Media Releases

Media Releases

Japan: Action plans for tourism recovery

More than three months have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Recovery work in the affected areas is well under progress and life and business in Japan is continuing as normal in most parts of the country, including popular destinations for Australians, such as Hokkaido, Nagano, Kyoto and Tokyo. However, Japan’s tourism industry was severely affected and according to visitor number statistics released by Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO), estimated figures for April and May have decreased by 62.5% and 50.4% respectively.

Aiming to fully recover inbound tourism to Japan, JNTO is undertaking several emergency action plans on a global scale. By the end of July we plan to host large-scale familiarisation tours, inviting to Japan a total of 1,000 travel industry professionals and media representatives from around the world. More than 610 travel agents and 390 journalists from 15 countries, such as Australia, USA, England, Korea and China will be invited to see first-hand that Japan is safe, the progress it has made in the short three months post-earthquake and to reinforce the beauty and vibrancy of Japan.

In Australia, JNTO’s campaign activities will be carried out throughout June ~ August and will include:

  • travel agents and media familiarisation trips to Japan
  • advertisements in major Australian newspapers and online
  • Japan special reports in major Australian media outlets

Campaign activities will be rolled out in phases, with a priority to reassure travellers and restore consumer confidence in visiting Japan once more.

Around 60 travel agents from Australia are invited on the Travel Agents Familiarisation Trips and will visit Tokyo and Kyoto plus other historical and cultural areas such as: Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Toba, Ise and Kumano Kodo. In addition, JNTO Sydney invited 6 travel writers and journalists from prominent Australian newspapers and magazines to visit Japan and experience first-hand that Japan is well and open for business.

The month of June saw the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs’ SmartTraveller relaxing its overall travel advice to Japan to normal – “Be alert to own security”, apart for the affected areas around the Fukushima Power Plant.

“With summer and autumn travel seasons just around the corner, we hope to see more Australian travellers enjoy their vacation travel to Japan as usual”, commented Mr. Yukio Yamashita, Executive Director JNTO Sydney.

Japan National Tourism Organization - launched and continues to update its Japan Travel Updates on its website, where up-to-date post-earthquake travel information is available; including information on current status of transportation, radiation levels, the safety of water and food services in Japan, press releases from
United Nations Organizations and live video reports and messages from Japan.


Japan re-commences its promotion activities with Snow promotion

Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office will re-commence its promotional activities this month aiming to promote ski in Japan. Our promotional activities were put on hold after the earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan on 11 March.

The previous snow season in Japan saw an increase in visitor numbers with 52,200 Australian visitors for January and February 2011 together, the highest record so far.

In preparation for the next ski season, JNTO together with snow resorts in Hokkaido, Nagano, Niigata, and the Tohoku Region will participate at the Snow Travel Expo to be held in Melbourne and Sydney later in May. At the exhibition booth, not only information on the upcoming snow season, but the unchanged state of tourism in Japan will be available. JNTO will also make a presentation about the current situation in Japan.

Mr. Yukio Yamashita, Executive Director JNTO Sydney commented that “ICAO and many other United Nation Organisations have released statements that there is no obstruction to travel in Japan and it was observed that radiation in Japan is lower than the average radiation levels in Australia. Popular destinationsfor Australians remain unaffected and there is no major disruption to infrastructure. Japan’s snow season can offer high quality powder snow and various other activities which can be enjoyed by families and travellers of all ages, thus is popular amongst Australians. We hope to see more Australian travellers returning to Japan in the near future”.

In addition to the Snow Travel Expo, JNTO will hold a Snow & Adventure Seminar in Sydney in May for outbound travel agents and media. We will introduce a wide array of adventures which can be enjoyed in Japan, not limited to the snow season. As the seminar is popular and places are limited, those interested in attending should RSVP earlier. Representatives from Japan will also be present *.

Snow promotion is a part of Japan recovery plan and JNTO will be holding other promotions hereafter.

Snow Travel Expo:

* Snow resorts to be present: Niseko, Furano, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Hakuba, Shiga Kogen, Nozawa Onsen, Myoko, Appi, etc.

