From March 25 to 27, 2022, travel professionals saw the successful first holding of the Japan Tourism Showcase in Osaka, Kansai.
It is one of the most significant events to happen in reviving Japan’s tourism industry. In addition to officials from destinations across Japan, travel service providers representing the latest travel styles and trends gathered at INTEX Osaka in order to showcase their offerings and give new inspiration to travelers, with a total of 156 organizations exhibiting. The travel styles on display included not just traditional tourism packages but also “workation” offerings, educational travel, micro-tourism ideas, travel tech, and many other tourism-related services.
Over the course of the event’s three days, a total of 4,775 people came to the Japan Tourism Showcase and 585 business talks were scheduled between industry professionals, bringing about renewed interest, attention, and appeal to the travel industry.
The upcoming Golden Week holidays, summer vacation, and the autumn period are peak travel seasons in Japan, meaning that this exhibition was held at the perfect moment to reignite consumer demand for travel as well as to foster new connections for industry professionals. The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau (OCTB ) had its own station within the event’s Kansai booth, and also hosted seminars to foster discussion on key travel topics.
Although the tourism industry has taken a serious blow amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook is bright with Japan’s vaccine rollout and popular stimulus programs from local governments across the country encouraging people to travel again. Although travel to and from Japan remains difficult, travel demand within Japan is expected to rapidly recover. Additionally, travel styles and needs have greatly shifted in response to the pandemic, with travelers expecting more diverse and enhanced solutions from across different industries.
With the 2025 World Expo opening in Osaka in only three years, the region will continue to develop as Japan’s new travel gateway. All of Osaka is striving for the area to become a showcase of Japanese tourism and to serve as a hub for sending travelers from around the world to see all of Japan. With this in mind, the Japan Tourism Showcase in Osaka, Kansai was created as a joint initiative from government, economic, and travel-industry circles across Osaka and the Kansai region to become a catalyst for recovery in the tourism industry.
Tourism Expo Japan, the largest annual event in the Japanese travel industry, was originally scheduled to be held at INTEX Osaka in November 2021 but was ultimately postponed. To meet the calls from the industry for such an event now that Japan’s pandemic situation has improved, the Japan Tourism Showcase was created as a companion to Tourism Expo Japan to serve as an instigator for the recovery of travel demand. The Japan Tourism Showcase was attended by many members of the media and attracted the attention of both travelers and industry professionals across Japan.
Kazuyuki Ochiai, President of the Japan Tourism Showcase Executive Committee and Executive Officer of Mynavi Corporation, gave the welcome address at the event’s opening ceremony. Speaking on the recent complete lifting of Japan’s domestic restrictions, Ochiai also discussed the public’s calls for the revival of Japan’s popular Go To Travel Campaign, which was suspended amid a resurgence in the pandemic in 2021. Ochiai stated that this event will invigorate Japan as a catalyst for and a beacon of recovery in the tourism industry and expressed desire for the event to be a source of discovery of new destinations and travel styles.
Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura then gave a special address to the audience with a video recording. Governor Yoshimura emphasized the importance of domestic travel in the recovery of the tourism industry and acknowledged the overwhelming demand for such a revival. Mentioning the upcoming 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Governor Yoshimura expressed his hope for the success of the Japan Tourism Showcase.
The next Japan Tourism Showcase is planned for Friday, March 24- Sunday, March 26, 2023, at INTEX Osaka.