The opportunity to enjoy an authentic Japanese meal and meet with Japanese tourism industry delegates was too enticing to pass up for a group of Victoria-based personal travel managers (PTMs) from TravelManagers.
The group were hosted by Japan Holidays, which is a specialist destination partner supplier to TravelManagers, and lunched at Melbourne’s Kobe Jones Riverside Teppanyaki restaurant before a detailed presentation on Kumamoto, a prefecture (province) on Japan’s third largest island, Kyushu.
TravelManagers’ Theresa Kwong, representative for Hughesdale, Victoria, says she was very impressed with both the lunch and the presentation.
(Right to left) Victoria-based TravelManagers’ Business Partnership Manager Scott Hallo joins Tatsuya Tanaka (Kumamoto Prefectural Tourism), Judy Luxton (GM, Japan Holidays), Ken Takenaga (Kumamoto Prefectural Tourism) and PTMs Naomi Liss, Theresa Kwong, Tanya Barker and Claire Kilcullen for a teppanyaki lunch and destination update.
“I was already reasonably familiar with the major Japanese cities and the ski resorts, but I didn’t really know much about Kyushu which is Japan’s third largest island,” she explains. “The main city, Kumamoto, has a population of around 650,000 and we learned that it is most famous for its castle, which is one of Japan’s largest and most complete. The castle itself is home to around 800 cherry trees, making it a popular spot for the Japanese spring pass-time of hanami, or cherry blossom viewing.”
For Kwong, the presentation offered her the opportunity to learn more about a part of Japan with which she was less familiar.
“Japan is such a great destination for Australians: it’s in the same time zone as the East Coast so there’s no need to worry about jetlag, it’s safe, the people are very friendly and the food is amazing!”
Michael Gazal, Executive General Manager for TravelManagers, says the company understands that its ongoing success relies in large part on its PTMs having regular access to product training.
“We are fortunate to have such a strong relationship with Japan Holidays, who are able to provide our PTMs with access to organisations like Kumamotu Prefectural Tourism. This allows them to tap into the specialist destination knowledge and expertise they need to create fantastic holiday experiences for our clients.”
With almost 260,000 Australian tourists visiting Japan in 2014, and numbers expected to rise further over the next few years, Gazal says TravelManagers is looking forward to continuing its close and successful relationship with Japan Holidays.