first_imgJapan is working toward restoring Australian visitor numbers in 2012 after a fall in figures last year as a result of the earthquake and tsunami tragedies. Australian Consul-General of Japan Masahiro Kohara spoke to up to 130 delegates attending the Japan Snow & Adventure Seminar 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney last night about the region’s plans to stimulate travel from down under. “The motivation for this expo is to provide the Australian market with up-to-date information and the confidence to sell Japan snow products,” he said. Japan National Tourist Organisation (JNTO) Viara Yanatchkova said Australian visitor numbers were on the rise with the first two months of this year recording growth in arrivals. “There was a 30 percent decrease in the number of Australian tourists in 2011 but with the help of last minute bookings, January and February 2012 saw an influx of 40,132 Australian visitors to Japan.” Ms Yanatchkova highlighted Japan’s accessibility as one of the key reasons Australians should visit. “There are no visa requirements for Australian visitors, the time difference is minimal so there’s little to no jet lag and Japan Airlines, Qantas and Jetstar all fly direct routes between Australia and Japan,” she said. The Qantas subsidiary is also making it easier to travel throughout Japan domestically, launching Jetstar Japan later this year. Speakers from various ski resorts across Japan made presentations at the Seminar, emphasising the quality of the product on offer and why it would be attractive to Australians. “Australians love a ski village, the lifestyle, the vibe. Over here, we have it,” a representative from the Niseko resort said. Scott Tovey from New Furano Prince Hotel said “consistency, affordability, interlinked resorts and uncrowded slopes” were just a few of the advantages of travelling to Japan for a snow or adventure holiday. The 2012 Seminar was held in Melbourne on 21 May at Rydges Melbourne Hotel. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.Tlast_img