Japan taps UK expertise for Olympic tourism boost

The MoU was signed by Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain, and Ryoichi Matsuyama, president of the JNTO
The MoU was signed by Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain, and Ryoichi Matsuyama, president of the JNTO

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has signed a new partnership with VisitBritain, aimed at encouraging the exchange of tourism information and best practices between the two Olympic host nations.

Penned at the British Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo on Friday, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will focus on how the UK managed its tourism industry before, during and after the 2012 Olympics. Tokyo will host the Games in 2020.

The MoU was signed by Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain, and Ryoichi Matsuyama, president of the JNTO.

“2013 was a record year for British tourism and we didn’t experience a drop in Olympic year either. This agreement with our friends at JNTO will enable us to pass on invaluable knowledge and help deliver a lasting tourism legacy for Japanese tourism,” said Rodrigues.

To achieve this, VisitBritain will advise the JNTO on how to promote Japan to overseas visitors, drawing on its own first-hand information and experiences. The first project will be a Japan-UK tourism symposium, entitled ‘Growth Strategy for Tourism, Making the Best Use of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’, which will be held in London on 2 October 2014 at the Embassy of Japan.

“In 2013 Japan welcomed 10 million overseas visitors for the first time and we have started working towards 2020. We are delighted to sign this MoU with successful Olympics host VisitBritain, and value the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as an opportunity to transform Japan into a more tourism-oriented country,” said Matsuyama.

The 10m arrivals achieved by Japan last year marked a new record for the country, and this year the country is embarking on an ambitious long-term plan to double its inbound tourism to 20 million overseas arrivals.

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