THE Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) recently conducted its inaugural Destination Japan Specialist Programme for outbound travel consultants in New Delhi and Mumbai.
“This offline specialist programme was conducted to offer detailed information to travel trade partners in India about Japan that would enhance their product knowledge and help them to create itineraries for tourists,” said Daisuke Kobayashi, director of Singapore, Malaysia & India, JNTO.
As part of the programme, a workshop was conducted and agents were divided into groups to create customised itineraries based on themes. At the end of the workshop, each participating travel agent was certified as a Destination Japan Specialist.
Kobayashi hopes the specialist programme will stir up Indian demand for new destinations in Japan. He said: “Indian travel agents are aware of the Golden Route in Japan but now we are also looking to promote the Alpine Route, where one can experience beautiful nature. We may also introduce an online specialist programme in India after gauging the success of the offline programme."
Seeing potential in selling Japan as an outbound destination, Gopal Kumar, director, Balaji Travco India, commented: “There is a strong business travel movement from India to Japan and such a specialist programme will help us to present Japan as a leisure destination effectively.”
In 2015, Japan welcomed 103,200 visitors from India, a growth of 17.3 per cent year-on-year, while foreign arrivals hiked 47 per cent to 19.7 million. JNTO is targeting 40 million international tourist visitations in 2020.