1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Official travel advisories issued by governments need to more accurately reflect the safety and security situation in Japan, the CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has said.
Following a trip to Tokyo, David Scowsill called on all governments to update their communications about Japan.
He said: “Governments around the world have been too slow to remove blanket travel bans on the whole country; they must ensure that their travel advice accurately reflects what is actually happening on the ground.”
Tokyo and the rest of Japan (including Hokkaido, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe) are all currently deemed safe to visit, according to the WTTC.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), however, is still advising against all but essential travel to areas north east of Tokyo most affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
The official online statement says: “These areas continue to suffer disruptions to residential, business and transport infrastructure and you may wish to consult local contacts before travelling.”
Scowsill admits that the situation is “clearly serious”, with hotels having to operate with skeleton staff, airlines cancelling flights and restaurants struggling, but life in Japan is returning to normal, he said.
“Flights have resumed at Sendai Airport,” he said “and Tokyo Disneyland has re-opened.”
Scowsill urged the Japanese government and industry leaders to “communicate clearly to the outside world that the situation in Fukushima is under control”.
“Without this clear and ongoing assurance, it will be difficult to stimulate inbound tourists to return when they have so many other destinations to visit,” he said.
“The lingering concern about radiation must be eradicated from the minds of potential visitors, and this requires a sustained and co-ordinated communications campaign.”