Filipino tourists in Japan rose by 46% in 2015

The Japanese government has finally noticed the booming Filipino travel market to Japan.

It is now eyeing to open a Japan National Tourism Organization office in the Philippines, a JNTO representative in Bangkok told WorkaLife this week.

JNTO is Japan’s version of the Department of Tourism.

When it does open, Japan joins South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau whose tourism promotions offices have either a local representative or branch in Manila to pull in more arrivals.

Although “specific timing of the opening is not yet confirmed,” the representative said, “Japanese government is now finalizing the budget for financial year 2016, which starts from April 2016 and ends at March 2017. Establishment of JNTO Philippine Office in the financial year 2016 is included to this budget plan…”

Opening a tourism promotions office in a certain country points out the potential scale of the market.

For JNTO, “the numbers of Filipino visitors to Japan has been increasing sharply. In 2015, the number recorded 268,300 people which is 45.7% increase compared to the previous year,” said the representative.

JNTO will bring more travel information to Filipinos, said the representative. But it would also likely develop more sub-markets: meetings and conventions, incentive trips, and youth travel, among others.

How would you react, for instance, if your company were to rewards its best employees with an all-expense-paid trip to Japan? Or that your next convention were set in Tokyo?

Other tourism offices have tapped specific segments in the Philippine market aside from purely leisure tourists. For instance, Singapore Tourism Board has aggressively promoted to the corporate market, while South Korea has been inviting Filipinos to try its medical tourism facilities.

READ: Filipinos made 4.7 million trips in 2015. Where did they go to?

If you ask millennials, chances are high Japan is among their Top 3 destinations this year, according to our recent survey.

Low-cost travel, better access to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka from Cebu and Manila, and a more relaxed visa policy have fuelled a spike in interest of traveling to the Land of the Rising Sun.

READ: First time in Tokyo? 6 itineraries you should try

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