So much has already been said and written about Japan. As a travel destination, it is often advertised using clichés of “tradition meets modern”. However, the special thing about Japanese culture and society is that it normally follows the golden mean.
What if Japan wanted to showcase a completely different facet for tourists? What if Japan chose to position itself as the perfect travel destination for “wellness travellers”?
When planning holidays, European travellers look for one thing above all: rest and relaxation.
Most Europeans would only travel to Japan – if at all – out of curiosity or simply to sightsee. In other words, motivated by completely other reasons.
To counteract this imbalance and to speak to a broad group of European clientele, the Japanese National Tourist Organisation (JNTO) announced a big pitch. The goal: to advertise Japan throughout Europe as the perfect “wellness location” and thereby significantly boost the number of Europeans travelling to Japan.
Japan has so much more than the “old” clichés like sushi and mangas, Geisha and industrious workers, or high-tech and tradition. Japan is, above all, a great country for rest and relaxation. Around the clock – day and night.
And so the idea was born to list the most interesting and relaxing places in Japan in a truly special way – with fascinating and unusual insights from a subjective perspective. In other words, a very personal date book, in which a perfect location is introduced for every hour of the day.
With this idea as a basis, we set to work together with our Japanese colleagues and travel journalists to develop a fascinating discovery tour through Japan – “the land of relaxation”. This was reflected, among other ways, in a unique travel insert in one of Germany’s largest daily papers, with a large sweepstakes as well as a meticulously laid-out pan-European website. It was further supported with out-of-home measures at airports, as well as with online banners.
More than 500,000 page views in just six months, over 300,000 banner clicks, more than 27,000 participants in the sweepstakes and an immense jump in the number of visitors to Japan. Plus, we were successful in gaining important – and useful – insights into the preferences and needs of our pan-European target group.