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Sunday, 4th May 2014
In General Japan News,

Japan Tourism Agency to study tweets

The Japan Tourism Agency has announced intentions to scour the popular microblogging site Twitter for positive or negative mentions of the country's many tourist attractions.

As part of a strategy designed to help the tourist agency ensure the readiness of the industry for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics, reviews posted on social media websites of various activities will be analysed. 

The organisation claimed it will use the conclusions it draws from the data to come up with programmes and strategies that will encourage more visitors to go to Japan.

For example, positive mentions about a particular onsen or temple could result in a greater number of English signposts being put up for that attraction, while criticisms regarding the transportation system will be taken into account for future improvements.

The Japanese government has already embarked upon a major translation effort across the country, with important reference points such as stations, hospitals, rivers and city halls to include signage in English.

It is hoped that such improvements will aid those planning on visiting Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games, from which the Japan Tourism Agency is expecting an enormous boost in the local economy.

"Making good use of Twitter has great possibilities since it allows us to check the effects of PR, find possible new sightseeing resources and so on," an official from the agency told the Japan Daily Press.

It was also confirmed that the analysis will involve looking at GPS data from mobile phones, as this could help the Japan Tourism Agency to pinpoint new and exciting attractions.

"It should be possible to develop tourism more effectively if we combine the Twitter information collected with the GPS data," the official claimed.

This is the latest in a string of announcements that indicate that efforts are being made in the country to make things easier for foreign tourists.

Written by Graham McPherson

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