Invite 10,000 foreigners and create ‘Safe Source’ word of mouth

¥1.2 billion requested by the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency

On the 19th  of October, Mr Mizobata, Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, held a press conference at the tourism trade fair ‘ITB Asia’ as it kicked off in Singapore. He announced a plan to pay for 10,000 foreigners to visit Japan in 2012, to help the recovery of foreign tourism which has dropped significantly in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Tourism Agency will invite foreign sightseers to share their experiences via the Internet and show the world how safe and secure Japan is. ¥1.2billion (£10 million) for this project has been requested from the 2012 fiscal budget.

The Tourism Agency will recruit 10,000 visitors via the Internet in several languages, including English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish. They will select foreigners who can share their experiences via membership-based social network services such as Facebook and the micro-blogging site, Twitter. These people will be provided with complimentary round-trip air tickets. After the budget year ends, the Agency is planning to continue the project the following summer as well. The Commissioner, Mr Mizobata said, ‘We want people to transmit the image of a safe and secure Japan, by word of mouth, leading to an explosive recovery of foreign tourism.’

Adapted and Translated from jijcom

I’ll be reporting  when the Japan Tourism Agency announces how the selection process will take place, so bookmark this blog and check back soon!

What do you think about this plan to increase tourism? A great idea or could the money be better spent elsewhere?