Trottings: Tokyo Narita, paper napkins, London Heathrow.

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TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.


September 21 2013

Trottings: Tokyo Narita, paper napkins, London Heathrow.


Tokyo Narita

The bad news – my flight was typhoon-delayed for six hours. Good news – I found a paying lounge at the airport, Tokyo Narita, which must be the best value in the world. And this is Japan!


Cost ¥1000 (about US$10) for unlimited time, although it opens only 0800-2000. Free coffee tea, free wifi. And they even had a plug converter for my European plug. Dispensing machines for other drinks. And you can go out and come back.


Name: Rassurants – maybe from the French ‘rassurant’ for reassuring, but some alimentation, so ‘restaurants’?




Paper napkins

On a recent one-week trip, I counted how many paper napkins I was given, with drinks, sandwiches, etc, without asking for one or taking one. It was 125.




London Heathrow

PAGPFT*. On a trip through London Heathrow airport, I was surprised at how many words and phrases appear to have been written to befuddle those whose first language is not English.



  • ‘Border Control’. Means ‘Immigration’.
  • ‘Dedicated Coaches’. Does not mean hard-working physical-training staff, but ‘buses’. The ‘dedicated’ prefix is superfluous.
  • ‘Transit’. Does not mean passengers moving from one flight to another at the airport, but ‘train’! Leads to some ridiculous phrases, such as “Passengers should leave the transit now”.

Time for someone at Heathrow Holdings to stop trying to be clever or smart, and be helpful.

*PAGPFT (pronounced PAG-puffed); People Are Getting Paid For This.




The Fox


Wrap-up from JATA’s Tabihaku.

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Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.


September 18 2013

Wrap-up from JATA’s Tabihaku.

News from the JATA Tabihaku* travel show in Tokyo last week (full report scheduled in October issue of Travel Business Analyst newsletter):


  • The dates for JATA Tabihaku Travel Showcase in 2014 are September 25-28.


  • Jungo Kikuma, head of JATA, said that there will be more attention on Japan following the recent announcement of Tokyo being named as the host city of the Summer Olympics in 2020. He also said that JATA is considering plans to implement joint promotions for travel to Korea and Taiwan.


  • Hiromi Tagawa, head of JTB, said that during the nearly-50 years since Japan last hosted the Summer Olympics, it has refined its know-how in developing quality products, including conducting sales for FITS and MICE travel, which can be offered to its neighbours.


  • Taleb Rifai, head of WTO, said the quality of the travel business depends on the quality of the country that supports the business. Talking of the inbound leisure sector, he said a country that its people enjoy “is a destination where visitors can enjoy”.


  • David Scowsill, head of WTTC, commended Japan’s move from July to waive visa requirements for visitors from Thailand and Malaysia. In addition, Japan now also allows multiple-entry visas for visitors from the Philippines and Vietnam.


  • JATA notes forecast of 20mn Japan outbound travellers in 2016. Target this year is 3% growth but first half was an 8% fall.


  • Miki sees outbound trends in more repeat travellers and seniors. He noted three new destinations that have become popular – Mont St Michel in France, Christmas in Germany (Dresden, Nuremberg, Stuttgart), Croatia.


  • JTB Foundation looked at outbound from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, noting the total is 40mn , close to the same size as the China market excluding travel from there to Hong Kong and Taiwan.


  • Korea. China is the biggest outbound destination by far. Outbound travel increased 38% in the first half.


  • Taiwan. 68% of travel is to China, Hong Kong, Japan. There were 5mn visas issued for China in 2012 – that is almost half the total outbound count.


  • Taleb Rifai, head of WTO (World Tourism Organization) said Asia Pacific takes a 23% share of arrivals, and he expects that to reach 30% by 2030, with 535mn visitors.
    Although he said many factors have influenced good growth, noting growing economies, a rising middle class, technological innovation, and support for inbound travel from governments.
    However, he also noted that “building a good country transfers to having good tourism” (meaning inbound all travel, not just leisure).
  • Fuji Television Network won the main JATA tourism award for its weekly show “Mezamashi TV program Top of the World”. Other winners: Princess Cruises, and destination marketing organisations from Guam, Hawaii, Malaysia, Okinawa, Sri Lanka , Tohoku (the region damaged by the nuclear accident following the tsunami). Fuji TV also won a second award.
  • JATA and WTO signed an agreement, which includes WTO involvement in running the JATA Tabihaku travel show from 2014. The agreement runs over September 2013-December 2016.


  • There were 1353 booths, up a big 24%, in the exhibition, 730 exhibitors up 3%, but from 154 destinations and markets, down 1%.
    Booth breakdowns: 226 from Asia, 186 Europe, 143 Japan, transportation 62, travel agencies 54, accommodation 25, cruises 16, others 47. Largest stand was Brand USA with 52 booths.


  • Organisers hope that the JATA Tabihaku will become more than a Japan-only event. JATA aims for Tabihaku to be the leading travel show in Asia – thus challenging ITB Asia in Singapore. It also wants the show to be recognised as a leading event in the travel world alongside ITB Berlin and World Travel Mart in London.


The event has been running almost continuously since 1977 but its name has changed a few times. It became the JATA International Tourism Congress & Travel Mart in 2001, then added the World Travel Fair in 2011.


That year there were sellers from 94 destinations with 783 booths. Total attendance was 91,419. This total includes consumers, which can boost numbers considerably; trade attendance totals have varied between 34,000 and 39,000.


JATA became the only organiser of the event from 2011, and gave it a new name – JATA International Tourism Forum-Tabihaku. In that year the show counted 144 destinations in 986 booths, with 117,236 visitors. Then in 2012 there were 156 destinations, 1093 booths, 125,989 visitors.


This year, another name change – to JATA Tabihaku International Travel Show. However, some observers have remarked that the event may need yet another name change, to something simpler, if it is to achieve the status it seeks.

*‘Tabi’ means ‘Travel’ and ‘Haku’ like a group.



The Fox