Tourism campaign to strengthen Far North Queensland's relationship with Japan
THE tourism industry is pinning its hopes on a new joint Australia and Japan tourism campaign to return Japanese numbers to 200,000 or more by the year 2015.
The Australia-Japan Tourism Exchange Year 2013 also is intended to encourage Far North Queenslanders to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun on the direct flights operated by Jetstar between Cairns, Osaka and Tokyo.
Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive officer Rob Giason said the region was continuing to rebuild the market with an Australian holiday market share of 39 per cent of Japanese visitors to Australia.
"The Japanese market looks positive with growing figures and additional government funding to market the destination," he said.
"Our strong market presence and partnerships with airlines and Japanese trade was highlighted recently when TTNQ hosted the yearly Vision Cairns 2015 Forum, part of our strategy to achieving 200,000 Japanese visitors by 2015."
To the year ended September 2012, 91,000 Japanese tourists had visited the region, the same as the previous year.
The tourism exchange agreement will also target sister cities.
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the first sister-city relationship between Japan and Australia, established between Yamatotakada in Nara Prefecture and Lismore in New South Wales in 1963.
Cairns has two relationships with Minami and Oyama.
The regional council's sister cities advisory committee chairwoman Sim Haywoodsaid activities involving the two cities were planned next year.
"Our Japanese sister cities are very keen also to engage in more interesting exchanges," she said.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said despite factors that have impacted tourism to Australia from Japan, it remained a significant part of the economy, with $1.4 billion in expenditure last year.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
All smiles: Megnmi Kurosawa, Erika Morita, Sayuri Nohara, Nanomi Asai in Cairns. Picture: MIKE WATT