JNTO Sydney welcomes new executive director
Wakabayashi, who hails from JNTO’s head office in Japan, has moved from Tokyo to Sydney to take up her second overseas posting.
“I’m excited to build on the momentum of my predecessors to show what makes Japan such a wonderful travel destination,” Wakabayashi said.
2016 saw a record number of Australians visit Japan: 445,200 pax, an 18.4% increase from 2015 and 47.1% increase from 2014.
“This momentum shows no sign of stopping as more and more Australians learn about Japan’s diverse attractions. With the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics approaching, awareness is continuing to grow,” she said.
“Food is becoming the focal point for more and more travellers, so I am eager to build on this and increase awareness of diversity in Japanese cuisine, especially in regional areas. I hope that more travellers will explore Japan outside of the ski and cherry blossom seasons and experience our beautiful nature all year round.”
With a background of over 15 years promoting Japan as an inbound destination, Wakabayashi brings vast experience and in-depth knowledge. She intends to work closely with her team and local partners on JNTO Sydney’s marketing activities to drive more tourism to Japan, to help meet the Japanese government’s new target of 40 million overseas visitors by 2020.