By Charumini de Silva
Popular businesswoman Satoko Yahata was appointed Brand Ambassador to promote Sri Lanka Tourism in Japan by Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga.
Satoko Yahata is the President of Core S Ltd., a Tokyo-based consulting firm that specialises in planning international business in art, food, culture, fashion and travel, as well as a media producer. Yahata was recommended by Tourism Advisory Board Chairman Harry Jayawardena.
Minister Amaratunga speaking at the event said Japan had always been a true friend for Sri Lanka and this appointment would further strengthen ties between the two countries.
“The appointment of Yahata will help attract high-end Japanese travellers to Sri Lanka,” he said.
It was revealed that Sri Lanka will participate at four leading travel and tourism trade exhibitions in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. This includes the prestigious JATA Tourism Expo in Tokyo and Tokyo Diving Marine Travel Fair.
In addition Sri Lanka Tourism will also hold two road shows in Nagoya and Osaka.
The Minister pointed out that all these events will provide a great platform and an opportunity for visitors and all tourism stakeholders to share their ideas and get to know more about the Sri Lanka’s tourism industry.
He emphasised it was important to set up a tourist information centre in Japan with immediate effect, insisting that it would help garner much attention from travellers as well as potential investors.
New Brand Ambassador Satoko Yahata said she would also promote Sri Lanka Tourism in Hong Kong, to which the Minister responded: “More the merrier.”
Yahata had discussions with Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Paddy Withana, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director General Malraj Kiriella and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam on the country’s tourism promotion plans for next year.
Yahata is the VISIT JAPAN Ambassador appointed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan, and a committee member of METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) Luxury Travel Market as well as a Special Advisor of The Real Japan Ishikawa Project Committee.
Yahata is Board Director of Pacific Basin Economic Council and an official member of Japan Association of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She is also a Board member of Metropolitan Opera in New York and Officier of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne and International Council for Museum Berggruen Berlin.
She is a graduate of Seishin Joshi Gakuin (Sacred Heart College in Tokyo) and has studied at Le Menil in Switzerland and Grenoble University in France.