Rye forges links with Japan to aid tourism


Three representatives from Japanese Travel Bureau were welcomed to Rye last week in a visit organised by 1066 Country Marketing.

JTB is Japan’s largest travel agency and one of the largest travel agencies in the world.

The purpose of the visit was to explore the suitability of Rye for inclusion in their new ‘beyond London destination’ package for the 30 – 40 year old female market, to be advertised in the latest JTB UK Joshi-Tabi brochure.

After calling in to the Rye town model and a tour of the citadel, the group visited a number of hotels, including The Mermaid, Jeake’s House and The George in Rye. They received a warm welcome from Rye businesses including Rye Pottery and Glass Etc., and spent the day on the look out for places of interest for inclusion in the brochure.

The day was rounded off with a visit to St Mary’s church and a climb to the top of the tower for the impressive view of the Rye roof tops and surrounding area.

The visit came about as a result of the Visit Britain Trade Mission held in Tokyo in November 2013, which was attended by the tourism marketing officer from 1066 Country Marketing.

This is the third big travel company now sending visitors to 1066 Country.

MIKI Travel, one of the largest operators out of Japan, is sending visitors from London on a weekly basis to Hastings Old Town and Rye and ANA travel is exploring the possibility of sending Japanese clients to stay in 1066 Country on a self catering basis to make the most of their time out of London.

Due to its close relationship with the Visit Britain international press offices around the world, since 2012 1066 Country Marketing has hosted a number of press visits from Japanese magazines, TV travel programmes and the all important guidebook authors and researchers.

This all helps to raise the profile of the area as a quality tourist destination beyond London for the Japanese market.

Antiques Roadshow expert Andy McConnell, of Glass Etc, said: “The Japanese are our favourite and most regular foreign visitors. They enjoy a cup of tea as they gently wander around our shop, looking for small, pretty presents for friends and relations back home.”