The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has inaugurated a partnership with Princess Cruises, hosting some 140 of Ensemble Travel Group’s top travel agents, suppliers and guests on a May 18-25 cruise highlighting some of Japan’s lesser-known ports.
The Ensemble Travel Group produces annual sales of more than US$1 billion and consists of more than 850 travel companies serving affluent travelers throughout the United States and Canada. Ensemble Travel Group’s CEO, David Harris, said: “We think this trip is the perfect way to explore the beauty of Japan while also enjoying the unparalleled experience offered aboard the Diamond Princess.” As part of the partnership, JNTO will be hosting unique shore excursions in Kobe, Kochi, Hiroshima, Matsuyama and Miyazaki.
Of the record 1.52 million U.S. tourists who visited Japan in 2018, cruise travelers accounted for 3.3%, a significantly higher percentage than in European and Australian markets. By inviting the top travel agents, JNTO and Princess Cruises hope to increase the sale of cruises to Japan, specifically in the lesser-known Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu regions.