Japan’s National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has appointed Hisashi Otsuka as the new Executive Director of its head office in Spain
Otsuka, a graduate from the Kyoto University, joined the Japanese Ministry of Territory, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in 2000. Over the years he has held different positions of responsibility in the Ministry, working as the Director of the Transport Planning Division of Kyushu District and Director of the Transport Policy Division in the Oita Prefecture.
Otsuka joined the Integrated Tourist Resort Promotion Office of the Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of Japan in 2017 and was made the Executive Director of Japan’s National Tourism Office in Madrid in June 2019.
In this new period of his career managing the JNTO’s headquarters in Spain, the new director stated, “we’d like Spaniards to have a broader vision of Japan beyond just Tokyo and Kyoto. We’re going to work on promoting different regions, so visitors experience all the attractions available and think about returning to Japan before they even finish their trip”.
The number of Spanish visitors to Japan has increased significantly since the JNTO opened its office in Madrid more than two years ago, and in 2018 close to 120,000 Spaniards travelled to Japan, which was 19% more than the previous year.
Japan’s National Tourism Office noted the steady growth of interest in Japan from Spaniards, whose interests range the more traditional like temples and sanctuaries, Japanese cuisine, martial arts, ikebana and tea ceremonies to other areas more appealing for younger travellers such as manga, animation, pilgrimage routes and Japanese lifestyle.
The JNTO’s office in Madrid provides the public, media and professionals from the Spanish tourism sector with all the necessary tools to discover and learn more about all the country’s many attractions.