Post-Earthquake Japan: Outbound Tourism Industry Session

Sydney April 20, 2011 – The Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office held an industry briefing and discussion session about post-earthquake Japan onWednesday, 20th April from 14:00-15:30 at the Japan Foundation Seminar Room in Sydney.

The session was aimed at sharing updated information and ideas for counter-measures to declining tourism in Japan post-earthquake with tourism industry partners and media. A total of 44 people attended, 34 industry representatives in managerial positions and 10 representatives from the travel media.

The session began with an opening speech by Mr. Yamashita, Executive Director ofJNTO Sydney, where he expressed his gratitude to industry partners for supporting Japan at such difficult times and concluded saying “Japan is often referred to as the land of the rising sun. In any case, Japan will recover from the current difficulties and soon a new bright sun will shine upon it again.”

  • The majority of tourist areas throughout Japan are not affected by the earthquake and tsunami, are operating as normal and have received no disruptions to infrastructure. They do not pose any obstruction to tourism.
  • Radiation levels outside the evacuation zone are of permissible levels and have no health risk to humans.
  • Statements from United Nations Organisations, such as ICAO, WTO and UNWTO were introduced showing that there are no health or transportation safety hazards for travel to Japan.
  • All bullet train services are operating as normal, except for a section of the Tohoku Shinkansen line, which is expected to resume normal operation later in April.
  • As of March 29th, all scheduled power outages in Japan have been cancelled.

During the Discussion Session, JNTO outlined its future strategies and received some valuable feedback and ideas from industry partners on possible strategies, which were discussed at length. Many stressed that primary strategies should focus on increasing consumer confidence for travel to unaffected areas in Japan.

In conclusion, the Japan National Tourism Organization - will reflect the ideas generated today in its future strategies for tourism to Japan.

Japan Travel Advisory

Sydney, March 18, 2011 – We are grateful for the warm support and thoughts from many people after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on 11th March 2011. Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) Sydney Office expresses condolences and our thoughts go out to all the people who have been affected.

The JNTO Sydney Office is committed to providing as much useful information to the industry and the public as possible.

We have been sending out a document to Japan specialist agents that contains links to information such as tsunami warnings and nuclear safety, information on the current service status of transportation networks in Japan, airline information, and telephone or translation services for travellers from overseas. This document is updated daily and will be sent out again to agents if needed.

For visitors currently travelling in Japan, the Tokyo Headquarters of Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) provides around-the-clock telephone information service at the Tourist Information Centre (TIC):

TIC in Tokyo
Phone: +81-(0)3-3201-3331 Service in English, Chinese and Korean
The 24-hour service is available for the duration of current crisis

Please note that due to the intensive recovery effort, information on the current situation in Japan is updated frequently, therefore we advise individuals to check the latest information on their own.

Japan National Tourism Organization - Tokyo Headquarters:

Australian arrivals to Japan have seen another increase

The Japan National Tourism Organization - (JNTO) has unveiled inbound visitor numbers for 2010. Australian arrivals to Japan for 2010 numbered 225,800, 6.7% (14,000 people) increase compared to 211,659 in 2009.

In December 2010 alone, 24,800 Australians visited Japan, an increase of 2.3% (600 people) compared to the same period last year. Australia’s share of inbound arrivals to Japan represented 2.6% of the total visitors in 2010.


Australia has retained its position as the sixth major Japan inbound market for the fourth year running, with its position currently ahead of Thailand, the UK, Singapore and Canada and behind South Korea, China, Taiwan, USA and Hong Kong.

JNTO cited a number of contributors to the growth in visitor numbers, such as the improving business conditions around the world; positive publicity and advertising results, and the increase in needs for ski travel. Japan is blessed with qualified international ski resorts and during the season, which is December through late March and early April received good amount of snow, making Japan the perfect destination for snow holidays.

JNTO Sydney Executive Director, Yukio Yamashita commented: “We are pleased that a number of Australianstravelled to Japan to discover its wealth of attractions and beauty. For many years Japan has been perceived as an expensive country with high language barriers. Nowadays, most Australians who have visited Japan realise that it is actually a very affordable travel destination and language barriers have been greatly reduced. I believe that public knowledge has also led to the increase in tourist numbers.”

