STB and tour agency JTB team up to attract 90,000 Japanese to Singapore

Japanese tourists posing for a photo with the World Wide Fund for Nature mascot at the Climate Change Trail, which is located in front of Ion Orchard.
Japanese tourists posing for a photo with the World Wide Fund for Nature mascot at the Climate Change Trail, which is located in front of Ion Orchard. PHOTO: ST FILE

Japanese travellers to Singapore can now expect to savour unique travel experiences and incentives.

It is part of a new deal between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the largest travel agency in Japan, JTB Corp, sealed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier today (Feb 20).

According to a joint release by both agencies, the MOU, which is the first between STB and a travel agency, aims "to promote Singapore as a key destination for 2017 to Japanese travellers" for both business and leisure.

STB will collaborate with JTB in product development, marketing, sales and public relations efforts targeted at prospective travellers.

Both agencies expect to launch jointly-developed travel packages for various consumer segments, including first-time travellers, with customised activities such as an exclusive bus tour itinerary for JTB customers.

It is hoped that the year-long campaign, which will last from April 2017 to March 2018, will attract 90,000 Japanese visitors to Singapore.

"We hope to stimulate interest even among travellers who had not considered Singapore as a destination, so as to create a new travel demand, and revive interest in overseas travel," elaborated Mr Hiroyuki Takahashi, president and chief executive officer of JTB, in the release.

According to data from STB, Singapore registered 784,000 arrivals from Japan in 2016, a decrease of 1 per cent compared to the previous year.

The drop in visitor numbers was attributed to media coverage in Japan of Singapore's Zika outbreak last year.

In 2015 and last year, both agencies worked together on tours and promotions commemorating Singapore's 50th National Day and the 50th anniversary of Japan-Singapore diplomatic relations respectively.

hytay@sph.com.sg

Correction note: The headline of our earlier story said STB and tour agency JTB team up to attract 900,000 Japanese to Singapore. The figure should be 90,000. We apologise for the error.