Mayor of Paphos, Mr. Phedonas Phedonos, met representatives from the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) to discuss ways to increase tourism from Japan towards Paphos, with an eye towards 2017 being the year the city is the European Capital of Culture.
The representatives of JATA showed particular interest in creating tourist packages which include large cities with direct flights to Japan, which also have direct flights to Paphos.
On his end, the Mayor of Paphos informed the Japanese representation of the rich culture and tourist infrastructure in the city, along with the works in development.
“The Japanese show great interest in cultural tourism, and Cyprus, with Paphos as the European Capital of Culture, is a very interesting destination,” said the head of the JATA representation.
Akihiko Hosaka, Assistant General Manager at JATA said that many Japanese tourist visit Greece and Turkey every year, but not many visit Cyprus, and expressed his surprise over the fact.
He went on to add that Paphos combines three characteristics that can attract the interest of Japanese tourists: the myth of Aphrodite, Paphos as European Cultural Capital, and the local cuisine and gastronomy.
The president of Paphos 2017 Christos Patsalides met with the JATA representatives, and said that a series of further visits will follow in the coming days with the CTO and hoteliers in order to reach an agreement on Japanese tourist packages.
He said he hopes the effort is successful, adding that the Japanese tourist market is one of highest quality.
Paphos 2017 maintains excellent relations with Japan in cooperation with the organisation EU-Japan Fest, which promotes the cooperation of Japanese artists with artists from different European Cultural Capitals. Many Japanese artists will take part in events and festivities for Paphos 2017.
Japan is one of the top 10 largest spenders on the international tourism! Japan is ranked just behind China in terms of the number of outbound travelers. There were more than 17 million Japanese tourists traveling abroad in 2013, with a total population over 162 millions.
Key issues to consider:
Customer service expectations are high
Quality of food is a strong influencer of destination choice
The Japanese tourist may spend a lot, but value-for-money is important to them
Japanese travellers are very sensitive on safety issues
Presenting the potential traveller with some information in Japanese language is highly recommended.