The biggest tourism promotion of them all

By | Category: Travel destinations

The Rugby World Cup in Japan is taking place from today until the 2nd of November. (Japan won the first match against Russia, 30-10.)

Tonight the Japanese will be celebrating their win over Russia today in Tokyo

For those uninterested in the sport that might be enough for you to turn away now. Indeed, why am I even writing about this on the day it opens rather than months ago when it would still have been possible to book flights and hotels? The answer is because this story is not really about the rugby. It is about Japan.

Destinations have learnt that apart from hosting huge sporting events and the possible kudos that brings, the prime time television and media coverage enables a destination to plant appealing images, the sort of images that make you think that you would like to holiday in the country.

But Japan has been cleverer than that.

Images from all twelve cities hosting the individual games in the cup will be beamed around the world and you might be surprised that some major tourist cities such as Kyoto and Nagoya have been omitted.

The twelve are Fukuoka, Higashiosaka City, (near Osaka) Kamaishi, Kobe, Kumagaya, Kumamoto, Oita, Sapporo, Shizuoka, Tokyo, Toyota, Yokohama. Where the Japanese have been clever is that by picking some cities westerners might not know they are widening the knowledge to foreigners about what to see and do.

But there is another angle as well that the Japanese will exploit. Next year is the Olympic Games, which should be an even bigger sporting event. By showcasing certain cities now, Japan is showing to the world what some of next year’s venues look like and thus, trying to encourage us to visit those places next year when the Games is on. Then, next year, additional venues outside Tokyo will also be introduced to the world making the combination of the World Cup and  the Olympic Games the biggest tourism promotion in history

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