Konnichiwa! This week TRC is coming to you from Japan, where we have been working with Austrade in an effort to establish relationships with Japanese Government, Destination Management Organisations and the tourism industry. Japan is very interested in growing Australian and Western visitation as we seek more immersive and authentic cultural and natural experiences, stay longer and spend more. Currently, Japan receives high visitation from the domestic and Asian markets who are predominately short stay visitors and travel in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, with minimal regional dispersal.

On Tuesday, together with a targeted group of Australian tourism consultants, we were invited to present our tourism services and opportunities to over 100 Japanese delegates in Tokyo. On Wednesday, we travelled to Kyuushuu in Japan’s south west. We were treated to a tour of Fukuoka, Hakata and Itoshima regions hosted by Austrade, the Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Fukuoka Prefecture Tourist Association and the Kyuushuu Tourism Promotion Organisation. We enjoyed the beautiful iris flowers in bloom around the ancient Fukuoka Castle, learned about world famous Hakata textiles operating for over 150 years, were treated to an organic farm tasting at Itoshima, sipped on award winning sake and watched the sun set at Futamigaura beach. The visit provided great insight into the existing visitor experience in Kyuushuu and the challenges they face catering for a largely domestic and Asian market.

Following the tour, we presented to 40 Kyuushuu delegates highlighting the opportunities available for Kyuushuu to become an attractive destination for Western markets. Three days full of making new friends, giving and receiving lots of meishi (business cards), ramen and sashimi eating and omiyage (souvenir) buying.

We would like to thank Austrade for this opportunity and look forward to building many relationships in Japan in the future.

Otsukaresamadeshita! (Thank you for your tireless effort).
Matane! (Until next time.)

Tracey at Tokyo Tower

Traditional weaving of Hakata textiles, first used by Shogun Fuedal Lords, later as uniforms during WWII, beautiful kimonos, fashion wear and today as luxury seating in Lexus cars due to its undeniable durability.

Meeting with Toyama-san from Kumamoto Destination Management Company who TRC has worked together with previously.

Itoshima sake tasting

Iris in bloom at Fukuoka Castle

Sunset at Futamigaura beach. Mama and Papa-san rocks in the background a site where you pray for ongoing wedded bliss!

Enjoying a traditional Japanese lunch with with Australian Consul General Fukuoka and the Kyuushuu Tourism Promotion Organisation.