London-based communications agency, Black Diamond, has been appointed by Japan National Tourism Organisation to act as its first retained public relations agency in the UK following a competitive pitch process.
The JNTO is the official tourism body for the country of Japan and Black Diamond will focus on highlighting the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in 2019, as well as looking ahead to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, in addition to a number of homegrown events.
JNTO has not previously held an agency in the UK.
With over 300,000 annual UK visitors to Japan and an annual growth rate of between ten -15 per cent the desire to visit Japan has never been greater.
Known for its unique culture, art and design, active adventure, food and drink, as well as festivals and winter sports; traffic will be driven to the UK office’s digital platforms.
Tomohide Ichikawa, executive director at JNTO in London, said: “The JNTO has made the decision to increase its activity in the United Kingdom and, through our partnership with Black Diamond, highlight the exciting events that will take place throughout the country over the coming years.
“It is our mission to ensure Japan is kept top of mind with the UK consumer and to increase knowledge of the country as a whole, bringing to life the must-see, must-do experiences for British travellers in Japan.”
The appointment comes hot on the heels of both Hiroshima and Miyagi Prefectures appointing the agency in July 2018, together with the brand new DMO Setouchi Tourism Authority, who started being represented in the UK by the company in October 2017.
Sarah Barnett, head of travel PR at Black Diamond, commented: “We are delighted to be chosen as the inaugural PR agency for JNTO in the UK.
“To be able to work with such an exciting destination at this time is an incredible achievement for us.”