Will Japan's Travel Industry Get The Hint?

by Armand Vaquer

Above, Haruo Nakajima. Could he and his alter ego be the ones who revives Japan's tourism industry?

It is amazing how things can go viral over the Internet.

A few days ago, I posted a blog "Can Godzilla Save The Japanese Tourism Industry?" at Monster Island News, Godzilla 2012 and Armand's Rancho Del Cielo blogs. I posed the question in this way:

Getting up this evening from much-needed sleep (I have to work the graveyard shift in Burbank again tonight), I found an email about a Twitter Tweet from Tom Baker of The Daily Yomiuri:

Can Godzilla help save Japan's tourism industry? Monster expert @ArmandV comments on an editorial from @DailyYomiuri.

I think Godzilla would be a great help in saving Japan's tourism industry. He's as internationally recognizable as Mickey Mouse. Of course, the tourism industry would need the cooperation from Godzilla's owner, Toho Co., Ltd., but ads featuring the King of the Monsters promoting Japan tourism could do the trick. Also, taking on Haruo Nakajima, the original Godzilla suit actor, as a goodwill ambassador in a advertising campaign for Japan tourism would be a plus. Given his age (he's 82), his participation would have to be limited a bit. But seeing the crowds gather around him on Hollywood Blvd. (see photo below from his daughter Sonoe) convinced me that he could be useful. And, I think he'd have a ball!

Above, Haruo Nakajima drew a crowd on Hollywood Blvd. last month. Photo courtesy of Sonoe Nakajima.

As I said before, the Japanese tourism industry needs to think "outside of the box" to get travelers over to Japan. It's worth a try!

Checking Google, I found that a number of websites have picked up on the posts. They range from other bloggers to travel websites. Maybe the Japanese travel professionals and tourism bureaus (especially the Japan National Tourism Organization) will get the hint?

Wouldn't be cool to see Godzilla and Haruo Nakajima featured in promotions for Japan travel? They would certainly catch a lot of attention!

Both Godzilla and Haruo Nakajima are valuable resources that could and should be tapped. We'll see what develops.

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