A tape-cutting ceremony was conducted to commemorate the opening of a contact point for inbound travel information to Japan
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has inaugurated the “Japan Travel House” in Qatar, a pioneering initiative designed to serve as a dedicated contact point and information hub for travel to Japan. This strategic move aims to kindle interest in visiting Japan and encourage travel from the GCC countries, with a particular focus on Qatar.
The official launching event took place on Wednesday, 4th October 2023, at the Japan Travel House. The event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Satoshi MAEDA, Ambassador of Japan to the State of Qatar. Notably, the ceremony was also open to the general public in Qatar, providing them with an opportunity to learn about travel to Japan. Attendees were treated to authentic Japanese cuisine courtesy of Junko Sushi & Japanese Dining, which serves as a contact point.
The Japan Travel House will actively distribute pamphlets highlighting various tourist attractions across Japan. Visitors can expect personalized face-to-face travel guidance and prompt responses to their inquiries. Additionally, the facility will feature informative display panels introducing diverse destinations from all corners of Japan. Plans are also in place to host Japanese cultural experience events.
H.E. Mr. Satoshi MAEDA commented: “Tourism is one of the important areas for bilateral relations between Japan and Qatar. The government of Japan has introduced various measures to promote tourism from Qatar to Japan. Visa waiver measure for nationals of the State of Qatar based on ordinary passport registration system for Qatari nationals started in April this year, and we began accepting applications electronically from August. Prime Minister Kishida introduced these measures to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar at the bilateral summit meeting held in Doha this July, and His Highness responded that he welcomed the efforts of the Japanese government.”
Mr. Daisuke KOBAYASHI, Executive Director of the JNTO Dubai Office, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the launch of the Japan Travel House in Qatar: “I am pleased that JNTO was able to establish the contact point for inbound travel to Japan in Qatar. The GCC countries, including Qatar, are considered to be very important markets for JNTO. In addition to operating dedicated Middle East social media accounts, we believe in the importance of having a contact point where visitors can interact face-to-face, experience Japanese culture, and feel closer to Japan. This will make Japan more accessible, generate interest, and spark curiosity as a travel destination. The questions and comments collected at the Japan Travel House will provide valuable insights for us to better understand the Qatar and Middle East market and we aim to leverage them for our future promotional activities.
The Middle East region has witnessed a rapid surge in tourist arrivals to Japan, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. According to JNTO data, the number of visitors from Qatar to Japan reached 1,642 during the period from January to June 2023, marking a remarkable increase of 2,465.6% compared to the same period in 2022. This figure also represents a 11.3% growth from the same period in 2019. The reestablishment of air connections between Qatar and Japan has significantly contributed to this revival.
The recently-opened EXPO 2023 Doha is poised to bring considerable attention to Yokohama, Japan, which will host the next International Horticultural Exhibition in 2027. This presents a pivotal opportunity for JNTO to raise awareness of Japan as a preferred travel destination, particularly among those in Qatar who have yet to visit Japan.
This initiative aligns with JNTO’s commitment to showcase Japan’s diverse appeal, encompassing its rich natural landscapes, culinary delights, vibrant culture, and profound history. By establishing the Japan Travel House in Doha, JNTO Dubai Office aspires to increase the number of tourists visiting Japan and enhance tourism spending from the Middle East, fostering deeper cultural ties between the region and Japan.