Last night, Air Canada, the Japan National Tourism Organization and Tokyo Tourism invited guests to Explore Tokyo and Tohoku.
With Air Canada set to launch new flights between Canada and Japan in 2018, the evening was held to highlight the new opportunities that this working relationship will bring to Japan.
“Tonight we are here to promote Japan, which is a very important market for Air Canada," said Rocky Lo, director, revenue management and business - Asia, Air Canada. “Starting on June 1 next year, our brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft will become a daily service for Canadians during the summertime, making it very convenient to get to Japan."
Air Canada currently flies non-stop from Toronto to Tokyo's Haneda International Airport, and next year it plans to introduce flights to the Narita International Airport from Montreal. Japan has seen an influx of tourists from Canada in the last four years, and these new flights will make it easier then ever to explore the regions of Japan.
“More and more people are looking to take a weekend trip,” Lo said. “When it’s a direct flight, it’s very easy to get to Nagoya or Osaka, to enjoy a weekend there whether that’s eating sushi, or doing some sight-seeing, and then come back. Direct flights are getting more people interested in Japan. From Vancouver to Nagoya is about 10 hours, and it’s quite doable for a short trip.”
One market in particular is becoming of interest to the Japan National Tourism Organization. "Quebec is a very unexplored and unexploited market," said Hideaki Nakazawa, executive director, Japan National Tourism Organization. "The new flight between Montreal and Tokyo will be a very good chance to tap into that market."
“Quebecers are very interested in a genuine, traditional culture and Japan has that rich history," added Shin Kawai, director, Tokyo Tourism. "They are always interested in something that is real.”
As Nakazawa points out, an interest in Japanese culture is growing, and that's due in part to an increase of Japanese products, like food and automobiles, on the Canadian market. “Last year we had 273,000 Canadian visitors to Japan and this year there was an 18 per cent increase," Nakazawa said. "From January to June of this year, we've already seen more visitors than all of 2013 combined."
In Toronto, business is booming for the Japanese market, and next summer, it's Montreal's turn. "Air Canada's support is a tremendous help for us to help promote tourism to Japan for the Quebec market and the Maritime provinces because they will soon have much better access to Japan," Kawai said.
"2018 marks the 90th anniversary of Japan’s diplomatic relationship with Canada, and and I'm hoping more Canadians will visit soon."