Arab News Japan
RAS AL KHAIMAH: The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) held its first ever forum in the Middle East in Ras Al Khaimah with tourism ministers and professionals from the Asia Pacific region in attendance.
The forum, which was held under the patronage of Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority had a delegation from Japan represented by HOSHINO Mitsuaki, Vice-Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency.
Hoshino joined a panel titled “Reinspiring, Reimagining and Rebuilding: Strategies for Sustainable Travel Recovery” in which he stressed the importance of Japan reopening to the world travel market, after the closure of its border that impacted the tourism sector.
“These two and a half years, tourism has suffered a lot, but in the meantime the government has helped the industry to renovate and prepare for foreign tourism,” he said.
He also stated that while international travelers were barred from the country, there was internal tourism.
“There was domestic demand which has sustained and recently only 2 weeks ago Japan welcomed foreign tourist,” he added. “We have prepared a lot of tourism resources that suit the current need of the tourist industry.”
Hoshino was also championing the recent decision by Japan to allow UAE nationals visa free access to Japan. “As you know last week the Japanese government announced visa free travel for UAE citizens who want to travel to Japan.”
Hoshino concluded by stating that he was “confident in Japan,” as they are pursuing to have international and local tourists “to be fully satisfied.”
“Japan is a model of for us here at Ras Al Khaimah for its amazing development as a destination,” stated Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority during his welcome speech to the attending dignitaries at the beginning of the Forum.
Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi, Ruler of RAK, also met with the Japanese delegation along with Phillips and discussed the importance of tourism and how the Emirate has been resilient in adapting to travel needs while also discussing opportunities for mutual growth in the tourism sector, with Hoshino emphasizing that “high caliber hospitality and tourism services are what we are offering in Japan.”
Travel professionals from Japan were also in attendance with Kurosawa Shinya, President & CEO of JTB Global Marketing & Travel, who also emphasized the importance of inbound tourism into Japan now that the borders have been reopened and the travel cap lifted.
JTB is the largest travel agency in Japan and one of the largest travel agencies in the world.