More than 16 thousand Japanese tourists visited Kaunas and the Sugihara House in 2016, making Japan a very important tourism partner for Lithuania. Therefore, it was more than sensational to discover the Japanese-language map of Kaunas focusing on the heritage of the diplomat Chiune Sugihara, was awarded in the 3rd annual Japan Tourism Awards.
"Japan has made Tourism part of its growth strategy, and hopes for increased exchanges between Japanese people and foreigners. The tourism industry plays a major role in Japan’ s economic growth, involving a broad range of industries in revitalizing tourism in the areas of Japanese domestic tourism, outbound Japanese tourism to other countries, and inbound foreign tourists visiting Japan. The awards recognize those who contribute to the development and expansion of the tourism industry, adding synergistic effects to the “JATA Tourism EXPO Japan,” while also giving recognition to exceptionally sustainable initiatives by associations, organizations, and companies in Japan and overseas. These awards utilize this event as an opportunity to pursue the goal of spreading the word and educating others about the efforts to make “Tourist Destination: Japan” a reality both domestically and internationally”, states the official description of the event.
The Kaunastic Sugihara Route, first published in September’2016 and now available in Japanese, English and Lithuanian (we’ve just published a double Japanese map of Vilnius and Kaunas, too!), was awarded a prize Regional Category of Outbound Travel; with the jury adding that the visitor numbers in Kaunas should continue growing.
In the same ceremony, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia received a joint award thanking for cooperation with Japan; France was also awarded in Tokyo.