Destination Brandwatch: “Japan. Endless Discovery”

The Japan Tourism Agency unveiled a new campaign logo with the slogan “Japan. Endless Discovery,” designed with Japan’s iconic cherry blossom, which represents Japan’s natural beauty, tradition, culture, cuisine and arts. Japan’s new copy implies that Japan is the destination with countless cultural and historic interests, encouraging travelers to see Japan as a destination for multiple visits.

At the same time, Japan’s modern cultural interests are also attracting young generations who look for modern design, contemporary art, anime and fashion, all of which constantly develop new trends. The new logo and copy indicates that Japan’s tourism campaign has been reset for multi-dimensional attraction in the milestone year.

“We want to spread it as a tool that can be used on any occasion to let people know how good tourism in Japan is,” said Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara at a press conference.

“We want to let people know how good tourism in Japan is,” said Maehara, “and that’s why we are also introducing this list of “Top Ten Tourist Discoveries in Japan.”

  1. Geisha look like your grandmother, not Zhang Ziyi.
  2. Public restrooms can be spotless or filthy but either way there’s no hand soap.
  3. Real Otaku are kind of creepy.
  4. O-genki desu ka” is not a commonly used greeting, except among tourists.
  5. Akihabara maids are the new Ginza hostesses, highly skilled in the art of separating men from their money.
  6. “Lost in Translation” actually means “functionally illiterate.”
  7. Demonstrating one’s martial arts skills is a good way to get your ass kicked.
  8. You lack the core strength needed to use Japanese squat toilets.
  9. “Live” is not necessarily better than “raw” fish.
  10. All the Japanese gifts you can afford to buy are made in China.

The catchphrase replaces “Yokoso! Japan” which some said lacked sufficient impact, as the Japanese word for welcome is not widely recognized by non-Japanese speakers.

According to a report in travelmole.com, the Japan Tourism Agency is aiming to attract ten million visitors to Japan in 2010, having designated the year Visit Japan Year, then 15 million visitors per year by 2013 and 30 million per year in the years beyond.

The number of international visitors to Japan was 6.79 million in 2009, down 18.7 per cent on 2008 figures, due to the global economic crisis. According to preliminary figures estimated by the Japan National Tourism Organisation, 2010 is showing positive tourist arrival with cumulative visitor arrivals for the first two months of the year totalling 1.3 million – up 32 per cent on 2009 figures.

The Japan Tourism Agency, meanwhile, announced it has appointed former grand tea master Sen Genshitsu as its first goodwill tourism ambassador for introducing Japanese traditions overseas to promote tourism in Japan.

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