Instagram organized an Instameet (Instagram meeting) in Ginza at the Noh theater "Kanze Nogakudo" with around 30 Instagramers to announce the launch of the #unknownjapan campaign, an opportunity for Instagramers to post pictures and movies about "unknown" Japan in order to help reach the Japanese government’s goals of (1) 40 million international visitors (2) spending 8 trillion JPY in Japan by 2020.
There is already more than 800 million active Instagram users every month all over the world, and 3 million international travelers in Japan have posted 20 million pictures or movies so far in 2017, according to Kevin Weil, Head of Product at Instagram. He added that "Instagram enables travelers to experience trips differently."
Referring to the results of a survey indicating that two thirds of the users take advantage of Instagram to select their next travel destination or to decide how to spend their weekend, Weil emphasized that Instagram is a big tool for travelers looking for travel ideas.
Instagram will organize an exhibition showcasing pictures and movies posted for this campaign at the end of 2017.
At the same time, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) launched its official Instagram account @visitjapanjp. JNTO's Executive Vice President Takahisa Kashiwagi said that "It is the moment to create travel content with SNS users. We try to achieve the government’s goals by collaborating with Instagramers" and he added "Tourism and photos work well together. I hope that Instagramers will reveal unknown Japan to the world as private ambassadors."
Akihiko Tamura, Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner, appeared on the stage as well to express his big hopes related to the power of SNS such as Instagram. He said that "It is the time for general consumers to share their own experiences with the world. This will enable professional suppliers to notice new things" and added "New attractions can be discovered even in well-known Japan by looking from different angles."
Kashiwagi explained that the launch of the official Instagram account is one of the digital promotion efforts. He said that "It should have been launched earlier" and added "The Instagram community with its 800 million active users every month is still attractive. It is not too late to launch this account. It can help us reach people who do not see Japan as a holiday destination."
Tourism Australia has more than 2.3 million followers on its official Instagram account, surpassing all other national tourism organizations' accounts, according to JNTO. Kashiwagi said that JNTO targets this number of followers on @visitjapanjp.
JNTO is currently renewing its website as well to rewrite its content from foreigners' perspective. This autumn, JNTO will create a digital marketing office operating as a new internal organization controlling SNS, its official app, and the renewed website.