Tourism trade show opens in Tokyo

JIJI

An annual tourism event sponsored by the Japan Association of Travel Agents opened Friday at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, bringing together public tourism officials and private travel agents from 154 economies to make it one of the largest trade shows of its kind in Asia.

Exhibitors at the JATA “Tabihaku” Travel Showcase 2013 hail from Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. They’re offering travel information including updates on local culture and entertainment events with the aim of attracting Japanese tourists.

The event was open only to media organizations Friday but will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday. Around 130,000 people are expected to attend.

Myanmar, whose tourism potential is drawing attention, is among the exhibitors.

China has returned to the event after skipping it two years in a row over the Senkaku territorial row.

Japanese exhibitors are meanwhile advertising their tourist attractions to overseas travel agents, hoping to boost the number of foreign visitors after Tokyo was picked to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The domestic exhibitors include the city of Shizuoka, which hopes to capitalize on the registration of nearby Mount Fuji as a World Heritage site, and many municipalities in the Tohoku region, where efforts continue to recover from the 2011 disasters.