Urgent Message: Thank You from Japan

Preparing for the first anniversary of the historic natural disaster that hit the northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), along with Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), expresses special appreciation for all the support from the American people, which brought 566,000 visitors from the US to Japan within less than one year.

According to an Oxford Economics report, progress against a major decrease in Japan’s tourism industry “was tracked and found to be positive – in line with the best-case scenario.”

This is a remarkably rapid recovery in less than one year after the disaster, and a global brand marketing consultancy Future Brand, Japan is described as “the hero in tourism” for managing all tourism elements for goodwill in the face of crisis.

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JNTO’s statistics show the recovery in the US market tops among the western markets with 51,706 visitors in January 2012, which reaches up almost to the same level from the same month from last year after almost 60% decrease in April 2011.

On the first anniversary of the natural disaster, the president of JNTO Ryoichi Matsuyama also expresses a sincere gratitude, appealing that “Japan is ready to welcome another spring sun” for visitors to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossom all over the country.

Coinciding with the centennial of the cherry trees gifted from Japan to Washington DC, JNTO and JTA welcome US visitors to Japan and re-emphasize Japan’s tourism attraction with a special version of the tourism campaign logo.

A few Japanese organizations installed a series of Japan events, Japan Week, in New York City from March 1 to 11.

Times Square: Times Square turned pink!  Japan has set off the special celebration month on March 1 with the unprecedented view of Times Square with pink on digital screens, the double-decker buses carrying pink billboard and a flock of people in beautiful silk kimono strolling on Broadway.

Grand Central Terminal: The time-honored Vanderbilt Hall became a multi-dimensional pavilion of Japanese culture. Responding to huge popularity of Japanese cuisine, the Organization to Promote Japanese Restaurant Abroad (JRO) and JNTO brought culinary and tourism together for the first time to a public event.

Started on March 1 throughout the first weekend of March, the Hall drew even more crowds than the Terminals main hall a few times!  Tourists, commuters, office workers and Japan fans flocked to the event for the first-hand experience of Japan.

In the picture above: Times Square Becomes Cherry Blossom Square for Japan Week.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman