It was a great milestone for Japan’s tourism and it happened onboard Costa Asia’s ship Costa Serena on December 8. Japan has clocked one million cruise line passengers in one calendar year and the occasion was celebrated with a ceremony when Costa Serena called in at Fukuoka’s Hakata Port.
“My team and I are excited and honored to send the first-ever 1,000,000th cruise ship passenger into Japan. This is a remarkable achievement for the Japanese tourism industry. We’re thrilled that our award-winning ‘Italy at Sea’ concept of casual family cruising has been a major contributor to Japan’s record-breaking tourism experience,” said Buhdy Bok, Costa Group Asia President.
The event was attended by many Japanese government officials like Kiyoshi Ejima, Parliamentary Vice Minister of the MLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). “It’s wonderful that visitors have the opportunity to travel on a cruise liner around the Japan islands and to our port towns.’
“We had originally set a target of 1 million inbound visitors by 2020, so it is very exciting to see this target being met five years ahead of schedule,” said Kiyoshi Ejima.
A million cruise passengers into Japan is a perfect time for Costa’s expansion plans in Asia. The cruise company will be introducing family cruising to Japanese guests onboard Costa Victoria in the summer of 2016. Luring Japanese cruisers, Costa Victoria will have 6-day itineraries, with port calls to Fukuoka, Maizuru, Kanazawa, Matsue, and Pusan in South Korea.
Yusuke Itokawa, Costa Group Asia Japan Country Manager said, “We are very excited to offer our unique casual family cruising experience designed specifically for Japanese passengers beginning next year. Soon, our Japanese guests will have the opportunity to set sail closer to home, to visit fascinating Japanese destinations with a touch of Korea, along with a remarkable experience of Costa’s ‘Italy at Sea’ attractions.”