Economic development: Boosting high-end tourism is one of the key opportunities during this month’s official trade mission to two key east Asian nations.
Very few Japanese and South Koreans have thought of travelling to visit Luxembourg. This makes the Grand Duchy a destination for the select few. The tourist industry will soon be taking this message on a trade mission to these countries this month, working alongside sectors that are well-established in the region such as logistics and automotive manufacturing.
As well as the romance of castles, nature, culture and a spectacular capital, Luxembourg offers good food and vineyards, plus the allure of luxury shopping. “There is an element of exclusivity about Luxembourg,” Anne Hoffmann, managing director of the Luxembourg National Tourist Board, told Delano.
This is the first time tourism will be included in a multi-sector trade mission organised by the economy ministry. This follows the merger with the tourism ministry last year.
It will not be easy to make an impression, but the presence of Crown Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie will help the country stand out. The delegation will meet 40-50 tour operators and 10-12 journalists in Seoul and Tokyo. Even before the event, these efforts have had an effect, with Japan’s most popular travel show planning to record a feature in the Grand Duchy.
As well as its history and nature, the country offers exclusive high-quality consumerism. “There are many top brands here often stocking limited edition items, with all the shops just 5-10 minutes walk from each other,” Hoffmann added. “Plus our streets are free of the muggings you see in some big towns.” Luxembourg’s branding is also helped by this being the home of the Schengen visa: what every Asian needs before they visit the EU.
The Luxembourg Film Fund will also participate as it seeks to build relations with two of the largest movie industries in the world. Finance will be absent though, as this industry organises separate promotion trips.
“These missions help businesses understand and approach the very different business cultures found around the world,” explained Jeannot Erpelding, director of international affairs at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. China has become the biggest player in the region, but “Japan and South Korea are very important markets to us and we visit regularly,” he pointed out. The proof is that up to 40 business representatives will participate.
Tech firms in Luxembourg
These visits promote exports and the country as a gateway to the EU. Japanese firms establishing European headquarters here recently include Rakuten, the online retailer, and IT firm Skeed. Korean online gaming firms MoyaSoft and Nexon are also relatively new arrivals.