Joe Buhler comments

Posted in: Abe aims to double number of tourists by 2020 to boost economy See in context

It's an ambitious goal but to be achieved a lot of things have to fall into place. First of all a weak Yen to keep prices competitive. Second a lot more accommodation as supply seems to be strained now, especially in the major cities foreign tourists tend to visit. Third, the visitor arrivals should be spread across the entire year and across more cities than just the major ones to reduce the already severe over-crowding at times in these popular places. This just goes to show that tourism visitor targets are easy to state but much harder to achieve and require a well coordinated effort by many stakeholders both public and private. Not exactly a strong point in Japan. All these efforts need to be supported by training for hospitality professionals who need to serve these foreign visitors. With most of them likely to originate from China and SE Asia this poses another challenge. In addition to the Yokoso! Japan slogan, I suggest to add another one: Gambatte! Nihon and good luck!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan still on starting line of inbound tourism market See in context

This is a refreshing attitude and the right approach to solve what have forever been key problems facing the Japanese inbound tourism industry. Hope he is successful in bringing about much needed change.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Peninsula Hotels appoints first female GM of a Tokyo luxury hotel See in context

Congratulations! That is a great hotel company to work for and a great hotel. I know the location well. It used to be the old Nikkatsu, then Hibiya Park Building where I started my own career working in Japan way back in 1970! I visited Tokyo last in 2006 when the Peninsula was under construction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Gackt lashes out at Cool Japan: 'Almost no results of Japanese culture exported overseas' See in context

Cool Japan is a copy of the Cool Britain campaign concept run by the Blair government nearly ten years ago. That campaign also was critized within the UK for being ineffective. Government bureaucrats underestimate how difficult it is to run image campaigns using cultural assets that are successful abroad. Many have tried, most have failed. Japan certainly has a lot to offer in the area of culture but what can be used under the Cool umbrella is hard and will never please everyone. Ultimately it's the audience you want to reach and attract that will decide what's successful and what isn't. With this in mind it might be advisable to have some foreigners involved in such a venture, There are many who understand Japan and its culture well and would know how to present it effectively abroad. Will this happen? I doubt it but it's certainly worth a try.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Hakuho denies breaching sumo protocol See in context

There is a solution if the Sumo establishment doesn't want any Mongolian or other non-Japanese become Yokozuna: don't let them enter the sport to begin with. But then again that would expose the racism that they so desperately try to hide but is present just under the surface.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

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