japanJapan is becoming the flavour of the month for many Aussies heading overseas, with tour operators and airlines reporting strong demand across the board. An exceptionally strong ski season has been followed up with sold-out tours during the northern summer, with some attributing the strength of the market to increased aviation uplift (Qantas launched a new Brisbane-Narita non-stop in August, while ANA returned to the Australian markets with Sydney-Haneda flights in December), along with perceptions of Japan as a safe destination. In the last twelve months Japan has welcomed more than 375,000 Australians, up a healthy 24.3% on the previous year.

The Japan National Tourism Organisation is making the most of the interest, with the long-awaited launch of a redesigned website targeting the local market. The site, now online at, has a range of new features including an interactive map showcasing touring routes, skiing areas and airports, and improved functionality which allows travel agents to add their own deals and listings which are then publicly accessible by consumers. The travel trade focus also includes the upcoming launch of a new e-learning program for consultants which will also be hosted on the website. There’s also a social media component, with JNTO Sydney engaging with consumers via the VisitJapanAU Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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