Australia eyes Japanese tour market

Australia hopes to attract 1 million Japanese tourists to its shores each year by 2010, up from an annual rate of 700,000, through a joint effort with 11 Japanese travel agents, Australian tourism officials said Tuesday.

The Australian government and the travel agents — including JTB Corp., Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., Nippon Travel Agency Co., Jalpak Co. and H.I.S. Co. — have launched the Japan-Australia Advisory Group (JAAG), operating under the project name Vision One Million, to achieve this aim.

JAAG, working together with Japan Airlines Co., Qantas Airways Ltd. and other Australian travel agencies, will jointly develop new packages and new destinations as well as staging joint promotional campaigns for Japanese tourists, according to Australian Tourist Commission officials.

The key demographic will be childless females between the ages of 24 and 39, people in their 50s, and young families. The officials said JAAG will also target school excursions from Japan.

JAAG may launch its campaign in 2003, the officials said.