by Armand Vaquer
|Above, Osaka Castle, featured in "Godzilla Raids Again." Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The 2012 white book on tourism endorsed by the Cabinet on June 15 shows that foreign tourists are once again visiting Japan. The Japanese government has a plan to attract 18 million tourists from abroad by 2016. To ensure its success, it will be vital to utilize not only historic sites and places of natural beauty but also events and attractions in urban areas. Training personnel with the knowledge and skills necessary to interact effectively with visitors from overseas will also be important, as will improving information and access for tourist attractions, and related tourism infrastructure.While it is good to set such an ambitious goal of 18 million visitors, the state of currency exchange is a problem that has to be solved if Japan wants to draw more Americans to the country. The same goes for other foreign currencies whose purchasing power has diminished over the past few years due to the high cost of the yen.
|Above, Kyoto from Kiyomizu-dera. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
The Japanese tourism industry should also "think outside the box" to entice tourists who have special cultural interests such as manga, anime and kaiju. Some travel agencies are already tailoring tours to manga and anime fans, but fans of Japanese science-fiction and fantasy movies are still being neglected.
The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan can be a useful means for tour companies to tailor tours to movie location sites and landmarks. There'd be some overlap as some of the sites and landmarks are already a tour stop (such as Osaka Castle at top and Kiyomizu-dera above) or close by to other attractions. The guide was designed to be usable by tourists and tour companies.
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