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Visit Japan Campaign to join World Travel Fair (WTF) 2004 in Shanghai


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Awaodori Folk Dancers and '12 Girls Band' to perform at China-Japan Culture and Tourism Exchange Evening

As more and more tourists from China enjoy foreign travel, the Visit
Japan Campaign (VJC) Headquarters is joining other Japanese public- and private-sector organizations later this month at the World Travel Fair (WTF) 2004 in Shanghai to showcase the many attractions Japan has to offer Chinese tourists.

WTF 2004, to be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Center between February 19-22, is the first international travel fair the City of Shanghai has organized, and is being staged at a time of burgeoning interest in overseas travel among Chinese citizens.

China is one of five priority markets being targeted in a Japanese government initiative, spearheaded by the VJC Headquarters, to double overseas visitor arrivals in Japan to 10 million by 2010.

At WTF 2004, Japanese exhibitors consisting of 29 Japanese local governments, tourism-related companies and other organizations will be occupying 51 exhibition booths grouped to form a Japan Pavilion, with the VJC booth as the pavilion's gateway and venue for promoting Japan's diverse attractions to the citizens of Shanghai.

To maximize the opportunities presented by exhibiting at WTF 2004, VJC Headquarters will also approach local travel agents tracking Chinese travel trends - particularly those in package tourism - and inviting agents to special events and seminars.

On February 18 ahead of the Fair's official opening, VJC Headquarters will invite local travel industry and media representatives to a hotel in central Shanghai to enjoy the YOKOSO! JAPAN Exchange and Friendship Evening and provide networking opportunities for tourism businesses in Japan and Shanghai.

The term yokoso is a Japanese expression of welcome that conveys both appreciation to those who have made the trip to Japan, as well as a spirit of hospitality they can expect.

Later that evening, VJC Headquarters and the 'Let's Make YOKOSO! JAPAN WTF Shanghai 2004 a Success' Executive Committee will jointly host the YOKOSO! JAPAN China-Japan Tourism & Cultural Exchange Evening at the Shanghai Center Theater.

At this event, Shanghai City WTF organizers, Shanghai media and travel industry
representatives, officials from the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai, and Japanese WTF exhibitors will enjoy Awaodori Japanese folk dancing, and performances by the Shanghai Acrobatic Theater and the '12 Girls Band', the troupe of talented young Chinese musicians whose modern rendering of popular Chinese songs is winning them wide popularity both in China and Japan.

Chinese and Japanese delegates involved with this inaugural WTF in Shanghai will get together at this prestigious event to expand opportunities for tourism and cultural exchange and to salute the success of WTF 2004.

"Tourist destinations worldwide are stepping up their marketing and promotional activities to attract visitors from the fast-growing Shanghai travel market," says Koji Shinmachi, Chairman, Japan Association of Travel Agents and Chairman of the 'Let's Make YOKOSO! JAPAN WTF Shanghai 2004 a Success' Executive Committee.

On February 20, YOKOSO! JAPAN business meetings will be held in a conference room at the WTF venue, enabling Shanghai travel agents and Japanese exhibitors to exchange tourism information and engage in business discussions to help create new Japan package tours for Chinese consumers.

The VJC Headquarters plans to utilize a wide range of opportunities and channels to increase awareness of Japan's tourist attractions and encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Japan.

Outline of WTF 2004
Name: World Travel Fair (WTF)
Organizer: Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission
Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Center, 2345 Longyang Road,
Pudong New Area, Shanghai
Date: Thursday, February 19 to Sunday, February 22, 2004
Exhibitors: Government tourist offices, local governments, tour operators,
travel agents, airlines, hotel and resort chains, transport and
car rental companies, cruise operators, theme park operators,
travel magazines, etc.