All of Japan’s major inbound markets performed well in 2010 and visitor arrivals from all inbound markets totaled 8,61million. This is a 26.8% increase from 8,35million in 2008, which was the highest number on records thus far.

The figures released by JNTO are based on arrivals of Australian passport holders and include business, leisure and stopover visitors.


Japan unveils Visit Japan Year 2011 Winter Campaign

The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) has unveiled the Visit Japan Year 2011 Winter Campaign which will run through March 31, 2011, in a bid to attract more international visitors to Japan during the cooler months.

The unveiling of the Winter Campaign coincided with the Chinese New Year (early February) and the beginning of the cherry blossoms season (late March) and saw the re-launch of the Visit Japan Year 2011 campaign website ( which provides details of the special offers and gifts available during the campaign at participating department stores, restaurants, tourist attractions, and hotels and ryokan across Japan. Travellers can make use of these offers through the ‘Super Saver Coupons’ downloadable from the website.

The website lists the experiences Japan offers under the categories of sightseeing, gourmet, activities, entertainment, shopping, and accommodations to facilitate easy travel planning.

Furthermore, it features a ‘recommendations’ section, which outlines festivals and events for the season and offers interesting suggestions on how to enjoy Japan more, such as places to enjoy traditional Japanese culture, where to find cool Japanese fashion and destinations for special interest.

Winter in Japan can be vastly different from area to area, with big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka having short winters, whereas mountainous regions and northern Japan experience heavy snow falls and turn white, perfect for skiing. Across the country various snow and illumination events are held, creating memorable and breathtaking views in this winter wonderland. Towards the end of March sakura, cherry blossoms come to life and reveal the coming of spring.





WIN a chance for your own Japan experience!

The Japan Tourism Agency has recently launched a website, which provides information on outdoor activities in Japan. Some of these include: hiking and trekking in Mt. Fuji (Yamanashi and Shizuoka); rock climbing in Ogawayama (Nagano); bicycle touring around Tokyo city; mountain biking in Niseko (Hokkaido); white water rafting in Tone River (Gunma); canyoning in Hakuba (Nagano) and relaxing in an onsen (hot springs) in Kusatsu (Gunma). The website offers recommendations on four popular locations for each outdoor activity, with information on the areas and links to their respective websites.

Furthermore, during the period of 1st February, 2011 untill 28th February, 2011, some great prizes are on offer to those who enter the Lucky Draw on the website. These include a pair of round-trip Economy Class tickets from Sydney to Narita (Tokyo); 5-nights accommodation in some of Japan’s most popular resorts and a number of goodies for the outdoor lovers. Visit the website now to enter the draw and begin your own outdoor adventure in Japan.

For more information on outdoor adventures, visit:
For information on the white season, visit :


Airlines of the JAL Group Named Most Punctual for 2nd Consecutive Year

Best On-time Arrival Performance among International Airlines – Japan Airlines International Best On-time Arrival Performance among Regional Asian Airlines – J-AIR

Tokyo, January 26, 2011: Airlines of the JAL Group – Japan Airlines International (JAL) and J-AIR, have been identified as having the best on-time arrival performance respectively among global airlines and airlines in Asia, by Conducive Technology Corporation*1 – a data provider of reliable flight information to the transportation industry. Statistics tabulated by Conducive’s FlightStats show 89.90%*2 of the 180,343 scheduled international and domestic flights operated by JALI in the calendar year 2010 arrived at their destinations as scheduled, rendering it the most punctual airline among 33 major global carriers*3 evaluated for this award. Regionally, J-AIR emerged first among 9 contending airlines in the category of most on-time carrier in Asia*4, a title held by another JAL Group airline JAL Express in 2009.

An awards ceremony will be held today at the headquarters of the JAL Group in Tokyo where its President Masaru Onishi will receive the “FlightStats 2010 On-Time Performance Service Awards” for both airlines from Mr. Jeffrey Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer of Conducive Technology Corporation.

“We could not have achieved this without the understanding and cooperation of valued passengers who arrive at their boarding gates promptly, and without the dedication and efforts of our employees,” said Masaru Onishi. “We would like to thank them for ensuring the on-time departures and arrivals of our flights and thereby help us retain this title for a second year.”The JAL Group is firmly committed to providing customers with the safest standards in flight operations and high quality products and services. It also regards punctuality as a fundamental quality of an airline group and will continue to endeavor to maintain on-time departures so as to be a reliable carrier of customers’ choice.

