U.S./Japan Tourism Export Expansion Initiative
Goal: To create a formal tourism promotional exchange
between the United States and Japan to foster mutual economic growth
and improved cross-cultural exchange between the two countries.
Objective: To expand the travel and tourism traveler
base over the next five years (through 2006) to and between the
U.S. and Japan, with a goal towards recovery to the 2000 levels.
Background: Following substantial declines in
travel flows between the two countries after 9/11, the U.S. Department
of Commerce and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and
Transport (MLIT) undertook efforts to establish a formal Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) to memorialize government efforts, in conjunction
with private sector support. Commerce Secretary Don Evans and MLIT
Minister Chikage Oogi signed the MOU in April 2002. Subsequently,
government and private sector representatives from both countries
have convened four working group meetings.
Structure: The MOU established two working groups,
currently co-chaired on the U.S. side by Mr. Warren Ruello, Vice
President of Global Initiatives, Marriott International, and Mr.
John Marks, President & CEO of the San Francisco Convention
& Visitors Bureau. The co-chairs from the Japan side are Mr.
Minoru Nakamura, President of the Japan National Tourist Organization,
and Mr. Koji Shinmachi, Chairman of the Japan Association of Travel
Agents. The Council is comprised of two working groups: a U.S. inbound/Japan
outbound group (led by Mr. Marks and Mr. Shinmachi), and a Japan
inbound/U.S. outbound group (led by Mr. Nakamura and Mr. Ruello).
Each group has co-chairs representing each country.
The key elements of the Initiative include the following aspects:
- The Initiative is government initiated and co-chaired by the
Secretary of Commerce and the Minister of MLIT in Japan or their
- The Initiative is led by industry leaders from both countries,
representing a cross section of the tourism industries.
- The Initiative addresses several of the following issues to
be handled in working groups for ensuring effectiveness:
- Marketing and promotion;
- Product development;
- Public and media relations,
- Research and information;
- Education and training; and
- Safety and security.
- Bilateral meetings are to be held twice a year, alternating
between the U.S. and Japan for meeting sites. The U.S. site will
alternate between Island locations and Mainland locations.