In the last few years, Japan's tourism growth has been unrivaled. Most recently, the country was named the safest country by the Institute for Economics and Peace, Japan distinguished itself as one of the most untapped locations for hot springs, and recent hotel openings have included ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe in January, InterContinental in July and Hilton's largest Asia property in Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk in June. This compares little to the country's evolution over the past 200 years.
As long ago as 1854, the end of the shogunate transformed the illustrious country. When we covered Japan in 1950, it was re-inventing itself following World War II, and the Korean War that would end in 1953 had just begun. Under the occupation of the Allied Forces that would last through 1951, the country had set a goal of 100,000 visitors a year. Tourists were clamoring to see the main temple, Rinnjoi, in Nikko, outside of Tokyo, and the capital city itself welcomed visitors to the untouched Imperial Palace and the Dai Ichi building, headquarters to General Douglas MacArthur, then the United Nations Command in the Korean War from 1950 to 1951. (Check out the full article here.)
As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're taking a look at what was happening in the industry in the past and asking agents to share their thoughts on what has changed in the industry up until the present. So please share your thoughts by posting a comment below, writing us at our Facebook page, sending a tweet to our Twitter page or by engaging in a discussion in real time at AgentNation (the only social community online for all kinds of travel agents, which certainly wasn't around 80 years ago). We want to hear from you.