Number of US Tourists to Japan Jumps by 11.9 Percent
‘IS JAPAN COOL?’ Website and Pop-Up Offers Window into the World of Japan
The number of inbound tourists from the US has leapt to 662,400 between Jan. – Sept. 2014, an increase of 11.9 percent from the year before according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, is building on this strong growth by inspiring a new wave of global travelers to see Japan’s wonders for themselves by updating the contents of its “IS JAPAN COOL?” website (URL: www.ana-cooljapan.com), setting up a pop-up store in New York City and offering discounted domestic fares to international visitors.
The ‘IS JAPAN COOL?’ site was established by ANA in 2012, but was re-launched on October 10, 2014 with a new look, greater interactivity and a focus on destination promotion for inbound travelers. It’s a resource for tourists and the curious to explore elements of old and new Japan with the aim to inspire them to make a visit on ANA. Website visitors can explore features such as shopping, traditions, kawaii (cute) and ramen noodles in depth and vote on which elements they think are the coolest, leave comments and share with their friends.
The re-launch of the website coincides with an “IS JAPAN COOL?” pop-up at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City on November 17, organized by ANA and the JNTO. The pop-up, which will be open seven days a week from Monday, November 17 to Sunday, December 21 but closed during the Thanksgiving holiday, is a portal into the weird and wonderful world of Japan, reflecting the contents of the website. Inside will be interactive displays and video walls, and representatives from ANA who will be on hand to answer questions about Japan. There’s also a special landing page (http://ana-isjapancool.com) where visitors can log on and vote, to be in with a chance of winning a round-trip holiday to Japan, courtesy of ANA.
ANA has also made it much more affordable to travel across Japan with its ‘Experience JAPAN Fare’. This promotion slashes the cost of internal flights on ANA for international visitors. With the Experience JAPAN Fare, visitors to the country who have flown in with ANA can fly internally to any destination in Japan for just JPY 10,800 (US$ 100) in an offer valid until March 2015.
With so much to do and see the ‘IS JAPAN COOL?’ website will be updated on a monthly basis until it’s a comprehensive resource on everything Japan. One of the initial focuses is Japan’s most northern island, Hokkaido. Website visitors who click on Hokkaido, which boasts the third largest number of tourists after Tokyo and Kyoto, can learn about the island’s different types of seafood, lavender fields and skiing options. For example the Niseko Resort on Hokkaido is one of Japan’s finest and famed for its ‘champagne’ superfine-quality powder snow.
“We at ANA developed the special website ‘IS JAPAN COOL?’ to actively promote the attractiveness of Japan through its nature, history and time-honored traditions, as well as its modern culture such as manga (comics) and anime,” said Mr. Kenya Inada, Senior Vice President, Marketing ANA. “With the latest website renewal, our team added features on new destinations as well as columns from the perspectives of international writers, and are increasing the frequency of updates. We hope these changes will increase interest in visiting Japan. And with Japan’s largest route network of 72 international routes connecting 36 destinations and 115 domestic routes between 115 locations, we hope that visitors choose ANA.”