With the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games already in Tokyo’s pocket, Japan is looking to bring in more Southeast Asian tourists with pop culture content exports coupled with the easing of visa requirements into the country. Japan is currently competing in tourism with South Korea, which will also host major events in the coming years – the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, for one. A weakening yen will help Japan in this cause, but Seoul has regularly bested Tokyo in recent years in drawing middle-class visitors from Southeast Asian Nations.
For instance, Japan’s 2012 total of 260,000 Thai visitors was a 35 percent jump from 2008. But South Korea welcomed more than double that amount in 2012 – 387,000 – than it had seen in 2008, this according to data from the Japan National Tourism Organization. Thailand represents the largest source of tourists for both countries among the 10 ASEAN members. “The export of Korean pop content has helped South Korea’s tourism promotions by raising people’s interest in the country,” Japan National Tourism Organisation Marketing and Promotion Department Executive Director Mamoru Kobori said. “In this regard, exporting J-pop songs, animation and other Japanese pop culture contents represents an extremely important strategy to increase future visitors to Japan.”
Japan has seen an increase in visitors in recent months, helped by increased low-cost carrier flights and Japan National Tourism Organization-led campaigns to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Japan-ASEAN relations. Visitors from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam surged to more than 869,000 from Jan. to Oct., compared to the 607,000 tourists in the same period in 2012. Japan hopes this could translate into reaching its target of one million visitors from ASEAN this year. “As local economies develop, Southeast Asia will have 100 million middle-class people by 2020,” Kobori said. “The market potential is huge as only several percent of them would equate to several million people visiting Japan.”
[via Sports Features]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan