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JNTO Dubai office hosts first GCC-focused influencer campaign to promote Japan Tourism

  • Shibuya in Tokyo, a part of the Golden Route itinerary
    Shibuya in Tokyo, a part of the Golden Route itinerary
  • Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto prefecture, a part of the Golden Route itinerary
  • An Ama hut in Mie, a part of the Kansai Route itinerary
  • The Nara Park in Nara, a part of the Kansai Route itinerary
  • The map showing the 2 routes, Gloden Route and Kansai Route

JNTO’s unique influencer campaign in Japan aims to attract GCC nationals, highlighting diverse cultural experiences and natural landscapes.

Japan National Tourism Organization‘s (JNTO) Dubai office hosted six influencers based in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for the first-ever GCC-focused influencer campaign. The initiative aimed to foster interest in visiting Japan and stimulate a desire to explore the country among the GCC audience. The influencers experienced two distinct routes during their stay: the classic “Golden Route” covering Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Kyoto, and Osaka, designed for families on their first trip to Japan, and the “Kansai Route,” exploring Mie, Nara, Kyoto, and Osaka, with a focus on unique natural landscapes and interactions with local communities, catering to seasoned visitors.

Influencers on the Golden Route indulged in private tours of Tokyo’s iconic Senso-ji Temple and experienced a performance by a Shamisen (a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument) master. Their journey encompassed both traditional and contemporary aspects of Japanese culture, and they stayed at establishments like Hotel the Mitsui Kyoto, blending traditional and modern elements. This allowed them to discover the broad spectrum of Japan’s tourism allure including its gastronomy. Their visit also provided a firsthand encounter with Japanese culture through the authentic experiences, and it was an opportunity for them to understand the spirituality behind it.

Those on the Kansai Route enjoyed panoramic views of the Ago Bay from COVA KAKUDA, a luxury villa built in a former pearl cultivation facility and its unique natural landscape in a special setting. Experiences included dining with Ama divers at a seaside hut, a private tour by a monk at Hasedera Temple nestled in a serene forest, fostering an appreciation for Japan’s spirituality and connecting with the local community. Influencers on this route noted similarities between Japanese and Arab cultures in respecting guests as well as elders, and appreciating etiquette, enhancing their understanding of Japanese culture behind the tourism attractions.

Influencers from both routes shared their unique experiences and the charm of Japan through their social media channels.

Daisuke Kobayashi, Executive Director of JNTO Dubai Office, expressed his thoughts on the influencer initiative: “JNTO invited  influencers based in the Middle East to Japan for the first time and conducted a campaign. I believe it provided an excellent opportunity for people in the Middle East to discover Japan as a travel destination and feel closer. Since the opening of JNTO Dubai office in November 2021, we have been promoting Japan as the preferred leisure destination among the people in the Middle East, and the numbers of the GCC nationals visiting Japan this year are significantly surpassing 2019 levels. In addition to our ongoing promotional activities, we believe that providing touristic information through the influencers resulted in reaching individuals who previously had little interest in Japan as a travel destination.”

The number of the GCC nationals visiting Japan is on a robust upward trajectory, with 19,856 visitors in the first eight months of 2023, marking an 8.2% growth compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.

Kobayashi emphasized the importance of both the number of visitors and their spending. Aligning with the Japanese government’s goal of achieving JPY 5 trillion in foreign tourist spending per annum, Kobayashi stated, “We believe Japan has various unique touristic contents and continue to showcase them in the future.”

In light of this influencer initiative, JNTO Dubai office has launched a campaign page on its official website, introducing tourism attractions and accommodation options. Promotional videos are also created to be used in various activities.

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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.

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