JAPANESE tourism authorities will prioritise development of the cruise industry over coming years as the destination works to achieve ambitious visitor targets in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
At the Visit Japan Travel Mart in Tokyo last month, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) executive vice president Mamoru Kobori told CW the cruise sector would be a key contributor to the country’s plan to attract 40 million annual visitors by 2020.
“It’s a very important sector for us,” Kobori said.
“For the last couple of years JNTO, together with relevant authorities and local governments, have exhibited at major cruise trade shows and we target each major source market to promote the attractiveness of each local port,” he said.
JNTO had identified six key destinations from among almost 100 seaports, Kobori said, which would be the focus of strategic investment in facilities and hospitality to support cruising.
He said cruise ships offered an opportunity to deliver visitors to areas of Japan that were not otherwise considered conveniently located.