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Rival Golden Route launched in Japan

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Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture launches route for FITs
Hyogo Prefecture, just west of Osaka in Japan, is promoting its own Golden Route covering Kobe, Kinosaki and Himeji, in hopes of boosting arrival numbers.
It is a response to the original Golden Route, a week-long tour popular with first-time visitors to the country, covering Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka.
As travel styles and preferences evolve, Hyogo is hoping to seize the opportunity to cater to more diverse demands with its own route.
Attractions in the area, which is well-connected with trains and buses, include UNESCO-listed Himeji Castle, world-renowned Kobe beef, the sake breweries of Nada and the onsen hot springs in Kinosaki.
According to government stats, about 1.5 million foreign visitors visited Hyogo last year, Asians making up the bulk of 85.4%, followed by Europe at 4.2% and North America also at 4.2%. The local government hopes to raise visitor footfalls to three million by 2020.
“Our main target is FITs,” said Haruka Toyoizumi of the tourism department at the Kobe Convention & Visitors Association. “To lure more, the area has placed information desks in these destinations and is also providing travellers with free Wi-Fi.”
TTG Asia

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