Japan is one of Europe’s most important long-haul markets. It is highly developed and well organised. Following the economic impact of the March 2011 tsunami and the Fukushima disaster ETOA reconvened a working group to ensure that Japan outbound and Europe inbound were in close contact, and that the industry responded to market needs.
One of the outcomes was a raised awareness of the knowledge gap in the European industry, from the impact of consumer regulations in Japan on contracting requirements to the need for more signage and guiding competence in Japanese.
The Japanese market is very sensitive to perceived risk: Europe saw a very sharp diminution of business following bird ‘flu', whose impact and related risk to visitors was grossly exaggerated. Finding ways of providing credible and prompt reassurance is necessary.
ETOA’s position is that Japan will remain a very important market for European tourism, and it has huge potential for growth. There is a need to improve the level of awareness of market needs. There is some evidence that the Japan outbound industry is newly sensitive to the difficulties caused by domestic consumer law related to the calculation of refunds due in the event of an on-tour change. The prospect of regulatory reform is welcome.
1. Develop links with Japan outbound and JATA and respond to their interests
2. Improve awareness among suppliers of Japanese market needs
3. Understand what the next generation of Japanese travelers want
4. Appropriate regulatory reform in Japan
1. Circulate findings and recommendations from Japan working group
2. Respond to related concerns arising from group tourism working group
3. Meeting and follow-up about Japanese tourist security concerns in Paris
4. Build network
5. Japan market featured in ETOA’s October 2013 tourism summit in Lucerne
How ETOA members get involved
1. Working group