Aberdeen ,

Strengthening tourism links with Japan

Japanese Ambassador, Koji Tsuruoka, and his wife, Yooko, along with Japanese Minister for Tourism, Jotaro Horiuchi, were welcomed to Aberdeen by the Lord Provost today (Friday 18 May).

The Japanese delegation included four tour operators and two representatives from the Japanese tourist board. The purpose of the visit to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire was to strengthen tourism links between Scotland and Japan and encourage Japanese tour operators and travel agents to consider the region for inclusion in future itineraries.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett, said: “It is essential that we seize every opportunity to promote Aberdeen here and abroad, and I am delighted that the Japanese Minister of Tourism and the Ambassador of Japan will have the opportunity to visit the city as they lead a tourism trade delegation to Scotland.

“Aberdeen is an international city of excellence in terms of business, people, and place – all of which make it the ideal location for business and leisure tourism.

“It’s a cosmopolitan city with a year-round festival programme on offer, stunning architecture, superb dining, retail and leisure opportunities surrounded by outstanding countryside and a beautiful coastline. These provide a relaxing outdoor environment just a short drive from the city. Whether it is business or leisure tourism visitors will always get a warm welcome here in Aberdeen.”

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this visit by the Ambassador to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and we have successfully demonstrated what a strong tourism offering the region has for visitors.

“The sky is the limit for Scottish tourism with our focus on attracting more visitors from new destinations. The future of Scottish tourism lies beyond our shores – we are connecting operators and tourism businesses to match their global growth ambitions.”

While in Aberdeen today, the Japanese delegation viewed the Thomas Blake Glover collection at Aberdeen Maritime Museum, as well as a tour of Glover House, in Bridge of Don.

Born in Fraserburgh in 1838, Thomas Blake Glover crossed from Shanghai to Nagasaki in 1859 and worked initially buying Japanese green tea. Two years later, he founded his own firm, Glover & Co. His business was based in Nagasaki and it was here that he had his home constructed – the building that remains today as the oldest Western-style building in Japan.

The busy two-day itinerary included a trip to Cawdor Castle, near Nairn, a tour of Longmorn Distillery and a visit to Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside.

The Ambassador’s visit follows a trip he made to Scotland last summer with his wife and the Minister for Tourism, when they visited Aberdeen.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett is pictured with Japanese Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka.