TOURISTS ARE BACK!
Small and midsized companies (SMEs) in Japan are gearing up for a rebound in tourism this 2023 after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the increasing number of travelers, SMEs are preparing to welcome visitors to their establishments, showcasing Japan’s beauty and rich culture.
In recent years, Japan has become a popular destination for tourists worldwide, attracted by its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and bustling cities. In 2019, Japan welcomed a record 31.9 million visitors, generating over 4.5 trillion yen ($42 billion) in tourism revenue.
However, the pandemic has profoundly impacted the tourism industry, with travel restrictions and reduced consumer confidence leading to a sharp decline in visitor numbers. In 2020, Japan received just 7.9 million visitors, a decline of 75% compared to the previous year.
In 2019, Japan welcomed a record 31.9 million visitors, generating over 4.5 trillion yen ($42 billion) in tourism revenue.
Data from the Japan National Tourism Organization shows that domestic travel within Japan has already begun to recover, with many Japanese tourists visiting regional areas for leisure and sightseeing. Meanwhile, the Japanese government has launched several initiatives to attract foreign tourists, including visa simplification, investment in tourism infrastructure, and efforts to promote the country as a safe destination.
Upgraded Accommodation Facilities
One significant aspect that SMEs are focusing on is their accommodation facilities. With the expected influx of tourists, many hotels and inns are upgrading their services to cater to their guests’ needs. They are investing in comfortable furnishings, high-speed internet access, and other amenities that make a stay more enjoyable. Some SMEs are expanding their properties to accommodate more guests to meet the growing demand for tourism.
In addition to upgrading their facilities, SMEs in Japan also provide unique and authentic experiences for their guests. They introduce local cuisine, cultural activities, and activities that showcase Japan’s rich traditions and customs. This not only enhances the tourists’ experience but also helps to promote Japanese culture globally.
Technology and Collaboration
Many SMEs in Japan are partnering with other local businesses to offer tourists an all-inclusive experience. For instance, some hotels and inns are collaborating with local tour operators to offer packages that include tours, transportation, and other services that tourists may need while visiting Japan. By doing so, they aim to create a seamless experience for their guests, making their stay in Japan memorable and enjoyable.
Another key aspect that SMEs in Japan are focusing on is technology. With more people relying on technology for booking, searching, and planning their travels, SMEs are adopting digital platforms to market their services and reach a wider audience. This includes having a strong online presence, offering online booking options, and creating a user-friendly website that provides tourists with all the information they need to plan their trips.
Finally, they are investing in their staff, training them to provide excellent customer service. This includes language training so they can effectively communicate with tourists worldwide. SMEs are also encouraging their staff to be knowledgeable about local attractions and activities to help guests plan their itineraries and make the most of their time in Japan.
"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:
SMEs in Japan are ensuring exceptional customer service through staff training and language proficiency, positioning themselves as the go-to destination for a personalized and memorable travel experience.