websitelink2023 Kawaguchi is tourism’s new envoy in Japan

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Japanese actress Haruna Kawaguchi has been chosen as Taiwan’s tourism ambassador in Japan this year, the Tourism Bureau told a news conference yesterday.

The popular 28-year-old actress has starred in many films and TV series in Japan, including Silent, which premiered on Fuji TV last year.

Japan is one of Taiwan’s most important markets for international tourists in the post-COVID-19 era, bureau Deputy Director-General Trust Lin (林信任) said.

“Surveys that we conducted in Japan during the pandemic showed that Taiwan would be one of the top three travel destinations for Japanese tourists after the pandemic eases. Japanese women aged 20 to 39 are particularly interested in traveling overseas,” Lin said.

“Our surveys also showed that our target customers overlap with Kawaguchi’s fans in Japan. She was Japan’s ‘Queen of Endorsement Advertising’ last year, serving as a spokesperson for many Japanese products. Her personality and popularity match our criteria for a tourism ambassador in Japan,” he added.

As Japanese travelers visit Taiwan mainly for the food, culture and outdoor activities, Kawaguchi would visit travel destinations across the nation to shoot tourism commercials for the bureau in the next four days.

“We hope that the Japanese would be touched by Kawaguchi’s travels in Taiwan and motivated to follow in her footsteps,” Lin said.

Kawaguchi, who arrived in Taipei yesterday to start the commercial shoots, told the news conference that it was her second time to visit Taiwan.

She said through a translator that although she did not travel much around Taiwan during her first visit as she was working, she was impressed by the warmth and passion of Taiwanese.

“I am looking forward to visiting different places in Taiwan this time,” she said.

About 2.16 million Japanese tourists visited Taiwan in 2019, the bureau said.

From January to April, Taiwan welcomed 1.62 million international travelers, led by visitors from South Korea, followed by Japan and North American countries, bureau data showed.

Japan did not downgrade its COVID-19 status until April 29, paving the way for the start of overseas travel for Japanese, Lin said.

“We are positive about the prospects of the tourism market in Japan. Taiwan ranked as the No. 2 overseas travel destination for Japanese tourists during Japan’s Golden Week from April 29 to May 5. We are also confident about Miss Kawaguchi’s influence,” he said.

“Taiwan on May 1 downgraded the status of COVID-19 to that of a less serious disease. This month, we will begin distributing incentive funds for international tourists. We are expecting our 2 millionth international visitor to arrive toward the end of this month,” he said.

Since 2001, the bureau has been retaining tourism ambassadors as part of its marketing strategies to attract Japanese tourists, including Japanese actress Masami Nagasawa, Taiwanese boy bands F4 and Fahrenheit and Taiwanese singer Show Lo (羅志祥).

It also recruited several goodwill tourism ambassadors, including Japanese singers Mai Kuraki, Sachiko Kobayashi, Masaharu Fukuyama, Takuya Kimura, as well as Taiwanese baseball player Yang Dai-kang (陽岱鋼).

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