Yokoso! Japan Shanghai 2004

WTF 2004 Japan Pavilion Participants (29 organizations, 51 booths)

List of Organizations
Hokkaido-Tohoku 21st Century Plan Promotion Committee
Fukushima Prefectural Government
Yamanashi Prefecture
Nagano Prefectural Tourism Association
Shizuoka Prefecture
Hokuriku International Tourism Theme Regional Promotion Council
Central Japan Tourism Promotion Association
Japan Association for the 2005 World Exposition
Gifu Prefectural Government
Osaka Prefectural Government
Okayama Prefectural Government
Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau
Seto Inland Sea International Tourism Association
Kansai Council
West Japan Railway Company
Oita Prefecture
Nagasaki Prefectural Tourist Federation
Northern Kyushu Fukuoka, Saga and Nagasaki Three-Prefecture Wide-Area Sightseeing Conference
Kagoshima Prefectural Government
Miyazaki Prefectural Government
The Capital Cities of Kyushu North-South Tourism Route Association
Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau
Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., Ltd./ KIE China, Inc.
Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA)
JTB
Okura Hotels & Resorts
All Nippon Airways (ANA)
Japan Airlines (JAL)
The Secretariat of Visit Japan Campaign Headquarters

Yokoso! Japan Exchange and Friendship Evening
Date/time: Wednesday, February 18, 2004, 18:00-19:30
Venue: Marble Hall, Level 4, The Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai
Participants: (From Japan) WTF 2004 exhibitors, representatives of the
Japanese Consulate in Shanghai, members of the Japanese
press;
(From China) City of Shanghai, Shanghai Municipal Tourism
Administrative Commission, travel agents and Shanghai media
representatives

Yokoso! Japan China-Japan Tourism & Cultural Exchange Evening
Date/time: Wednesday, February 18, 2004, 20:00-22:25
Venue: Shanghai Center Theater
Participants: (From Japan) WTF 2004 exhibitors, representatives of the
Japanese Consulate in Shanghai, members of the Japanese
press;
(From China) City of Shanghai, Shanghai Municipal Tourism
Administrative Commission, travel agents and Shanghai media
representatives
Program: Performances of Awaodori Japanese folk dance/music, Shanghai
Acrobatic Theater, and the '12 Girls Band'

YOKOSO! JAPAN Business Meetings
Date/time: Friday, February 20, 2004 13:30-17:30
Venue: Hall 3, Shanghai New International Expo Center
Participants: (From Japan) WTF 2004 exhibitors; (From China) Shanghai
travel agents

Background

The Visit Japan Campaign (VJC)

The number of Japanese traveling overseas reached 16.52 million in 2002 and continues to rise. However, in contrast, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan in the same year was less than one third or just 5.24 million. Compared with other countries, Japan in 2001 ranked a low 35th worldwide in terms of the number of overseas visitors welcomed, and the country suffers a 3.5 trillion Japanese Yen deficit in the balance of international tourist receipts and payments.

The government has therefore taken up the challenge of building Japan as a tourist destination, with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi himself announcing the goal of doubling the number of overseas visitors to Japan to 10 million by 2010. The Visit Japan Campaign Headquarters Secretariat opened in April 2003 and the following July a council comprising all cabinet ministers formulated a 'Japan Tourism Action Plan.'

The VJC focuses on priority markets (currently South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., China, and Hong Kong) to promote Japanese tourism. It undertakes market research in the five priority
travel markets, conducts focused public relations activities to promote Japan's tourist attractions, and works with travel industries in the priority markets to help promote development of Japan-travel packages.

VJC also operates a comprehensive informational website on tourism in Japan.
The VJC Headquarters organization is headed by Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Nobuteru Ishihara and brings together representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 51 companies and organizations. Its executive members are Tourism Industry Association of Japan (TIJ) Chairman Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, Senior Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Taizo Sato, Japan Tourism Association Chairman Toru Nakamura, and Japan National Tourist Organization President Hideaki Mukaiyama.

Source: Visit Japan Campaign Headquarters Secretariat

Contact:
Toyokazu Okada, Nozomi Tsuji
Visit Japan Campaign Headquarters Secretariat
3-3-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-3539-2371
Fax: +81-3-3503-0055
Email: okada@vjc.jp

Visit Japan Campaign website: http://www.vjc.jp


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