Remember our story last week on Jamie Lafferty, touring and promoting Japan’s 47 prefectures as a guest of the Japanese tourist industry? It seems this is a country taking its publicity campaigns very seriously indeed (understandably so) – and now it’s stumping up 10,000 free flights to Japan in 2012.
According to the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun (and via the Telegraph), the Japan Tourist Agency will be asking wannabe visitors to apply online for free tickets to the area of the country they’d most like to visit, and if their application is successful their flight will be paid for (although accommodation and other expenses will be the responsibility of the visitor). No word yet on how or when the selection process will take place – and since it’s a campaign to bolster the country’s reputation as a tourist destination, we’re guessing visitors will be given every opportunity to write positive reports about the experience.
It’s impressively generous – but could it backfire?
The promotion does not erase personal concerns. If Japan really wishes to reassure foreign tourism markets, it should have introduced this marketing strategy four months ago.
As Metro reports here, this is still a country struggling with the aftermath of a terrible year. It’s still putting things back together. If those visitors turn up expecting a relaxingly beautiful holiday on the coast, they may be in for a shock – and if the government restricts access to the most hard-hit (and perhaps still hazardous) sites as an attempt to limit bad press, those visitor write-ups could be less than glowing…
Will you be applying for a free flight to Japan?
(Hat-tip to @HonzaKerver for the link).
There are no differences between the 11 October, 2011 @ 8:33 revision and the current revision. (Maybe only post meta information was changed.)