The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has just released its first-ever official smartphone app.
Unveiled at Visit Japan Travel and MICE Mart 2017 (VJTM), the Japan Official Travel App makes it easier for travellers to access all kinds of information relating to tourism in Japan, from public transport advice and restaurant listings to the location of English-speaking hospitals.
Features include content-rich travel articles covering all areas of Japan, guidance on navigation, useful suggestions based on current locations such as nearby duty-free shops and ATMs, and even natural disaster emergency information.
Visitors can also search offline for wifi access points and tourist information centres, as well as find data on general rules and manners (important in Japan) and embassy details.
JNTO says it will continually expand the app’s content to include such information as the location of bathrooms for travellers with special needs, as well as facilities for Muslim tourists.
Japan-bound travellers can download the app at www.jnto.go.jp/smartapp/eng (This writer has played around with the app as soon as it became available at 2pm Thursday, and loves it, especially when hungry…)
Meanwhile, JNTO also revealed that it would be launching a major, new tourism campaign in early 2018 targeting long-haul markets including Australia, US, Canada, UK, France and Germany.
Speaking at VJTM, JNTO executive vice president Mamoru Kobori said he couldn’t go into details about the plan as it was still in its preparatory stage, but promised the campaign would be “comprehensive”.
Based on extensive market research conducted this year, the initiative will launch with new promotional videos about various activities in Japan such as scuba diving, trekking, brewery tours, art appreciation, and temple and shrine visits. So watch this space…
Underlining its commitment to growing tourism, JNTO will also open six new offices around the world from next year.
Traveltalk is a guest of JNTO, and is reporting exclusively for Australia.
Stay tuned for more news from the event next week.
The writer is staying at Tokyo Dome Hotel.