A group of hospitality and tourism businesses in the Lake District is embarking on a trade mission to Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka to meet with key decision makers in the Japanese travel industry.
Members of the Lake District Japan Forum are seeking to increase overseas visitors with the five day delegation, which follows hot on the heels of a recent reception in London with over 50 leading Japanese tour operators.
The delegation aims to maximise opportunities and further strengthen tourism links with Japan. It includes representatives from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, Windermere Lake Cruises, Mountain Goat Tours/Lindeth Howe Hotel, Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, The National Trust and the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.
Media and VIP events in Tokyo are being sponsored by Windermere Jetty, presenting the chance to announce the newest attraction on England’s longest lake to a part of the world that has proved the areas’ most enduring international market.
All tourism experts met by the group will also receive a special Cumbrian gift, a jar of Jane’s Marmalade from the Dalemain Mansion near Penrith, which has already been the subject of two television documentaries on NHK, a channel equivalent to the BBC in Japan.
Colin Fox from English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, who is chairman of the Lake District Japan Forum, explains: “The London event was the ideal platform to kick-start our latest campaign to inform Japanese travel planners about our current tourism offer and some exciting new additions in the World Heritage Lake District National Park.
“The focus for this trade delegation is to reinforce established venues and some new developments such as Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, the Lake District’s first world class resort, as well as the new Windermere Jetty museum.
“We will also capitalise on the cinema release of the Peter Rabbit film earlier this year and how that has boosted the awareness and love for the character and the countryside being portrayed on the big screen.”
The enduring appeal of both Peter Rabbit and the Lake District in Japanese culture is ensuring Cumbrian businesses receive a warm welcome in the Japanese travel industry.
Kenji Harada from Sony Creative Products, an agent behind a Beatrix Potter™/Peter Rabbit™ business in Japan, adds: “Since the Lake District was listed as World Heritage site, we are using a multimedia promotional strategy to ensure its landscape and history continues to be recognised by Japanese people. We are also working in collaboration with the Lake District Japan Forum to help promote the area.”
The Lake District Japan Forum is made up of a wider group of Lake District businesses who have forged close links with Japanese tour operators over the last 23 years. This will be the group’s eleventh business visit to the country.