  • 1 Conducive Technology Corp. is a data services provider focused on delivering innovative information solutions to the travel and logistics industries ( Conducive’s FlightStats ( product delivers real-time and historical flight performance information. Conducive Technology has broad experience in travel, including development of high-volume e-commerce web sites and web infrastructure for several major airlines. The privately held company is led by President Jeffrey Kennedy and is based in Portland, Oregon.
  • 2 The FlightStats On-time Performance Service (OPS) Awards recognize airlines around the world that deliver the highest percentage of flights to their arrival gates within 15 minutes of the scheduled arrival time or earlier.
  • 3 The 33 major global airlines evaluated for this award each operated more than 30,000 flights in 2010, in at least 3 of the following regions: Asia, Africa, Europe, America and the Pacific.
  • 4 The 9 Asian carriers evaluated for this award each operated more than 20,000 flights in Asia, in 2010

JAL Group Re-establishes Identity with Corporate Policy and Logo Change

The JAL Group (JAL) today will adopt a new corporate policy and announced its decision to change its logo from April 1, 2011; symbolizing a fresh start for the airline group with its strengthened commitment to society and reinvigorated determination of the management and all employees.

The motif that will be used is of a soaring Japanese red-crown crane with its wings extended in full flight – an auspicious icon of Japan representing the high spirits of the Japanese people and their sensitive attention to detail. First registered as a trademark of Japan Airlines in August 1959, the circular crane mark was painted on the entire fleet during the period of JAL’s international network expansion. It stayed a main feature of the JAL livery for more than 40 years and became an unmistakable image representing Japan Airlines and the country it connected the world with. Bearing this mark on its aircraft, JAL displayed the uniqueness and progress of Japan to the world and it often invoked a sense of pride and familiarity in many Japanese as well as its loyal customers.

The symbol of the crane has come to be associated with the nation’s distinct hallmarks of pristine quality and reliability. For customers, JAL is determined to safeguard these values of the Japanese culture and to continue reflecting its quintessential hospitality from the heart in the airline’s authentic services – a promise that is now embodied in the Group’s new corporate policy unveiled today.

“Japan Airlines started out as a pioneer and ventured on a path where no other company in Japan explored,” said JAL Group President Masaru Onishi. “Today, we firmly resolve to recapture the unity and challenging spirit that our employees possessed at the time of JAL’s founding, and together, we will propel the company forward over the hurdles that lie ahead to again stand at the forefront of this ever-evolving industry.”
“Now, represented by the high-flying crane, we hereby renew our commitment to provide our valued customers with the highest levels of service, and to diligently raise our corporate value so that the JAL Group can once again contribute to the advancement of society.”

The first aircraft to be painted with the new logo will be a Boeing 767-300ER for international flights. With the exception of staff uniforms which will remain unchanged, corporate items bearing the current logo such as signage, name tags and stationery will gradually be phased out over the next few years.

Restaurant Search Function newly available on JNTO website

Japan National Tourism (JNTO) in conjunction with the creators of the online Japan Restaurant Guide, Gourmet Navigator Inc. (Gournavi) have launched a multilingual restaurant search function on the JNTO website. It is now available in English, Chinese and Korean.

In addition to the specific searches of restaurant type, location and price range, the website also offers search options for English availability at the restaurants, such as English menus and English speaking staff.

Japanese cuisine was the main motivation for Australians travelling to Japan in 2009, according to results of the JNTO’s annual survey of international visitors released on July 30, 2010.

The survey also showed that Australians are not alone in their love of Japanese food with 58.5 percent of all respondents citing Japanese food as the main purpose for their travel. Cuisine also rated number one, came first place, top of the list in a JNTO survey about what visitors most enjoyed about their stay in Japan.

It is evident that the increasing popularity of Japanese cuisine worldwide is having a very positive impact on tourism, drawing food lovers who seek out authentic culinary experiences to Japan.

JNTO Restaurant Search

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