VisitBritain is launching a social media campaign across Japan to highlight experiences that visitors can only have in Britain to drive future bookings.
The campaign features Japan Post's mascot, a bear called Posukuma, on a great British summer holiday. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Japan Post Office which is celebrating its connections with Britain. It is releasing a series of stamps in September in Japan featuring its Posukuma mascot visiting iconic landmarks and destinations and experiencing British culture to mark the anniversary.
On the back of the stamps release VisitBritain is promoting the UK as a visitor destination in Japan, highlighting our cultural connections and messages of welcome and reassurance to provide travel inspiration and ultimately drive future bookings.
Posukuma will be out travelling with VisitBritain's partners, destination management organisations, social media influencers and friends to destinations across Britain in the coming weeks with the photos used in a social media campaign across Japan. Posukuma flew with British Airways from Tokyo to London Heathrow where he was able to stretch out and relax in Club World business class, meaning he arrived well rested. More to follow from British Airways' Facebook in Japan soon!
Those joining in the campaign are also being encouraged to share Posukuma's adventures across their social media channels in Britain using #POSUKUMAinUK to put the spotlight on local destinations, experiences and attractions to also boost domestic travel.
VisitBritain Deputy CEO Patricia Yates said:
'We're delighted that Posukuma is able to take a break from his busy schedule at the Japan Post Office to enjoy our British summer. This is a great opportunity to highlight our outstanding tourism offer in Japan, celebrate our close connections, promote our culture and heritage and the amazing experiences that visitors - including bears - can only have here. We look forward to following Posukuma's adventures.
'Japan is an important inbound visitor market for us and we know there is pent-up demand for travel. We are working closely with our partners in Japan to promote the very best of destination Britain to drive future trips, as well as highlighting messages of reassurance and welcome.'
Japan is an important inbound visitor market for the UK, with visits from Japan increasing 12% in the five years to 2019.
VisitBritain has been tracking consumer sentiment throughout the pandemic with its latest research indicating strong demand overall for international travel in the next 12 months.
Forty-two per cent of Japanese respondents surveyed said they were probably or definitely going to take an international trip in the next 12 months with Europe the second top destination in mind. Almost 60% of Japanese respondents keen to travel had not yet booked or decided where to go, giving VisitBritain an opportunity to influence decision-making, destination-choice and bookings.
The top activities Japanese respondents were keen to do on their next international leisure trip included visiting history and heritage sites and cultural attractions as well as dining out in restaurants.
VisitBritain is also using the campaign to promote major events next year which are set to be significant global tourism draws including The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, The Queen's Platinum Jubilee and Festival UK 2022 - to promote the UK's creativity and innovation to the world.
Watch Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston's message to the Japanese market: