JNTO Global Site Renewal

Creating a new, world-class tourism website for Japan
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Japan National Tourism Organization



The challenge

In 2017, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) commissioned us to overhaul its website, which had become dated and difficult to navigate due to decades of content updates and expansions. We responded with a new, intuitively navigable needs-based site that strengthens Japan’s status as a premier destination.

We launched the website in just eight months, completing competitor analysis, research, content planning, content production, custom CMS development, and design in the short timeframe. The new global English site features more than 2,300 pages, 1,700 map-pinned spots, and more than a million words, in a clear, mobile-friendly format.

Strengthening Japan’s online presence

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Encouraging a new style of tourism

We conducted significant analysis at the planning phase and let data inform our decisions throughout the project. Among our findings, we identified that the majority of Japan visitors stick to the well-established “Golden Route” between Tokyo and Kyoto. However, recent trends indicate a shift away from traditional sightseeing, with travelers increasingly seeking authenticity and experience-based travel.

To meet the needs of a growing sector of the market, to combat overtourism, and to encourage a more even distribution of tourist expenditure, we set out to cover every corner of Japan on the site. We audited thousands of tourist attractions throughout all 47 prefectures and created a curated selection of the most compelling attractions for each area. We ensured each area was fairly represented and added comprehensive transport information across the site to facilitate travel to less-visited locations.

Informative, experience-focused content

To produce more than a million words of engaging, SEO-optimized English content in less than six months, our Japan-specialized content planners recruited a team of more than 60 Japan-based, native-English-speaking writers.

Our content planners divided the content by region and assigned the text to writers with firsthand knowledge of each area. We briefed each writer on SEO best practices and instructed them to prioritize the experiences each attraction offers. We created a style guide and edited all text for accuracy and consistency.

Traveler-centered user experience

Our designers used user journey mapping to structure the site so that it makes information easy to find. We created an interactive map to give users a graphical reference of Japan when browsing the site.

Our developers prioritized a smooth browsing experience for smartphone users, allowing visitors to comfortably explore the site while traveling in Japan. We employed a performance-boosting content delivery network (CDN) to speed up load times for our image-driven pages.

Our content planners reorganized the tourist attractions in each prefecture. We identified key attractions worth a specific visit and regrouped the remaining attractions around them, prioritizing access by public transport over administrative borders.

Our thorough consideration of the user has increased online visits and time spent on the website while encouraging wider-ranging travel throughout Japan.

User experience is at the core of the new JNTO site.
JNTO Global
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User experience is at the core of the new JNTO site.
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Japan Tourism Agency Content Production