We exhibited at a travel fair in Sydney, Australia.
From February 2 to 3, 2019, we had a booth at 2019 World Travel Expo Sydney, an overseas travel fair held in Sydney, Australia. The travel fair attracted around 20,000 people over the course of two days. The number of Australians who visit Japan has been increasing every year, and in 2017 there were around 490,000 visitors, an 11% 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.
For the booth at this fair, we offered attractions based on a rugby motif as a new attempt, as the Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan in 2019. Adults and children alike enjoyed the attractions, with crowds from start to finish, and there was no sense of resistance towards kicking a rugby ball for the majority of participants. It seems that rugby is as popular with Australians as we assumed. At the same time, we delivered information about the Rugby World Cup being held in Japan and about tourist spots near the match venues where the Australian team will play, offering Australians a chance to enjoy Japan thanks to rugby. It seems that most of the visitors were seeking tourist information about the area near the match venues, and it was impressive how they took an interest in tourist locations in Japan. We also made use of carpet that replicated the grass of a rugby field as decoration during the attractions, and visitors were able to enjoy the atmosphere. We also had vivid, illuminated Japanese umbrellas located at the top of the booth as another decoration element. Visitors were able to enjoy a Japanese ambience.
Food samples of Japanese food that can be eaten at Haneda Airport were on display at the booth. Japanese food is very popular with Australians, as well. We saw many people taking pictures of the food that was lined up with their smartphones. We received many inquiries about food while visitors looked at the food samples, such as, "I've eaten this before," and, "What is the name of this food?" It was also impressive how we saw nearby visitors talking among themselves about Japanese food. Incidentally, even in the questionnaire that we offered to visitors, there were many responses for "Japanese food" as something that respondents wanted to try and experience when visiting Japan, making it clear that Australians have as great an interest in Japanese food as we assumed. While sensing again that Australians are greatly interested in Japanese food, this fair allowed us to catch a glimpse of the character of extremely positive and friendly Australians.