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Tourism sector sees Japan travel regain momentum

Tourism sector sees Japan travel regain momentum

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) People involved in the local tourism sector have said they had seen travel to Japan surge in recent months and the country regain its status as one of the most desired travel destinations for Taiwanese tourists. With the coming of Taiwan's largest travel fair in mid-November, travel agencies expressed optimism about Japan's tourism market, which suffered after a massive earthquake devastated the country's northeastern region in March. "Demand has been high since summer," Jophia Fang, manager of Japan Airlines' passenger sales department, said recently. As a result, Fang said, the company has been developing new travel packages -- especially to Hokkaido -- to meet the needs of enthusiastic local travelers. "Travel to Hokkaido has apparently recovered from the earthquake," Fang said, adding that a recent NT$56,000 (US$1,860) travel deal targeting the northeastern island has attracted at least 800 Taiwanese tourists. In October alone, she continued, the number of local tourists going to Japan had grown by at least 20 percent. "Travel to Japan looks hot this coming winter despite the appreciation of the Japanese yen," said Nelson Chou, PR spokesperson for the Lion Group, which operates one of Taiwan's biggest travel agencies. "In fact, we designed only a few bargain deals because we don't need to depend on them to lure customers," he said, adding that Japan has definitely regained its top spot in the foreign travel market. At least one other neighboring country has sensed the shift in momentum. Teresa Hsiao, deputy director of the Korea Tourism Organization's Taipei Office, said over the last six months or so, they had lost around 14 percent of customers likely to have shifted from the South Korean market to Japan. "Our customer base does have some overlap with Japan," Hsiao said. "We are aware of the recovery of Japan's tourism sector and trying to differentiate ourselves through new campaigns." According to latest Tourism Bureau statistics, more than 457,000 Taiwanese visited Japan between June and September, a 5.6 percent increase over the same period last year. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-06-19 13:28 GMT+08:00