in Japan, and Takano hopes this will be instrumental in capturing the attention of the Indian travellers.
Takano highlights the minimal presence of Indians in other sectors as well and says, “Japan doesn’t have too many Indians working there or even students, so we are trying to change this. We are especially trying to invite Indian hotel brands to set up properties there so that this factor can appeal to the Indian market.”
Apart from Mumbai and New Delhi, JNTO is also eyeing cities like Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata as potential source markets for tourists
Kenichi Takano JNTO