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Hanazuki-san comments

Posted in: Japanese people urged to travel abroad to help airlines, tourism industry See in context

Many comments said airlines should keep fares down during the holiday season.

Sorry people, you're not in touch. The basic principle of yield management is to increase fares when demand is high and decrease them when demand is low. No airline in their right mind will ever agree to decrease fares when demand is high.

The only way to reduce these fare peaks is to even out the demand for flights.

There is nothing you can do against the devaluation of the yen, but you indeed can:

1) Force companies to allow more annual leave

2) Fine companies whose staff do not take all annual leave. Monitor that annual leave is taken properly, not only on paper. (Companies should also make arrangements so that staff not on holiday is not overwhelmed)

3) Differentiate school holiday periods, so that not all families are on holiday at the same time.

4) Allow the possibility to work during national holidays and take days off in lieu at a later stage.

5) Proactively incentivise people to take their annual leave in the off-season.

It really takes someone who knows the dynamics of the travel industry to tackle these issues.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Shiga Prefecture hoping Austria-shaped Lake Biwa makes tourism splash See in context

I am a travel professional and have often helped the local governments in Japan promote themselves in Western countries.

This case is a typical example of how completely clueless Japanese destination promotion executives can be.

Presuming that someone will fly 13/14 hours to come and compare the shape of Austria to Biwako is either silly or borderline arrogant.

From a broader perspective, there is no understanding that if you want to promote anything in a foreign market, you need to understand what would motivate anyone in that specific country to buy your product (or come to your region, in this case).

For example, many areas try to promote themselves by offering fruit-picking experiences. While fruits may have an exotic charm in Japan, they are cheap and accessible everywhere in Europe, and no European in their right mind would engage in such activity when in Japan, especially knowing their holiday time is limited.

And yet, ever so often I see these fruit-picking experiences pop up on travel brochures.

The Japanese cannot filter themselves out of their logic, they will insist on trying to promote themselves abroad the same way they do domestically.

This may be good to use up public funds, keep the bureaucracy and corruption machines well-oiled, and keep the funds coming in year after year. But if effective promotion is what they aim at, they should seriously rethink their approach and humbly accept the unbiased professional advice of non-Japanese professionals.

But, truth be told, I believe that effective tourist promotion is not the real objective, after all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Moscow Film Festival See in context

How desperate can you be?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan eyes shift to 'quality' experiences as inbound tourism recovers See in context

@gaijintraveller I'm sorry mate, but when the backpackers arrived in Pukhet or Boracay the places were not on the map (nor their respective countries, really). The main attractiveness for them was the destinations being extremely cheap, and unfortunately, the impact that backpacking tourism made was oftentimes a negative one.

Japan, instead, is already a well-established destination, and has a different problem: they need to redistribute the tourist influx, decongest places like Tokyo & Kyoto in favour of lesser-known areas, and increase the average spending. You can't achieve any of that by targeting backpackers.

If you haven't noticed -by the way- Japan is already replete with hostels, capsules, dorms and whatnot. But -being a first-world country- it will never be as cheap as the backpacking crowds like. A backpacker may end up on a remote island by chance, and discover the "pleasant sandy beach", but to stay 1 night on the island they will have to spend the equivalent of 1 week in Cambodia.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan eyes shift to 'quality' experiences as inbound tourism recovers See in context

As a travel professional working with Japan for 20+ years, I think the country seriously lacks vision, responsiveness and adaptability.

If you want to promote the countryside or off-the-beaten-path destinations, you MUST make them financially attractive. The price increase on the JR Pass is the last blow to local governments trying to put their towns on the map.

How about making the JR Pass(es) cheaper during those times of the year when the influx of foreign tourists drops? How about allowing the use of passes on non-consecutive days, thus encouraging people to spend more quality time in places rather than rush through them?

Hotels should discount their rates more during the low seasons, and increase them during the peak seasons, but - 不思議なことに - proper yield management does not seem to take root in Japan.

The other massive problem at the base of tourism influx distribution is the overwhelming amount of money Tokyo spends on its own promotion, polarizing the attention of mass travellers. If there is one place in Japan that needs no promotion at all, that's the capital. It is overexposed in the media, stupidly hyped and sanctified by nerdy otaku who can only see one side of Japan. If only these promotional funds could be redirected to promoting lesser-known areas with tangible discount programmes, we would see very different results and more organic growth.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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