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Prime Minister Noda of Japan opens the 12th WTTC Global Summit

Prime Minister Noda of Japan opens the 12th WTTC Global Summit ( “Tourism is the frontier for Japan.” That was the message delivered by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan to the 1,200 delegates assembled for the start of the Opening Ceremony of the 12th WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo.

Prime Minister Noda recognized some of the issues facing Japan ¬- its declining birth rate, an ageing population, among others,¬ and he cited the importance of tourism as a factor in the economy. He highlighted the many wonderful all-year tourism attractions of Japan, particularly of the Tohoku region, which was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

Promoting Japan was, therefore, of significant importance to the Japanese government and to the Japanese people. He recognized that some areas “needed further development, but tourism is the frontier for Japan,” as it attracts international visitors, creates jobs, and develops relations with people.

His final request was to the assembled delegates to take home the message that Japan is “a safe, attractive destination for businesses, for conferences, and for all areas of tourism.”

This was a message echoed by Michael Frenzel, WTTC Chairman, and Chairman of the Executive Board of TUI AG, who said, “There is no doubt in our minds that Japan is well and truly open for business once again¬ and that Asia will be the main driver of growth for the global travel and tourism industry over the next 20 years or so.”

In the final speech of the Welcome Ceremony, Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the Japanese Host Committee for the Summit; Chairman&CEO, the Japan Travel&Tourism Association; and Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation, told delegates that the Great East Japan Earthquake was only one week after the very first meeting of the Host Committee for the Summit. “This gave us an additional purpose,” he said, “to disseminate to the world the status of Japan’s recovery. With the Global Summit as a trigger, I sincerely hope that Japan and global tourism will develop and thrive more dynamically than before the earthquake.”

Follow the summit and have your say on the official twitter feed @WTandTC, using #WTTC2012.

MEDIA CONTACT: Anja Eckervogt, Media Relations Manager, Phone: +44 (0) 2074816484, Email:

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