Botswana-based tour operators will attend this year’s Japan Association of Travel Agents fair in Japan, an annual travel fair organised by the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA)┬áand is held every year in September at the Tokyo Big Sight in a 26000 square meter exhibition venue.
Keitumetse Setlang, Public Relations Officer at the Botswana Tourism Board, noted that the fair is both a trade fair, featuring a dedicated day for exhibitors to meet one-on-one with the Japanese travel trade and a consumer travel show where destinations and suppliers can showcase their travel offerings and appeal directly to potential Japanese travelers.
“The fair is always preceded by a one-day Congress called the JATA World Tourism Congress and the main objective of the congress is to increase global understanding of Japan’s travel market by bringing together some 1,000 travel professionals from Japan and around the world for a day of in-depth discussions, centered on a particular marketing theme,” Setlang said.
She added that the theme for this year is ‘Asia Tourism now’ and that this is a time for Batswana to intensify their strategy towards the Japanese market.┬á
She further said that the Botswana Tourism Board will be participating at JATA, along with 4 Botswana operators, noting that “this is a significant increase from 1 to 4 in participation by our operators and we are hopeful that more operators will join us in subsequent years to tap into this lucrative high end market.”┬á
“In preparation for the fair, Botswana Tourism Board in conjunction with the Botswana Embassy in Japan, hosted some travel writers from Japan to sample the Botswana Tourism product in June.┬á A promotional brochure has since been produced in Japanese and will be distributed during the fair,” she added.
Presentations by business leaders and market innovators from all sectors of the industry are also expected to provide both new-to-market and experienced delegates attending the congress with valuable insights into the workings of the Japanese travel market.┬á
JATA World Travel Fair is recognized as Asia’s largest travel trade and consumer travel exhibition. Setlang added that the exhibition provides a unique opportunity for travel suppliers to reach the three key targets for travel promotion, the travel trade, the media, and the traveling public – together at one show.
“Through the cooperation of participating travel agencies and travel suppliers, each event strives to set new trends in Japanese travel by highlighting various travel styles, activities and destinations. The ultimate goal of every JATA WTF is to strengthen awareness of the travel and tourism industry and stimulate new demand for travel,” she said.
In addition, Setlang explained that while in Japan, before the start of the travel fair BTB and The Botswana Embassy in Japan will facilitate a seminar on Botswana for 50 JATA member companies, including some of the top travel companies in Japan, on Wednesday 16th September and Ambassador Motswagae is expected to welcome the guests.
“An Official from JATA will also have an opportunity to give some remarks to the participants. BTB will do training sessions. This training is intended to┬áempower Japan Tour Operators to sell packages on Botswana with much ease. The four Botswana operators will also be given an opportunity to present their products to the participants,” Setlang said.┬á
She further added that the recent introduction of the Kenya Airways flight from Gaborone is a welcome development and will greatly enhance the accessibility of Botswana to the Japanese market.┬á
Kenya Airways flies from Hong Kong on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.┬á This enables Japanese to fly to Hong Kong and on arrival in Nairobi connect on the Kenya Airways flight to Gaborone on Fridays.