Screen shot of official web site for Hanako and Anne.
A new television series on a Japanese television network about the woman who translated Anne of Green Gables to Japanese has resulted in a renewed interest in Prince Edward Island as a tourism destination, says Tourism Minister Robert Henderson.
“Since ‘Hanako and Anne’ was announced, we’ve been looking at ways to maximize opportunities for the province’s tourism product in one of our key international markets,” said Henderson.
“As a result, we’ve entered into partnerships with NHK, Air Canada, several event organizers in Japan, and the Canadian Tourism Commission," he said. "Those partnerships have allowed the province to greatly enhance its marketing in Japan, and the timing couldn’t be better.”
Some of the planned activities that will help promote the province include media and trade events, enhanced social media, and participation in both a rose and garden show attracting an estimated 250,000 people and a major gallery exhibition tour with an estimated attendance of five to six hundred thousand people.
So far, Tourism P.E.I. has invested $140,000 in additional promotion and marketing.
The Japanese tourism website has been updated to coincide with the launch of the series, which airs on the NHK network.
Visits to the Tourism P.E.I. website originating from Japan are up 47 per cent compared to this time last year.
The NHK biographical drama is among Japan’s most popular series with an audience close to 60 million.
The opening sequence of each fifteen minute episode features beautiful Prince Edward Island scenery, as do many short segments throughout the program.
The series began on March 31. In total, 156 episodes will be produced and aired by NHK.
“The response to the series in Japan has been absolutely overwhelming,” said Yuka Takahashi, Tourism P.E.I.’s Japanese representative.
“Many tour operators have already sold out their usual vacation packages and are looking to book more. We’re seeing three to four times as many media and promotional inquiries. We’re also seeing interest from new clients like educational exchange organizations and student tour companies. It’s safe to say the impact of this series will be felt for years to come.”