Of the many industries that have been decimated by the spread of COVID-19 around the globe, the tourism industry is perhaps hardest hit. The story in Japan, which this year expected 40 million visitors arriving to see the Olympics, looks especially grim as the games have now been canceled.

Japan ordinarily relies on a thriving tourism sector as a major part of its economy, with inbound tourists alone spending 4.8 trillion yen ($44 billion) in 2019 according to Nikkei. Due to the spread of the coronavirus however, visitors to Japan dropped a heart attack worthy 99.9% in April compared to the same period last year. The tourism industry is well and truly flatlining.

To make matters worse, analysts from leading financial institution Mitsubishi UFJ predicted in April that a total of ¥2.4 trillion (around $22 billion) of consumer spending would be lost in the 6 months to September if the number of travelers to Japan remained at March levels, when Japan saw a 93% drop in inbound visitors.

A report on consumer travel sentiment released in June by Deloitte, a consulting company, suggests that travel sentiment is seeing signs of life globally however.

All system’s Go for Travel in Japan

Indeed, having lifted its nationwide travel restrictions at the end of June, Japan has started to see an uptick in domestic travel. Moreover, the government plans to implement a “Go To Travel” campaign aimed at resuscitating the country’s struggling travel and tourism industry. Under the scheme, domestic travelers will receive discounts and coupons of up to ¥20,000 for each night of their holiday stay. Day trippers on the other hand can receive up to ¥10,000 of coupons and discounts. The campaign is set to begin in August according to Time Out Tokyo.

Whether lifting travel restrictions and the “Go To Travel” campaign will have the desired effect of reviving the tourism industry in Japan remains to be seen. According to the previously mentioned report by Deloitte, restoring consumers’ faith in travel safety will be key to how quickly the travel industry can get moving. With the travel and tourism industry in Japan starting to stir, it is essential that businesses take action to ensure the safety of travelers.

Japanese Consultant providing lifeline to tourism industry with medical industry expertise

OWLON, a medical business consultancy, is utilizing its expertise to provide tourism businesses with countermeasures they can implement to ensure the safety of travelers from COVID-19.

OWLON is based in Tokyo and provides business systems and business flow consultancy to medical businesses. Recently they have expanded their services to advise medical businesses on how to safely operate during COVID-19.

With the Go To Travel campaign on the horizon, OWLON is hoping to use its COVID-19 consulting experience to also support the tourism sector so that it can safely serve customers in a world that remains under threat from the novel Coronavirus. OWLON recognizes that while tourism businesses bring joy and fond memories to travellers, it cannot expand again without a healthy customer base.

OWLON will provide the following services to travel and tourism businesses by leveraging expert knowledge and experience from medical sector business operation:

  • Tailor Made business operation system for each business.
  • Operation manual and prevention plan to manage COVID-19 risk.
  • Post system implementation support (reports / information updates regarding COVID-19), etc.

OWLON’s services can be secured starting at ¥200,000 yen per month (for 3 a month contract). Given the lucrative potential of the tourism industry, being able to ensure customers that their services are safe is likely to be the top priority of many businesses.

For many tourists it may be reassuring to know that their travel package has been assessed and developed with advice from medical industry experts. Indeed OWLON’s services may provide a glimpse into the near future, of a world in which customers will seek out travel experiences based on safety and sanitation as much as the potential they offer for relaxation and new experiences.

Further Details about OWLON’s Services

For anyone interested in finding out more about OWLON, why not join their free online seminar in July?

  • Wednesday, July 8, 2020 15:00-16:00
  • Friday, July 10, 2020 15:00-16:00
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2020 15:00-16:00
  • Friday, July 17, 2020 15:00-16:00

The seminars will be held on Google Hangouts and Zoom. More details at the following link.

By - Toby M.