KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Aug 5 (NNN-Bernama) — Nagasaki City, touted for its enchanting night views and iconic historical landmarks in the Kyushu island of Japan, aims to attract more Malaysian tourists.

Deputy Mayor Kunihiko Katou said tourists in Nagasaki are mainly from South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia and he hoped more Malaysians could visit the city.

Shipbuilding used to be the main economic driver for Nagasaki City but due to stiff competition from China and South Korea, tourism has become a major economic activity, he told Bernama on the sidelines of the first-ever Yakei Summit in Kuala Lumpur recently, hosted by Japan’s Yakei Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Katou was attending the one-day event on July 26 to introduce and promote Japan’s top tourist destinations and the ‘Yakei’ or Japan’s night tourism phenomenon where brilliant light instalments transform cities into a breath-taking visual experience.

Despite Nagasaki’s tragic and sad past, inflicted by the atomic bombing during the Second World War in 1945, bright lights illuminating its peace monuments and world heritage historical sites, with early European influence, continue to charm travellers from around the world.

Touted as an international trading port in Asia, it shares many historical similarities with Melaka: St Francis Xavier was the first European Christian missionary to visit both Melaka and Nagasaki in the 16th century.

Katou said Nagasaki, which has been voted among the top three for night views both in Japan and worldwide, is emerging as another tourist spot for Malaysians besides other well-known tourist sites in Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto.

Nagasaki’s spectacular night view is visible from many locations in the city, with the Nagasaki port, mountains, homes and city lights mingling with the stars in the night sky.

It can also be viewed from Mount Inasa, a hill situated to the west of Nagasaki and which offers magnificent 360-degree view of the Sea of Japan and the port city.

We aim to introduce Nagasaki and its night views to Malaysians, he said.

Nagasaki also houses major corporations such as Kyowakiden Industry Co Ltd with overseas business in Vietnam, he added.

Meanwhile, Representative Director of Yakei Convention and Visitors Bureau, Motoo Marumaru said the ‘Yakei’ phenomenon is expected to spur Japan travel from Malaysia as night tourism is fast emerging as another new tourism concept.

This follows a three-fold increase in Malaysian tourists to Japan in the past five years, from 130,183 in 2012 to about 439,548 in 2017, according to the Japan National Tourism Organisation data, he said.

In spite of the relatively weaker ringgit against the yen, Marumaru said it will not affect Malaysian tourists’ spending in Japan.

Marumaru said the introduction in Japan of stricter regulations this year on Airbnb, or the short-term accommodation for foreigners, would not hamper the tourism industry in Japan as local authorities are expected to improve conditions in the home sharing rental market to welcome more tourists ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The lifting of the short-term visa requirement in 2013 for Malaysians travelling to Japan, Marumaru said, is also an encouraging factor that is expected to spur Malaysian travel statistics in the near future.

He also expressed interest in collaboration with Malaysia on night tourism with technology from Japan to illuminate the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya with bright and colourful lights.–NNN-BERNAMA

Source: NAM News Network

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