We exhibited at a travel fair in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
From September 6 to 8, 2018, we had a booth at ITE HCMC 2018, an overseas travel fair held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The travel fair attracted around 30,000 people over the course of three days. The number of Vietnamese people who visit Japan has been increasing every year, and in 2017 there were around 310,000 visitors, a 32% increase compared with the previous year.
Tourist information about locations throughout Japan and information for Haneda Airport, as well as attractions to experience Japanese culture, were provided in the Haneda Airport booth. We also visited local travel agencies and the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Board to a brainstorming session.
The booth design featured distinctive, colorful Japanese umbrellas. The vivid umbrellas were illuminated to offer more brilliance, creating a Japanese atmosphere. The booth also featured a photo of EDO KOJI, an area located inside the international terminal at Haneda Airport, printed on one of the wall panels, and other photos of the airport were used as decorations throughout the booth. The Japanese atmosphere, which is also present inside Haneda Airport, was extremely popular and the booth was always crowded.
Pamphlets showcased the convenience of Haneda Airport as a starting point for travel within Japan, as well as information about the facilities available at the airport, offering information about travel to Japan and about Haneda Airport itself, as well. When talking about specific tourist areas, we were asked what public transportation options to use to get there and other questions, giving us many chances to offer information about access to various areas in Japan while using Haneda Airport as a starting point. There were also some visitors who seemed surprised at the VISIT JAPAN airline ticket discount program for visitors to Japan, and some of our visitors said they would take full advantage of this program. We feel that if repeat visitors increase and Japan becomes a more familiar place for travel, then a sudden boom in travel to Japan will occur, leading to even further demand. The visitors to our booth had a deep interest in Japan, even though many had not yet visited. This may be because Vietnamese people have a lot in common with Japanese people, including their focus on hard work and their diet of rice as a staple food.
The booth also featured a new attraction: yukata experience. The vivid yukata were popular with Vietnamese women, and there were lines of people waiting to try on the yukata. After being dressed in the yukata, photos were taken with samples of Japanese food at the photo spot in the booth. These visitors were able to take home the charm of Japan and Haneda Airport in the form of a photo as a memory of the day. After learning that anime was very popular in Vietnam, we prepared stuffed anime character toys to be used in the ring toss game and anime figurines as prizes. The booth was overflowing with visitors, with many of them clamoring over the anime figurine prizes. There were many moments where we got a sense of the great popularity of anime among visitors.
We held a PR session on the attractiveness of Haneda Airport as well as a brainstorming session with travel agencies and the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Board. Most Vietnamese travelers do not travel abroad, with neighboring Thailand recognized as a huge tourist destination, but in recent years, there has been a rapid increase in travel between Vietnam and Japan with both tourists. In the brainstorming session, we determined that there is space for considerable growth in number of visitors to Japan, just as the trend towards visiting Japan is increasing as more Vietnamese travelers travel further abroad.