(SEATTLE) January, 2019 – Steeped in wilderness experiences and snow sports, Hokkaido, Japan, draws people from urban centers throughout the nation who seek an adventurous escape from the city. Now international buyers and media are invited to explore and discover Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost island and primarily a locals’ secret, February 24-March 5, 2019, during AdventureWeek Japan, which is hosted by JTB Research and Consulting and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). During the familiarization trip, buyers selected to participate in AdventureWeek Japan will also meet with local suppliers to establish professional relationships for itinerary development and expansion into untapped pockets for adventure travel throughout Japan.
Known for its distinctive pop culture, stunning cherry blossoms, and fresh seafood, Japan’s metropolitan centers are a beacon to international travelers. Outside these urban settings, however, the country is largely absent of foreigners.
“Around 80 percent of the visitors that come to Hokkaido are from urban Japan, and international adventure enthusiasts are few,” said Yuki Kunyia, senior consultant of JTB Research and Consulting, which has been spearheading the development of adventure travel within Japan for the last several years. “With all the amazing adventure activities that are possible to do here, we think Hokkaido can become a prime destination for international adventure travelers.”
Hokkaido is an ideal Asian destination for travelers seeking tranquil experiences surrounded by natural landscapes and a diversity of snow sports. With its unique biodiversity, a wide array of winter sports, and a newly revitalized Ainu Indigenous culture, Hokkaido reveals a fresh perspective of Japan. Layering diverse components of Indigenous and traditional Japanese culture, Hokkaido is also a fusion of abundant wilderness and adventurous activities with refined cuisine, architecture, and artistic traditions.
With several world-renowned slopes, Hokkaido boasts both alpine and cross-country skiing for all levels of ability as well as ideal conditions for snowshoeing. The Shiretoko peninsula, located in the northeast corner of the island, is home to the world’s premier sea ice drifts — perfect for trekking and fat-tire biking. Hokkaido feeds food enthusiasts’ appetites with gourmet ramen, wagyu beef, and seafood sashimi or poke, made with locally sourced salmon. The area is famous for its world-renowned Sapporo beer, and sake and whisky are also abundant. In eastern Hokkaido, Teshikaga is home to Lake Kussyaro, Japan’s largest caldera lake by surface area, and Mount Iwo, a common setting for movie shoots in need of an otherworldly, Mars-like landscape. Lake Akan sits in a volcanic basin with active Mount Oakan, looming on the shore. The geothermal activity provides plentiful spring water that has made the Akan area famous for its hot baths, and the rich minerals feed the rare, brilliantly colored marimo algae the lake is known for.
In addition to experiencing the rich array of activities available throughout Hokkaido, AdventureWeek Japan participants will meet with local suppliers during one-on-one professional meetings to begin the process of developing adventure itineraries and products.
Buyer applications for AdventureWeek Japan must be submitted by January 7. Apply now to be considered for this familiarization trip to Hokkaido.
About Adventure Travel Trade Association
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is widely recognized as a leadership voice and partner for the adventure travel industry. The association’s constituency of more than 1,300 member organizations in 100 countries is made up of tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents, accommodations, and industry partners, sharing a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. With specialized expertise in research, events, education, media, and promotion, the ATTA’s business services and events division, Adventure 360, delivers a portfolio of strategic solutions and robust ecosystem of global events. Along with other industry leaders, the ATTA provides annual funding and connections for projects protecting cultural and natural resources through the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF), a non-profit organization it helped start in 2016.
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