World Heritage Cities promote their tourist offer in Japan


He Group of 15 World Heritage Cities of Spain (GCPHE) has carried out a campaign to promote its tourism offer in the JATA Tourism Expo Japanthe main international tourism fair in the Asia-Pacific region, held at the end of October in the Japanese city of Osaka.

The president of the Group and mayor of La Laguna, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez, has highlighted that the city continues “with a powerful international promotion campaign for Heritage Cities, in this case in the eastern market, where Spain continues to be one of the most demanded and where the recovery of tourism is increasingly vigorous. We are talking about travelers interested mainly in visits to cities and who are committed to cultural tourism, which constitutes a great opportunity for our Group.”

He also recalled “the opportunity that being part of the Group of World Heritage Cities represents for La Laguna, not only when it comes to establishing joint policies for the conservation and protection of our heritage assets, but also when it comes to positioning ourselves as a tourist destination of first level with a differentiated offer.”

The La Laguna City Council explains in a statement that participation in this fair has been coordinated with the Spanish Tourism Office in Tokyo, and is part of the joint action plan of the Group of World Heritage Cities and Turespaña. Representatives of the Group have participated in the specific workshop for the destination Spain, organized by the Spanish Tourism Office, with representatives of Spanish destinations, companies and entities, together with professionals from the Japanese tourism sector.

According to data from the Japan National Tourism Organization and INE-Frontur, the provisional number of Japanese tourists who have traveled abroad between January and May 2023 amounted to 2,911,000 people (538.7% more than the previous year) and , to Spain, 108,258 people bought a plane ticket (220.09% more than in 2022).


According to the latest available data, the recovery of Japanese tourism in Spain continues to be slightly better than that of global Japanese tourism. In terms of connectivity, the outlook is favorable due to the announcements made by several airlines regarding the increase in their flight frequencies starting in September. In 2022, 29,000 Japanese tourists traveled to Spain, spending 138.3 million euros.

The main motivation of Japanese tourists who visited Spain was leisure (63% of the total), followed, at a great distance, by business (26%), and the main activities they carried out were shopping (66%), cultural visits ( 53%) and visits to cities (50%), according to Turespaña estimates, based on INE microdata.

Turespaña Convention

The Group of World Heritage Cities has also participated in the II Turespaña Convention, at the Kursaal Center in San Sebastián, focused on the sustainable transformation of tourism. The mayor of Úbeda, Antonia Olivares, participated as a speaker in the round table ‘The impact of tourism on receiving communities’, where she highlighted the tourist attraction and international projection that the declaration of a World Heritage City entails.

It is a space for meeting, collaboration and planning between Turespaña and its network of tourism departments abroad, destinations and Spanish tourism companies, with the aim of promoting the exchange of information, joint reflection on the challenges and it is a key event for defining strategies and the action plan.

The Group of World Heritage Cities also participated in the ‘Spain Is Excellence’ meeting, a collaborative brand club, where public entities and private companies join synergies with the aim of highlighting and positioning Spain in the premium segment, focused on excellence and attracting quality travelers.

Likewise, it has taken part in the II Grupo Viajes El Corte Inglés Eco Meeting, where the inaugural conference was given by Cristina Sánchez, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Spain, and where key topics were addressed such as travel towards a brighter future. sustainable or the challenges of accessible tourism. Viajes El Corte Inglés collaborates with the Group in events such as the Racing Circuit in the 15 World Heritage Cities.



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