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Japan

JapanGrowth in Japanese arrivals to Canada remains steady. In 2014, Canada received the most significant gain in flight capacity from Japan in years as both All Nippon Airways and Air Canada have new direct flight service from Haneda Airport (outside Tokyo) to Vancouver and Toronto. Alberta will need to work with Japanese tour operator partners to capitalize on this increased lift, while keeping the Air Canada Narita to Calgary flight a priority.

Japanese travellers took 19.4 million outbound trips and spent US$47.3 billion on international travel in 2012 according to IPK’s Asian Travel Monitor. The Japanese, who traditionally take nearly half of their international trips outside of Asia, have increased non-Asia trips by 2% in 2013. Japanese consumers remain cautious, despite the recent upturn in the economy.

In the long term, changes in consumer behaviour could provide new opportunities for Alberta. The entry of Brand USA into this market, coupled with a growing interest in two-nation itineraries, puts Alberta in a strong position.

Trends in this market show an increase in last-minute bookings; it’s not unusual to see travellers booking a month out from departure. Japanese travellers take longer trips, and often look to escape winter for warmer climates. The challenge will be to generate demand for winter travel to Alberta.

There is further opportunity with a younger demographic of Japanese travellers choosing more independent travel. Awareness of Alberta as a travel destination is very low in Japan and similar product offerings from Australia remain a challenge.

Key Activities

  • Invest in the Team Canada joint marketing approach with the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) Japan office and other provinces
  • Execute two seasonal consumer campaigns promoting the Air Canada Narita/Calgary direct flight
  • Build relationships with travel trade professionals through joint marketing agreements, marketplaces FAM trips, learning opportunities, the Canada Specialist Program and innovative events
  • Work with top media influencers from Japan through media and social media activities to share Alberta’s tourism story

Expected Outcomes

  • Increased awareness of Alberta experiences through travel trade partnerships
  • Additional export-ready products supported by receptive tour operators through key accounts
  • Positive media coverage for Alberta from targeted media outlets
  • Growth and increased engagement in social media communities