Amid the spread of the novel coronavirus globally, Tadashi Kaneko, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Executive Director Global Strategy Headquarters, said at a news conference, “We are not in a situation to talk about tourism. It is time to prepare for the future recovery.”
When the current crisis ends, severe competition to attract inbound tourists will begin in the world. “It is important for JNTO to make sufficient preparations to restart promotional activities as soon as the unprecedented crisis ends,” Kaneko said. “We have to consolidate partnerships with airlines and travel companies more than before, and we will deliver safe travel in Japan to the world quickly and accurately.”
For the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics that are postponed a year later, JNTO will develop the previously planned promotions as scheduled and at the same build new promotion programs.
Meanwhile, Kaneko emphasized that a priority should be put on revitalization of the domestic travel market prior to the inbound travel market, for which JNTO will work together with tourism sectors dealing with domestic travels.
The inbound travel market saw a 60% reduction in February 2020, which was the second monthly reduction rate following April 2011 after the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred. Kaneko revealed that more reductions are expected in March 2020, but JNTO continues challenging to the future goal of 40 million international visitors.