Bangkok, 25 July 2013: Mr. Norifumi Ide, Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency, Mr. Kazuhiro Ito, Executive Director, JNTO Bangkok Office and their team members paid a courtesy call on Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand, to discuss tourism cooperation between Thailand and Japan.
Mr. Suraphon said, “I was pleased to learn about the Japanese Government’s exemption of the tourist visa for Thai nationals. This will certainly enhance the popularity of Japan as a tourist destination and boost the number of Thai visitors to Japan this year. It will also help grow the business of the many airlines operating between the two countries.”
At present, there are a total of 117 direct scheduled flights weekly between Thailand and major cities in Japan. Thai Airways International plans to increase flights between Bangkok and Sapporo to daily and open two new routes to Sendai and Hiroshima. Other airlines such as Asia Atlantic Airlines and Thai AirAsia X also plan new routes between Thailand and Japan.
Increasing the number of flights between the two countries will benefit visitors from both countries and facilitate the success of two-way tourism, a strategic policy of the Japanese government to narrow the gap between inbound-outbound visitors.
In 2012, Japanese visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 1,373,716, up by 21.79% over the year 2011. In January–June 2013, Japanese visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 731,241, up by 17.35% over the same period of last year.
Japan seeks Thailands help to promote tourism1 Japan seeks Thailands help to promote tourism2
The TAT has three branch offices in Japan, namely Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka which undertake a series of activities every year to ensure a steady flow of visitors to Thailand. They participate in annual events such as the JATA Travel Showcase in September. One recent event was the Thailand Roadshow event that attracted 30 Thai tourism organisations in a promotion in Sapporo, Hiroshima and Nagoya during 24-28 June 2013.
The TAT also promotes Thailand in major events such as the Sapporo Snow Festival, Dontaku Festival in Fukuoka city and Tenjin Festival in Osaka.
In 2014, TAT will focus its promotional efforts on two niche markets: 1) the elderly group (long stay) and 2) student groups and school trips.
The Japanese government is promoting inbound tourists from around the world travel to the country with a target of 10 million inbound visitors and 20 million outbound Japanese within two years.
Thailand and Japan have cooperated in the past, especially to promote tourism after disasters such as the tsunami in Japan and flooding in Thailand. There is a lot more scope for tourism cooperation between the two sides.
Thailand and Japan celebrated the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2012. Japan is Thailand’s largest trading partner, while Thailand is Japan’s sixth largest trading partner. In terms of investment, Japan is the largest group of investors in Thailand, with investment value of 312 billion baht, accounting for 63 percent of the total foreign direct investment in Thailand. There are about 7,000 Japanese companies operating in Thailand.
In 2013, TAT is expecting 1.42 million Japanese visitors, generating an estimated 55,690 million baht in tourism revenue. In 2012, outbound Thai travellers to Japan totalled 202,015, up by 5.65%.
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
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Web site: www.tatnews.org