Kyushu Readies for Returning Australian Travellers with Appointment of Local Representation Agency, Linkd Tourism

03 Aug 2021

Australia-based travel sales and marketing consultancy, Linkd Tourism, has been appointed by Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation (KTPO) to represent the Japanese island with trade and marketing activity in Australia.

This appointment, with activity to commence immediately, signifies the destination’s focus on the Australian traveller. It also demonstrates KTPO’s recognition of the importance of the travel trade network in building product and awareness for customers, ahead of international travel resumption.

Linkd Tourism’s Carolyn Nightingale will manage Kyushu’s trade development and marketing program. The program will see the creation of itineraries and development of an educational toolkit for the Australian travel trade to sell and market the destination in the lead up to borders re-opening and beyond.

The announcement follows Amami Oshima (pictured) and Tokunoshima in Kyushu’s Kagoshima Prefecture becoming UNESCO World Heritage Sites, unveiled on 26 July. The relatively unexplored string of islands are characterised by white sand beaches, coastal mangroves, subtropical forests and endemic plants & wildlife.

Known as ‘Onsen Island’, Kyushu is Japan’s third largest island, with 7 Prefectures, including Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki and Kagoshima. Located in Japan’s Southwest, the island can be reached by bullet train from the main island of Honshu (5 – 6 hours from Tokyo), with Hakata Station in Fukuoka and Kagoshima-Chuo in Kagoshima Prefecture being major stops on the Tokaido/Sanyo shinkansen line. Alternatively, Kyushu is accessible by air with airports in each Prefecture connecting directly to Tokyo and Osaka in 2 hours or less. Fukuoka Airport also welcomes one-stop flights from Australia via Singapore.

Linkd will position Kyushu as a ‘must’ destination for repeat visitors to Japan and for consumers looking to escape the beaten track. KTPO’s slogan, ‘relax and rejoice’, will provide the direction for product development, highlighting the stunning natural wonders from ancient forests to the sea; abundance of relaxing beaches and Onsen experiences; mouth-watering cuisine and authentic Japanese culture and tradition.

Of the appointment, Katsumi Yamamoto, KTPO Director International Tourism for Europe, America and Oceania, commented “KTPO recognises Australia’s growing love for Japan and travel that explores culture and natural beauty, which Kyushu has in abundance. We are delighted to partner with Linkd Tourism to promote the island of Kyushu in Australia and build new product with travel companies, as the island readies itself for the return of international visitors. Kyushu offers visitors off-the-beaten-track adventure, relaxing Onsen springs, beautiful beaches and lush forests, and we’re extremely excited about Amami Oshima and Tokunoshima Islands becoming UNESCO Heritage listed destinations.”

Kylee Kay, Managing Director of Linkd Tourism, added, “We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with KTPO and look forward to promoting the many highlights of the destination to the Australian travel trade. While much of the Australian travel industry is currently experiencing heightened restrictions and lockdowns, KTPO’s investment in our market reinforces that international travel will soon return and that working with trade partners to bring back responsible Australian travellers is a key priority. We are committed to putting Kyushu on the map for Australians and accelerating the demand and growth in visitation.”

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