Work in Japan Advice Board
Just three months since the massive earthquake and tsunami turned our world around, Japan has moved from reeling to recovery. The frequent aftershocks from the earthquake have largely subsided, but the aftershocks from the tsunami continue to batter the economy. One of the industries most directly affected is tourism and travel, an industry which depends very much on the trade winds of image and perception.
What are some of the issues facing people in the tourism and event business in Japan?
Fear and avoidance. Safety is a natural concern for anyone living in or traveling to Japan, after the media launched a blitz on our perception combining graphic images of devastation, frightening forecasts and meltdown scenarios, made more vivid by the flight of foreigners living in Japan, and travel warnings posted by governments around the world. Conflicting information lowered the level of trust, and as a result it is difficult for most people to know who or what to believe. If you don’t live in Japan, you have no way to judge this media madness against the evidence of your own senses and intuition. Fear leads to avoidance, and travelers choose other destinations.
Monotonous marketing. This is a problem which clearly predates the crisis, and yet can have a hidden impact on tourism through its failure to attract repeat business or new travelers, who have access to more information and media on travel destinations than ever before. Pretty postcard pictures are unlikely to compete with real time reports from bloggers and Facebook networks. Where even one year is an era in Internet history, many websites promoting travel to Japan seem to be gathering more dust than traffic. In a word, “Been there, done that.”
Diversity in motivation. Travel is not the only industry to have been deeply affected by diversification in needs and niches. Nobody seems to want to follow the flag anymore. People would rather rally around their own interests than follow a one size fits all approach to tourism.
What can people in the tourism and travel market do to revitalize their business and attract people to Japan?
The Internet has made it affordable to market to small numbers of people. If you can juggle the savings you can achieve in economies of scale with the ability to reach diverse niches and create customized packages, there are still many opportunities in the tourism and travel market. The traditional approach to tourism is not likely to attract people to Japan the way it used to in the past. Innovation precedes rejuvenation. If you want to succeed you have to offer new destinations and hybrid experiences to people in a way that engages, educates, and entertains.
WEB TV: http://williamreed.tv
iPAD CREATORS CLUB: http://ipadcreatorsclub.com
William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.