Press Releases

JAPAN LAUNCHES THE Visit Japan Campaign !!

JAPAN LAUNCHES THE Visit Japan Campaign !!
"YOKOSO Means Welcome" -- the Goal and Strategies for Japan's New Five Year, International Marketing Campaign.

Goal: Double Visitors to Japan by 2010
New York, NY ... September 11, 2003 ... Japan welcomed 5.2 million foreign visitors in 2002 (731,900 from the USA). We are determined to welcome 10 million travelers from around the world by the end of 2010. We predict that increasing the numbers of foreign visitors will bring both economic and cultural benefits to Japan. We are carrying out the Visit Japan Campaign or "VJC" with the intent to change the image of Japan as a travel destination. We want to make people realize that Japan -- especially tours to Japan -- are affordable, value-oriented, and comfortable.

Prime Minister Koizumi's Initiative: A Public-Private Partnership Japan's Prime Minister, Mr. Junichiro Koizumi is spearheading the Visit Japan Campaign. In February 2002, he and President Bush agreed to jointly enhance travel and tourism between our two countries. Under Mr. Koizumi's administrative initiative, Japan's central and local governments and the government-run tourism organizations, such as the Japan National Tourist Organization, as well as tourism businesses, such as airlines, hotels, ground operators and travel agencies, are cooperatively conducting this broad-based strategic campaign. "YOKOSO Means Welcome" Marketing Campaign

VJC has branded the campaign as "Yokoso Japan," which means Welcome to Japan! Numerous "Yokoso" promotional programs are being orchestrated in five targeted countries (see below) backed by a $17 million government fund in fiscal year 2003. The fund is for all the markets combined. In the United States these programs include:

Supporting foreign-based tour operators creating and marketing new tours to Japan, including: financial assistance with brochure development, website links, co-sponsored newspaper and magazine advertisements, new tour product development fam trips, and co-sponsored fam trips for operators' select travel agents.

Supporting travel agents actively selling Japan, including: a monthly emailed newsletter to Japan Travel Specialists, fam trip invitations, travel agent seminars, and participation in major travel trade shows.

Sending a message to the everyday American traveler that Japan is a welcoming, friendly and value oriented place to visit. This message is being dispersed through newspaper and magazine advertisements and advertorials, participation in consumer travel shows -- such as the national AARP Convention "Life @ 50+", and public relations activities.

Launching a new campaign website for co-sponsoring tour companies' travel programs. This site, will be active by September 14, 2003.

Conducting a direct mail campaign in conjunction with American Express.

A Five Year Plan

VJC started slowly at the beginning of 2003, but it is only now getting underway in full force. An official launch will take place in New York on September 19th. The program will continue for five years. The AARP "Life @ 50+" exhibition, held September 5-7 in Chicago was a great success, with over 16,000 well-traveled seniors from around the United States attending. The first newspaper ads will appear in the Sunday travel section of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times on September 14, in the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle magazines on September 21 and 28 respectively. Additional ads will appear in these publications in October. Also in September ads will appear in the travel trade publications Travel Agent and Travel Age West. Still to come, are ads to appear in consumer travel magazines in January and February 2004. Advertisements will also appear in regionally in AARP: The Magazine's 50-69 year-old targeted publication in the January/February 2004 issue, and during February in city magazines including: Chicago Magazine, New York Magazine, Honolulu Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, and Washingtonian. Finally, advertisements will appear in February 2004 in Hawaii Business and Pacific Magazine.

Five Target Markets

VJC is being targeted in five main markets considered the most prospective for inbound tourism to Japan. These include: The United States, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The U.S. is considered to have the most potential for increasing both tourism numbers and tourism dollars (or yen) spent.

More Information

For More information on the Visit Japan Campaign contact the Japan National Tourist Organization at One Rockefeller Plaza, Ste. 1250, New York, NY 10020, tel.212-757-5640 or log onto the campaign website at This will be linked to JNTO's North American website at

Information is provided as a courtesy to users of this website. Though the JNTO endeavors to ensure the information is accurate, users of the information are to act on such using their own judgement and at their own risk. Neither the JNTO nor any holder of copyright to the information shall be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any loss or misunderstanding, either direct or indirect, that is incurred as a result of utilizing the information.

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