Tourism body the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) believes that the Middle East is an important emerging market for tourists looking for luxury and one-of-a-kind travel experiences.

In 2013, the number of international tourists heading to Japan reached 10.3 million, and by 2018 that figure had actually tripled.

More than 31 million international tourists went to Japan in 2018, an 8.7% year-on-year increase that saw the nation come in fourth place for its competitiveness in the industry by the World Economic Forum in 2019.

Among the main attractions that Japan offers tourists are the nation’s cuisine, theme parks, hot springs and shopping opportunities.

In April last year, Japan took part in the Arabian Travel Market, which was held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and conducted a number of tourism seminars for travel trade professionals in the region.

There is excellent connectivity between Japan and the UAE, with direct daily flights between Emirates Airlines and Haneda and Narita airports in Tokyo and Kansai Airport in Osaka.

Daily direct flights are also offered between Etihad Airways and Narita Airport.

JNTO has also increased its regional presence with the appointment of AVIAREPS, the marketing and PR agency, as its representative in order to ensure regular collaborations with regional airline partners.

These collaborations will involve joint consumer promotions, ongoing marketing activities and advertising campaigns designed to increase awareness of the attractions that Japan has to offer UAE tourists.

JNTO is encouraging Middle Eastern visitors looking for an authentic Japanese experience to venture beyond just the likes of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and check out places such as Tohoku, Kyushu, Okinawa, Hokkaido and Shikoku.

JNTO is also intending to go ahead with the renewal and expansion of its official website, which is in the Arabic language, to make sure that everyone can access up-to-date relevant information.

The organisation is determined to further activities within the region to ensure that it is easy for a greater number of tourists to find out more about what Japan has to offer.

Japan and the UAE have long had a special relationship.

The number of Japanese citizens residing in the UAE hit 4,000 in 2016, with hundreds of Emiratis currently living in Japan for investment and educational purposes.

The number of Japanese tourists that visit the UAE came to 91,000 last year, with a significant increase having already been recorded in the number of UAE tourists visiting Japan.

The increase began in 2017 when Japan exempted citizens of the UAE from requiring pre-entry visas.

Anyone who is planning to visit Japan from the UAE, or vice versa, should make sure that they have taken out travel insurance coverage before they go on holiday.

Travellers can experience many unplanned events, and some of them, such as cancelled flights and lost luggage, can end up being financially detrimental unless they have a travel insurance policy.

In some cases, travel insurance can even help financially in the event of accident or illness taking place while overseas.


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