A Bollywood actress and former beauty queen as a tourism brand ambassador for Japan? Sounds strange right? Not when you want to increase the number of Indian tourists in the country. That’s the reasoning behind why Dia Mirza is now the Brand Ambassador of Japan, as appointed by the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) and Japan Tourism Agency (JTA).
In an event to commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, Mirza was present and told Deccan Herald that the accepted the title because she feels a strong connection to Japan and is very privileged to be called a brand ambassador. From January-June 2012, Japan has seen a 21% increase in the number of visitors from India, compared to the same period last year. JTA Commissioner Norifumi Idee said that India will be one of their main focuses as targets for tourism and they hope to bring the number of yearly visitors to 80,000 from the current figure of 60,000.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, tourism has been a big priority for the government to uplift the country’s economy. The good news is that for the first time since March 2011, the number of visitors in the country has exceeded that of the pre-disaster numbers. Tourist arrivals are up 1.4% in June 2012, as compared to the figures from two years ago. Now let’s see if the popular and beautiful Dia Mirza can help bring make those numbers even higher.
There is more coverage with promotional gushing over the benefits Japan's tourist attractions offer to Indians over here. Dia Mirza seems like an odd choice but... I guess she comes cheap these days, especially since her last movie flopped so hard. I don't know what connection she feels to Japan, either, since Dia is half-German...