UAE top priority for Japanese tourists - GulfToday

UAE top priority for Japanese tourists

High tourist numbers reflect Dubai charm

Picture used for illustrative purpose.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

The UAE, specifically Dubai, will be the first official home of the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) in the region from 2021. This is so now as the government entity that provides comprehensive information about the Northeast Asian country to inbound visitors, positions the Middle East as a priority market.

Remotely interviewed, JNTO president Satoshi Seino said: “With the strategic location of the UAE within the region and many media companies headquartered in Dubai, we believe Dubai is the ideal location for JNTO to open a first office in the Middle East.” “Connectivity from Dubai to other Middle East countries is important for us; to carry out promotional activities within the region,” he also said.

JNTO exists in 24 other countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas. At present, JNTO, under Tokyo’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, operates within the Middle East through a “preparation office” in Dubai and according to its executive director Tomoko Kikuchi, Japan saw the rise of Middle East locals, flocking to Tokyo and the country’s old capital of Kyoto from 2014 to 2019.

Kikuchi said: “They visit Tokyo and Kyoto to enjoy the unique cityscape that fuses traditional and contemporary culture, Japanese food, and shopping.” Kikuchi said JNTO Preparation Office Dubai tabled “a record high” of 28,222 GCC citizens in 2019 from the 21,976 in 2018 for a 28.4 per cent increase: “This is indicative of Japan’s rising popularity as a tourism destination within the region.”

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