Tokyo – Japanese officials are enlisting one of the country’s best-known historical figures—the ninja, martial-arts master and stealth agent of feudal times—to encourage tourism. However, we striongly believe that they may not be able to attract any Muslim travellers to Japan by so doing.
The reasons behind our thinking are quite obvious. Just look at the top destinations for Muslim tourists and type of attractions they offer to their Muslim and non-Muslim travellers.
Although, the weather in Dubai is pretty harsh most almost the year round, large number of Muslim travellers, Saudis being the top, flock to the city. Why? The various types of halal restaurants, a thrilling shopping experience, and, of course, the absensce of any major language barrier as most of the people can either speak Arabic or English. Malaysia, Turkey, some other top destinations offer a lot to a potential Muslim traveller and not just some petty ways of attracting tourists such as forming a ninja council as the Japanese government did
Governors and mayors from prefectures around the country traded their usual bland suits for ninja costumes Sunday to announce the launch of the “ninja council”.
It sees local authorities forming an alliance with tourism agencies to thrust ninjas—usually known for their ability to become nearly invisible—into the spotlight.
Ninjas are a “subject that always comes up whenever we go abroad to promote tourism”, said Hiroshi Mizohata, former head of the transport ministry’s Japan Tourism Agency.
The not-so-stealthy move comes as local governments turn to tourism as a promising economic growth driver ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Through ninja, we want to revive our communities,” said Eikei Suzuki, governor of Mie Prefecture, known for the Iga school of ninja.
Originally published on www.japantoday.com