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JATA TABIHAKU History Spans 36 Years

September 18, 2013 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

JATA TABIHAKU 2013 marks the 24th running of Japan’s largest travel show since it was introduced in 1977, then known as the JATA International Congress & Travel Trade Show, first held at the Tokyo Prince Hotel.

The event — running every other year, alternating with the World Travel Fair (WTF) under the wings of Travel Journal, Inc., — continued through 1999, with each year growing in size and stature.

In 1995, in efforts for the travel industry to help support the Kansai region and quicken its recovery from the Great Hanshin 6.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred Jan. 17 of that year, the event was held at the Asia-Pacific Trade Center and Hyatt Regency Osaka in Osaka City, the first time the show was held outside of Tokyo.

In 2001, the event was changed to JATA International Tourism Congress & Travel Mart.

In a move to help Japan become a “Tourism Nation” as was pointed out by former Prime Minister Junichi Koizumi, in 2003, JATA joined forces with WTF to operate annually as JATA International Tourism Congress & World Travel Fair, with WTF handling the consumer travel show. With the synergy afforded by the two shows being under one roof in the first year, at Pacifico Yokohama, it attracted 94 countries and regions with 783 booths. Some 91,419 visitors (consumers and travel trade professionals) attended the show.

The event ran for eight consecutive years through 2010 before JATA became the sole organizer of the event in 2011, prompting a new name: JATA International Tourism Forum-TABIHAKU. In its first year under the new name, the event grew to 144 countries and regions in number and boasted some 986 booths. It set a new record of 117,236 visitors.

Last year, the event became the most successful to date, with 156 countries and regions participating with 1,093 booths. Again, it set a record high of 125,989 visitors.

From 2013, the name again was changed to JATA TABIHAKU International Travel Show in a move to reflect a more global posture with increased efforts to promote all sectors of Japan’s tourism industry — outbound, inbound and domestic.

Preliminary figures to date show that the numbers countries and boots are expected to surpass last year’s tallies, underscoring JATA TABIHAKU being poised to become the premier travel show in Asia and one of the major travel and tourism industry events globally along with ITB Berlin and World Travel Mart in London.

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