Kyoto City has forayed into the Middle East. The tourism board has opened a promotional office in Dubai to encourage Gulf nationals and residents to visit Japan for holidays and leisure. This makes it the first in the Middle East by a Japanese tourism authority.
Kyoto is Japan’s ancient imperial capital, home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city showcases Japan’s cultural and traditional arts and crafts traditions, including Kyoto’s famous geiko and maiko (apprentice geiko) as well as Japanese kaiseki cuisine among others.
The city is gearing up to cater to Muslim travellers by working closely with its local tourism and hotel industry to ensure cultural and religious needs are well taken care of. Local seminars have been held regularly to educate the travel industry on importance of providing Halal and muslim-friendly cuisine.
Yoshikazu Kuki, director of Kyoto City Tourism & MICE office said: “After a long investigative, consultative and training process supervised by Kyoto Muslim Association, Kyoto is now trying to prepare for welcoming Muslim guests. In fact, we have launched a special online muslim-friendly Kyoto website available in English, Arabic, Bahasa Malaysian and Turkish.”
Heading the Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau (KCVB) Middle East Office is Takao Yamamoto of AVIAREPS. KCVB will be participating at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai for the first time.