The Hon John Eren MP - travel report - Japan - 1 - 5 March 2018


The Hon John Eren MP


Minister for Tourism and Major Events
Minister for Sport
Minister for Veterans

Countries visited


Date of travel

1 - 5 March 2018

No of official travel days
(including date of departure and date of return)
Number of accompanying Ministerial Staff1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacityNo
Funding sourceDepartment of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Air fares (including taxes and fees)$16,124
Accommodation (including taxes and fees)$2,486
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)$2,990
Travel cost for minister and staff$21,600

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

The main purpose of my trip was to build relationships with key stakeholders and to promote Victoria as a priority tourist destination. I met with Osaka Prefecture Assembly members prior to their visit to Melbourne, the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee and key travel trade and major event partners to discuss the opportunity to engage Victorian businesses to assist with the delivery of the major event.

I also met with Japan Airlines – a key partner in delivering direct services to Melbourne. 

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria 

During my trip, I promoted Victoria as a desirable tourist and visitor destination in meetings with stakeholders. Discussions included identifying the opportunities between Victoria and Japan to create synergies among the hospitality, tourism and sports industries.

I met with senior executives and industry leaders of key travel and major event partners, to demonstrate the Victorian Government's commitment to growing export and trade links with Japan, including the visitor economy. I also used these meetings with industry leaders as an opportunity to gauge industry trends and movements.

I attended a Tourism Trade Workshop hosted by Visit Victoria with the objective of promoting Victoria's key products and regions. This seminar was designed to raise awareness of key Victorian products and regional tourist destinations within the Japanese travel industry. The Tourism Trade Seminar was an excellent opportunity for Visit Victoria and the Victorian tourism operators to develop relationships with key travel agents. Representatives from six Victorian operators also presented their products. As part of this workshop, I presented to delegates and conducted media interviews with key travel publications, to showcase Victoria's offerings.  

I met with Osaka Prefecture representatives, who are currently working with the Rugby World Cup organising committee regarding hosting events and associated legacy programs. During this meeting, we discussed Victoria's international reputation for hosting major events, as the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan, where the Osaka Prefecture will host four matches in the pool stages. The Victorian Government Trade and Investment office in Tokyo agreed to work with the group to facilitate introductions to Victorian businesses that could assist with construction of infrastructure and event delivery.

I attended a morning tea hosted by the Australian Embassy, to welcome the Melbourne Rebels and their executive team members to Japan. I also attended the 2018 Super Rugby Game – Tokyo Sunwolves v Melbourne Rebels. On Friday, 25 May 2018, the Tokyo Sunwolves will travel to Melbourne for a return match against the Rebels at AAMI Park. This will be the first time the Sunwolves have played in Melbourne and presents a unique opportunity to explore trade and investment to Victoria through sports diplomacy.

Next Steps / Follow Up

Visit Victoria will continue to work with travel trade partners in Japan, as the group tours segment in Japan is a growth opportunity for Victoria.

Facilitate a meeting between the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee and the Victorian Government Trade and Investment office in Tokyo, to discuss the potential of further education in sports management to grow the number of students visiting Victoria.

Continue to work with Japan Airlines to increase the number of daily services to Melbourne. We've experienced a significant increase in visitation (30 per cent in 2017) from Japan since these services became daily. The services are performing extremely well demonstrating a strong market between the cities.

Continue to work with the Melbourne Rebels on sports diplomacy opportunities through the International Super Rugby Conference. Countries such as Japan and Argentina (Latin America trade strategy) present an opportunity to use the sport landscape for trade outcomes.

Page last updated: 26 June 2018